Think about about the last time you went out and volunteered. How did you feel after?
The words “fulfilled,” “proud,” “glad,” “happy” or “purposeful” might be a few of the emotions you experienced. Well, it turns out that volunteerism is not only beneficial for the community you’re serving, it’s good for you too. When you volunteer, you’re dedicating a slice of your day to something—a cause, an animal, a person, a community (oh my!)
By focusing on the task at hand, such as removing invasive species or planting a tree, you are interrupting tension-producing patterns and relieving stress. The act of diverting your attention to focus on a specific project allows you to “take a break” and mentally relax.
Volunteering is also a great vehicle to develop the social skills you need to conquer the world. Introducing yourself to strangers, making idle small talk and delegating tasks are all ways to improve your verbal communication skills. Talking in a crowd or to people you don’t know is a valuable life skill and may help you the next time you’re being interviewed for a job.
The great thing about volunteering is that it can be personalized. You can pick the time and duration of your shifts and you can choose a cause you’re passionate about. The United Nations has 17 sustainable development goals, all of which can be reached through volunteerism.
It’s easy to think that changing the world is an impossible task, but you don’t need to be the president to make a difference. Volunteering, even at a community level, is moving in the right direction.
So try it.
Step out of your comfort zone and go #liveBANGS.