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World Health Day – How Giving Increases Your Health & Wellbeing

Giving Increases Your Health & Wellbeing
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Giving Increases Your Health & Wellbeing and giving back makes us feel good. It gives us a sense a purpose and helps us feel connected to our communities. Whether it is by lending a hand or donating to a charity that inspires us, giving back enriches our lives. It also  improves our health and lengthens our lives. How cool is that that one small act of giving increases your health & wellbeing.

Improve Your Physical Health By Giving Every Day

A study from California found that volunteering was four times as effective at lowering mortality rates than exercise. Specifically the  study found that people ages 55 and over were 44% less likely to die within 5 years if they volunteered for at least two organizations. Similar results were found in a study in Michigan. Find a local organization to volunteer at or look for virtual volunteer opportunities.

Improve Your Mental Health By Giving Every Day

Giving can also do a lot for our mental health. Currently in North America about 3 percent of adults have depression. Rates of depression have been  have been rapidly rising for the last 50 years. Five percent of the world’s population experience depression, making it an epidemic according to the World Health Organization. Of course it can’t be understated how important it is to  consult with a  doctor or therapist to treat depression. However giving back has been linked to lower rates of depression.

Charitable giving and volunteering can leave us with  long lasting good feelings.  Mood boosting chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and  oxytocin are released when we give. Serotonin helps to stabilized our moods. Dopamine can help us feel happier. Oxytocin  helps us feel closer to others. It can make us feel closer to our friends, family and community.

7 Ways You Increase Your Well Being By Giving

A 2017 study from Ireland highlighted the personal fulfillment volunteers can get from giving back. They narrowed down how we all can have the best volunteering experience. Here are seven factors to look for to increase well being.

  1. Be Involved – Knowing that you are making a difference in your neighbourhood increases feelings of well being. It can be very rewarding to know that you can help others.
  1. Enhance Your Self Esteem – Volunteering allows you to use your talents for a greater good. Giving back through a skill or hobby can raise your self esteem while allowing you to practice something you love. It can help a person feel empowered to know that they can help others with their skills.
  1. Witness the Change – Seeing the results of giving back is highly rewarding. Many volunteer roles like cleaning up a park or volunteering at a soup kitchen allow you to see the positive change first hand. Many people are drawn to volunteering because of their desire to do good. Getting to see it up close is a meaningful experience.
  1. Fun – Volunteering is a fun a way to be involved. You will meet others or learn something new. Aspiring volunteers should make sure they’re choosing an activity that seems inline with their interests and values.
  1. Feel Appreciated – Volunteering shows how important we can be to other people. Practicing daily giving reminds us that we are all connected. A volunteers’ self-esteem is raised when they see that their contributions are valued.

365 is powered by volunteer writers, who  find meaning in knowing their words can inspire others to give back. Check out this post from one of our writers on 10 ways to give back.

Elizabeth Wilkes
Elizabeth Wilkes
Elizabeth is a non-profit support worker from Toronto. She discovered 365give while searching for a volunteer position that could combine her desire to give back with her love of writing. She is a former child and youth worker. Currently she likes yoga, board games and classic movies.

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