Mark Schulhof recently discussed the mental and physical benefits of volunteering for charities.
Volunteering involves using your time and energy to offer help to others in need. However, volunteering often helps the volunteer as much as it does those who are being helped. Philanthropist Mark Schulhof recently discussed the surprising mental and physical benefits of volunteering.
Mark Schulfhof has been passionate about sustainability, environmental awareness, and philanthropy for decades. He is a strong believer in his motto that, “You can make money and do good at the same time.”
Schulfhof explained that volunteering for others helps your personal wellness too. First, he stated that volunteering is excellent for mental health. It has been proven to reduce feelings of anxiety, stress, and anger. It has also been known to combat depression because the volunteer community is an interconnected one. It provides social interaction and a support system for those who take part in philanthropic activities.
“The act of volunteering has clearly made me happier, and I’ve seen this among fellow volunteers as well,” Mark Schulhof said. “Researchers have measured brain activity and hormones of individuals being helpful, and they’ve found that volunteering is directly correlated with feelings of happiness.”
Schulhof explained that additional benefits of volunteering include improved self-confidence, a superior sense of purpose, and feelings of connectedness with others.
“The first time you volunteer, you’ll notice the positive mental effects,” Schulhof said. “You can finish without feeling better about yourself, and that feeling of happiness and confidence spreads into other areas of life as well.”
Volunteering has been proven to benefit physical health as well. This can be especially useful for older adults, who may not have a purpose to leave the house and go to work due to retirement. Research has shown that individuals who volunteer have a lower death rate than individuals who do not. Volunteers who are older walk more, stay mentally sharper and have a lower chance of developing high blood pressure. The act of volunteering has even been shown to reduce chronic pain and risk of heart problems.
“You’re probably not volunteering to benefit your career, but this is a common occurrence,” Mark Schulhof said. “Volunteering can improve your networking and even provide you with new skills.”
Volunteering is unpaid work, but that doesn’t mean it can’t benefit you financially in the long run. The skills you learn while volunteering can be specialized, and they can lead you to more job opportunities in the future. For instance, honing your customer service skills while volunteering in a Goodwill store can lead you to a superior career in customer service or sales in the future.
“You may even choose to volunteer in the field in which you work,” Mark Schulhof said. “This will allow you to learn new job skills while helping others and likely improving your career in the future.”
One of the major benefits volunteering can have for your career is the networking you do while helping others. You’ll be working with a tight-knit community of like-minded volunteers. Many times, these relationships can lead to new clients, business partnerships, and connections. At the very least, you’ll have a new group of friends who serve as a support system when you’re in need of help as well.
“Volunteering can bring fulfillment into your life in so many ways,” Mark Schulhof concluded. “One of the only ways to find out just how beneficial it can be for you is to get out there and choose a volunteer opportunity. You, and the people you’re helping, will not be disappointed.”