VOLUNTEER TO CREATE MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS
Volunteering, in addition to helping others, delivers a host of health and wellness benefits. In addition, it can also enrich your life by creating meaningful connections with others, sometimes in surprising ways. Here are four ways that the connections you make through volunteering can change your life for the better.
Stave off loneliness
Research has shown that as many as half of the population feels lonely regularly. And loneliness has been linked to a host of health problems ranging from heart disease and high blood pressure to depression and anxiety. But regular volunteering helps people get the social interaction they need to feel less lonely. One study found that adults age 51+ whose spouses had recently died felt less lonely than those who did not volunteer.
Strengthen your relationship
Volunteering with your partner can be a great way for you both to experience the benefits of giving back. But doing so may also help your relationship. The Pew Research Center found that roughly two in three married couples (64 percent) believe that shared interests are important to a successful marriage.
Make friends—or find a new romance
And the friendships volunteers make can also deepen to more closer relationships or even a romance. Volunteering provides new opportunities to meet people and make friends. A small body of research has shown positive indications that people who volunteer are likely to make friends doing so, especially women. Another survey by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society found that half of volunteers surveyed said they made a new friend volunteering. And more than 80 percent of people who volunteered in the past year said they would be more likely to date a person they met volunteering than through an online dating site or app.
Build your network
Volunteering allows you to make new professional contacts, too, as well as polish existing and build new skills, which are all good for your career. And prospective employers may take note, too. One study by the Corporation for National and Community Service found that people who volunteered were 27 percent more likely to be hired than people who had no volunteer experience.
In addition to delivering physical and mental health benefits, volunteering can add richness to your relationships, help you find new friends and contacts, and maybe even find love. If you’re looking for the right volunteer opportunity for you, visit www.createthegood.org.