Everyone knows that giving back is a nice thing to do because it is an act of selflessness that helps the community. We also know that giving feels good, even when it is done in small ways, such as dropping some change in a collection cup or tipping a little extra at a restaurant. However, what a lot of people don’t realize is that giving back can actually benefit both parties. Studies show that giving back can improve one’s overall health. It can also help increase one’s gratitude, promote social connection, advance one’s political career, and provide a sense of fulfillment.
5 Reasons Giving Back Can Help You
#1. In studies, giving back to the community has been proven to help improve both one’s mental and physical health. When you are having a meaningful connection with another person, you’re going to be letting go of the stress that may have been building up without you even knowing. This can help you feel lighter and can alleviate symptoms of loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Giving back has also been linked to a hormone called oxytocin, which is associated with happiness, warmth, and euphoria. When you help someone else, you might experience symptoms related to oxytocin release for more than an hour afterward.
Giving back to the community can be beneficial to one’s physical health for several reasons. When someone is in a better state of mind, they will be more likely to make positive decisions regarding their health, whether that be through fitness or nutrition. Additionally, someone who regularly gives back will likely be staying more active, which can decrease their risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and other diseases related to an overly sedentary lifestyle.
#2. Giving back is a great way to remember to practice gratitude. Everyone has their own set of problems, and it can be easy to get stuck in a cycle of self-pity. However, when you give to the less fortunate, you are likely going to see that you have it better off than many people. Working with people who struggle to afford basic necessities like food, clothing, and shelter can remind you to be grateful for the more simple things in life. Working with someone who is sick, disabled, or terminally ill can make you grateful to be healthy, able-bodied, and alive. The more grateful an individual is, the more resilient they will be to stress, and the more likely they will be to experience strong mental health.
#3. When you give back to others, you’re going to be making strong, positive social connections, which can make you feel more connected to the community and can lead to long-lasting friendships. The friends you make along the way might even be able to support you in different ways in the future.
#4. While it might not be the main reason you choose to give back, helping others can actually help you career-wise in the future. Not only does volunteer work look great on a college application or resume, but the networking you do along the way may be able to help you score a job in the future.
#5. Do you ever feel as if you’re lacking purpose or don’t really know what your place is in the world? When you give back, you will experience a sense of fulfillment. It will remind you that you are an important member of the community and are capable of making positive changes in the world. This in turn can increase your sense of self-esteem.
Some Ideas of Ways to Give Back
Do you want to give back but don’t know where to start? Start thinking about what you are passionate about and go from there. Here are some ideas that may be a good fit for you:
- Volunteer at a local animal shelter or donate some supplies that they need
- Visit somebody in a nursing home that has no family left
- Write a letter to a soldier thanking them for their service
- Help serve a meal at a local soup kitchen
- Donate canned goods and other supplies to a food pantry
- Go through your closet and donate clothes you no longer wear to a homeless shelter
- Help sponsor a family over the holidays
- Donate school supplies that can be used by children who can’t afford any
Remember, you don’t necessarily need to donate lots of your time or money to still experience the benefits of giving back. Start small and don’t take on more than you can realistically manage and you will experience amazing results.
While giving back to the community is a selfless act, it can benefit both parties. When you help someone else, you experience a multitude of positive results, including better mental and physical health, a greater sense of gratitude for what you have, strong social connections, networking that can lead to professional growth, and a greater sense of self-purpose and fulfillment. Giving back doesn’t only make you feel good and helps strengthen the community, but it is a way of focusing on something positive and learning that you can make a positive difference in the world when you set your mind to it. Some examples of ways to give back include helping out at a soup kitchen, volunteering at an animal shelter, or donating food to those in need. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder, our team at Achieve Concierge can help. Call (858) 221-0344 today to learn more.