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How Volunteering Helps Your Mental and Physical Health

How Volunteering Helps Your Mental and Physical Health

When you volunteer, you get the satisfaction of knowing you helped someone out, even if only for a day. However, did you know volunteering also helps yourself? Studies have found that volunteering can positively impact both your body and your mind. We’re here to tell you all about the different ways doing good in your community can do some good for yourself.

Volunteering helps you stay physically and mentally active.
Many volunteer opportunities require you to be on your feet, which according to researchers, causes many volunteers to report better physical health than their non-volunteering counterparts, especially in those over 60 years of age. When you volunteer, you’re moving and thinking at the same time, stimulating your brain and keeping your mental health in shape. Some volunteers even report higher levels of life satisfaction.

Volunteering decreases your risk of depression.
Continuously volunteering increases your social interactions and gives you a support system of those with common interests. These factors are proven to lead to lower rates of depression, particularly for those 65 years and older. 

Volunteering can help you live longer.
Researchers have found that those who volunteer have lower rates of mortality than non-volunteers, even when factoring in gender, age and physical health. Volunteers with chronic or serious illnesses also have reported decreased pain intensity and depression when they help others in pain. 

Volunteering allows you to form meaningful relationships.
Meeting new people while volunteering is often many people’s favorite aspects of it. Whether it’s someone you served or a fellow volunteer, donating your time is a great way to expand your social network. You can also volunteer with those you know to strengthen existing relationships. Social skills and friendships are essential to positive mental health. 

Volunteering can reduce stress levels.
When you volunteer, you often feel a sense of purpose and appreciation. It can come from yourself, as well as from those whom you serve. This feeling of meaning has the ability to reduce your stress levels. The social relationships you form while volunteering can also alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety.

Volunteering can improve your confidence.
As you continue to volunteer consistently, you become more sure of yourself in your role. For example, if you regularly volunteer at your local nursing home, you know what you’re doing and how to best help each individual. This self-assurance can translate into your daily life. You become more comfortable speaking to new people and dealing with conflict. Confidence is key to good mental health, so if you feel it’s something you should work on, try volunteering. 

Volunteering is a great way to improve your community, as well as your body and mind. If you’re looking to do some good in more ways than one, check out volunteering opportunities in a field that interests you.

Our Impact in 2018

January 1-December 31
  • At Amethyst Center for Healing we are dedicated to helping individuals, families, and communities recover from trauma and abuse, so that we may all live peaceful, empowered lives.

  • Canyon Creek Services provides free and confidential services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Iron, Beaver and Garfield Counties.

  • CAPSA is a non-profit domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape recovery center serving Cache County and the Bear Lake area.

  • Founded in 1984, The Center for Women and Children in Crisis has been in continuous operation for 33 years. Our mission is to provide a caring, advocating, safe, and educationally based environment for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

  • The DOVE Center is the only area agency providing safe-shelter, crisis intervention, and prevention for clients who have been victimized by violence in their home – whether by a family member or cohabitant – that also serves victims of rape and sexual assault.

  • Founded in 1922, Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake is a non-profit organization that promotes safety, stability and self-sufficiency for low income families and individuals, as well as victims of domestic violence, through effective, efficient legal advocacy and assistance.

  • New Hope Crisis Center has been serving Box Elder County for 30 years. Our mission is to provide all-inclusive, integrated, victim-centered services to stabilize and support individuals, families, and our community.

  • Our organization advocates for victims of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, and the homeless. Serving people in Sevier, Piute, Millard, Sanpete and Wayne counties of Utah.

  • Peace House is dedicated to ending family violence and abuse through education, outreach, support services, and safe housing.

  • Safe Harbor, a non-profit organization, provides shelter, supportive services and advocacy to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as education, awareness and resources to our community.

  • Established in 1990, Seekhaven assists survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault rebuild their lives. Serving Grand County and Southeastern Utah, Seekhaven provides a wide range of essential services including client advocacy, emergency shelter, and transition assistance.

  • South Valley Services is a domestic violence service provider in West Jordan, Utah. We provide safe shelter and supportive services to women, men and their children who have been impacted by domestic violence.

  • Preserve the heritage. Enhance the wellbeing. Strengthen the future of the People.

  • Our Mission: To help families of homicide victims receive hope, justice, and healing.

  • Utah Legal Services (ULS) is a nonprofit law office incorporated in 1976 committed to making equal justice a reality by providing free legal help in non-criminal cases to low-income Utahns.

  • Valley Behavioral Health is a nonprofit network of clinics providing treatment for behavioral conditions, addictions, psychiatric conditions, autism and other chronic health conditions. We treat chronic lifelong conditions as well as temporary conditions triggered by traumatic life events. Our programs are tailored to people of all ages and every social, cultural and economic situation.

  • YCC Family Crisis Center is a domestic violence shelter and rape crisis center provide services 24/7 to victims and their children.

  • Today, the YWCA is Utah’s most comprehensive provider of family violence services; our programs include walk-in services and a crisis line, emergency shelter, transitional housing, children’s programs, and a vast array of supportive services.

© 2019 Utah Domestic Violence Coalition

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