How Volunteering Can Help Your Mental Health

by LG Happiness Project | September 24, 2020

With coronavirus shutdowns, sheltering-in-place restrictions, and social distancing, people are feeling isolated, lonely, and lacking in human connection.

But did you know that volunteering could help curb those feelings?

In a study published this year in the Journal of Happiness Studies, researchers surveyed nearly 70,000 participants in the United Kingdom over eight years. They found that people who had volunteered in the past year were more satisfied with their lives and rated their overall health as better.

Why? Volunteering appears to be naturally rewarding. When we help others, we tend to experience what researchers call a “warm glow” or a “helper’s high,” an uplifting feeling of happiness and cheerfulness. Volunteering can also help us build social connections and new skills.

While in-person volunteering might not be an option right now, many nonprofits are offering virtual options.

For more information on how volunteering can boost your day-to-day well-being, check out the article from the Greater Good Science Center.