You might be surprised to learn how volunteering can be beneficial in helping to ease anxiety. Here’s some interesting insights and suggestions to boost your happiness and self confidence.
Have you noticed yourself feeling more stressed and anxious lately? There are various reasons why a person can feel anxiety, and it’s often caused by events or changes in someone’s life.
These reasons may include stress from school, work, personal relationships, finances, political issues, or uncertain world events (e.g., typhoons, pandemics).
Unfortunately, if you’re unable to overcome or manage your anxiety levels, it can adversely affect your daily life.
You may quickly become angry over little things, have lower self-esteem, feel helpless about issues you think you can’t control, isolate yourself, and eventually lead to depression.
Some of you are probably surprised by how volunteering can be beneficial in reducing anxiety. Volunteering is the act of helping others without expecting any compensation or wage in return.
As you might know, I wrote a bestselling book called Happy Habits.
Inside my book I share a range of habits which boost happiness. And in my research, volunteering and doing acts of altruism are reported to be big contributors to boosted happiness and inner calm. With this in mind I put together this simple guide all about how volunteering can ease anxiety.
volunteering is the act of helping others while at the same time helping yourself feel better. To deepen your understanding, here’s how volunteering can ease your anxiety:
Many of you know how anxiety and stress are directly linked to each other. When you’re anxious, you feel stress; and when you’re stressed, you become anxious. But aside from those traditional techniques of reducing stress, volunteering is also an effective method for managing it. When you’re out there doing some voluntary works and charities, you unconsciously take your mind off of anything that worries or triggers your anxiety. Instead, you pay more attention to doing some good for other people.
As volunteering slowly becomes part of your life, you’re creating meaningful connections with the people you’re lending a hand to. By spending your time servicing others, you feel a sense of fulfillment, which can reduce stress levels and ease anxiety. So, for people and students with anxiety, you can sign yourselves up for volunteer work by joining internships that also target helping the less fortunate.
As mentioned, one of the side effects of anxiety is lower self-esteem and confidence. But volunteering can help boost your self-esteem and confidence again. Some volunteering activities may require you to learn new skills and be exposed to unfamiliar environments you may have never visited before. As you acquire new skills and visit new places, you’re allowing yourself to be mentally stimulated. This gives you a sense of pride and eventually a more optimistic view of yourself.
Anxiety can make a person overly critical, which is unhealthy and mentally damaging. This destructive habit can lead to depression. One good way to combat depression is through volunteering. Volunteering keeps your mind distracted from your harmful habit and instead redirects your mind into doing more meaningful work.
Once you volunteer, you may realize the accomplishment you’ve done, leading to a decrease in negative thinking of yourself. So, start to acknowledge more of the things you can do.
Too much stress and anxiety can sometimes lead to self-isolation. Since you feel like everything is out of your control, you tend to isolate yourself. Thankfully, through volunteering, you’re giving yourself an opportunity to expand your social network and avoid self-isolation as much as possible. Volunteering requires teamwork, which means you need to be open-minded about interacting with others to succeed.
Moreover, volunteering means all of you want to serve and help others. This common thing is already enough to help you make new friends that could last longer even after the volunteering ends. Most especially to people out there who are naturally introverted, volunteering can be their gateway towards breaking the ice while serving other people.
Volunteering is also a perfect way to explore various interests which you may have never tried before. It can be a productive and exciting escape from your usual routine, especially if you’re always sitting while scrolling your phone and overthinking about the news and issues you see on social media. Volunteering comes in many forms, and it’s up to you which area interests you the most. You can go for animal welfare, environmental activity, or anything that ignites your passion.
Some of you may not notice it, but you start to feel good and happy about yourself during volunteer activities. Serving and helping the community gives you a sense of purpose, which makes you feel happy because you know that you’re doing something good for the people around you. You’ll also realize that volunteering makes the world a much better place to live in, making you forget about the anxiety you often feel.
When you’re leading a sedentary lifestyle or lack physical activity, it’ll also take a toll on your mental health, leading to anxiety. Meanwhile, joining volunteering works can be a perfect way for you to stay physically and mentally active. Most volunteer activities require you to keep moving and thinking all the time such as planting trees or packing relief goods and giving them away to different locations. Volunteering encourages you to healthier changes and eventually increases your life satisfaction.
Every now and then, you may feel anxious about the daily issues and challenges you face in life. But with volunteering, not only are you giving service to the community, but you’re also saving yourself from the adverse effects of anxiety. Overall, volunteering helps you lead a healthier, happier, and more purposive life. So, get out there and choose the best cause for you!