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Helping Others...And Yourself

Think of a time when you did something for someone else.  Do you remember how good you felt afterwards?  This is the power of volunteering and there’s actually a scientific explanation for this feeling.  It’s called “helper’s high”.

Helper’s High

Helper’s High is defined by a feeling of euphoria, which is then followed by an extended period of calm, after one has performed an act of kindness.  These physical sensations come from a release of endorphins within the body.  After awhile, the increased calmness contributes to reduced stress levels, a higher sense of self worth and an enhanced state of emotional wellbeing.

Seniors’ Volunteering

When our work years are over and we have more free time at our disposal, volunteering can be a wonderful activity to give back to our local community.  Interestingly enough, even though we’re doing good for those less fortunate, we are simultaneously doing good for ourselves!  Seniors who participate in volunteering activities enjoy a long list of health benefits – physical, social and psychological.

The Benefits for Seniors

  • A great way to give back
  • A highly valued experience
  • An opportunity to meet new people
  • Self-confidence building
  • An activity that makes a positive difference
  • A source of motivation and achievement
  • A way to sharpen skills and stimulate the mind
  • A pursuit that enables one to develop new hobbies interests
  • Energizing
  • A way to fight off susceptibilities to depression
  • A healthy activity for the mind, body and soul

Choosing the Right Volunteering Role

Before you dive in to your first volunteering role, think of your personal interests.  Now is your chance to try something you’ve never done before.  Perhaps you want to help younger seniors as they go through some of the experiences you once did.  Or maybe you are a lover of animals and would like to be a foster home to adoption agencies.  Or find out what part you might play at the local women’s shelter.
Find a volunteering position suitable to older adults and make sure it fits within your schedule.  Don’t take on too much and be sure that you are happy with the arrangement before you begin.  And away you go!  Help others, enjoy yourself and feel good about all the subsequent health benefits that come along with it.
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