Mental Health

6 Major Mental Health Benefits of Giving Back

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Posted By Alex Perez - Mental Health Writer, B.A.

There are many ways to improve your mental health when it feels like you’re struggling. When was the last time you considered volunteering when you were feeling down? These are the mental health benefits of giving back that you could start experiencing by finding the best volunteering opportunities for your time and abilities.

Benefits of Giving Back

1. It Shifts Your Focus

It’s harder to fight mental health conditions like depression when your environment never changes. When you’re able to leave the house, use the opportunity to shift your focus by helping others.

Whether you serve food at a donation center or clean up a local park, you’ll shift your focus to something outside of yourself. After returning home, you’ll get a better perspective on your situation and feel comforted by your ability to take control by making life better for others.

2. It Boosts Your Confidence

giving back

Giving back doesn’t always require skills like building homes or leading a team of volunteers. Sometimes the simplest effort can boost your confidence, which strengthens your self-esteem. People with low self-esteem experience intensified depression symptoms, so figure out ways to give back with your daily routine.

Even if you don’t have time to volunteer in person, there are ways you can work giving back into your daily life. For example, Virginia residents who bought lottery tickets in 2021 donated over $766 million to K-12 schools because the state shares its profits. Knowing that something as easy as buying a lottery ticket will help kids learn what they need to shape their futures will boost your confidence because you’re still accomplishing something amazing.

3. It Creates More Gratitude

Anxiety can make anyone’s situation in life seem like it’s never enough. You may get overwhelmed while trying to make it to your next milestone or outdo your previous efforts.

Serving others will immediately make you more grateful for what you have and who you are. You’ll learn about hardships you may have never encountered and life experiences you’ve never known through the people in your life.

It’s good to be there for people who need a helping hand. It’s also good to return home with a bigger perspective of how much you’ve accomplished and what you have. You’ll feel more satisfied with your life, leading to less intense anxiety about never being or doing enough.

4. It Provides a Purpose

giving back

Aimlessness isn’t good for anyone’s mental health. It could spark bouts of depression or lead to chronic anxiety. Consider whether you have defined purposes for your personal and professional lives. You may just need more direction to improve your mental well-being.

A recent study found that people with clearly defined, meaningful work to do in their jobs had better mental health standings than others who didn’t have a driving purpose. Giving back is a noble purpose. Finding a way to help your community could be what you need to strengthen your mental health.

5. It Creates New Friendships

giving back

Loneliness is an influencing factor for anyone’s mental wellness. It’s crushing to feel alone in the world, but making new friends can also be challenging.

Volunteering is an excellent way to meet people and form friendships. You’ll enter social situations with a prepared icebreaker because you already know that your potential new friends care about the same cause as you. Having people to rely on, cheer you up, and encourage you will vastly improve your daily experiences with your mental health.

6. It Increases Your Self-Esteem

Accomplishing something worthwhile will always boost your self-esteem. There’s nothing quite like seeing the joy that comes from helping people, whether that happens in person or by donating money.

It’s challenging to think badly of yourself when you’re the reason someone got to have school supplies or keep a roof over their head.

Enjoy the Benefits of Giving Back

giving back

There are many mental health benefits of giving back to your community and the world. No matter how you decide to donate your time or money, improving the lives of others will immediately improve your life, too. Your mental health will thrive because you’ll experience these long-lasting benefits.

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The Mental Health Benefits of Giving Back

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