by Taly Friedman, Director of Volunteer Engagement, Jewish Family Services
I feel so lucky to have the amazing job of engaging volunteers in meaningful work that benefits our community and love that there is more research and information out there showing the health benefits of volunteering! Here is a recent article by Terri Yablonsky Stat of the Chicago Tribune touting the health benefits of what you do as a volunteer!
If there’s a magic pill for happiness and longevity, we may have found it.
Countless studies have found that generosity, both volunteering and charitable donations, benefits young and old physically and psychologically.
The benefits of giving are significant, according to those studies: lower blood pressure, lower risk of dementia, less anxiety and depression, reduced cardiovascular risk and overall greater happiness.
“Volunteering moves people into the present and distracts the mind from the stresses and problems of the self,” said Stephen G. Post, founding director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York. “Many studies show that one of the best ways to deal with the hardships in life is not to just center on yourself but to take the opportunity to engage in simple acts of kindness.”