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Charity has many positive effects, and not just on the charity. Whether you are able to donate goods, materials and money or by volunteering your time, giving can be as beneficial for you as for the recipient of your time and charitable donations. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Being stressed out or anxious can put a lot of physical and emotional strain on a person’s body. Stress has been known to lead to serious health problems as well. When a person focuses his or her attention outward and onto someone else, it can help alleviate the personal stress or anxiety that person may be feeling. Lowered stress levels can then lead to improved health. Charity can create a little good karma that can go a very long way.
Improve Health and Increases Longevity
When an individual does not take the time to do charitable actions for others, he or she faces a 30 percent greater risk of death following a stressful life event than someone who helps others, according to a study featured in Prevention. Putting another person’s needs ahead of your own can eliminate stressors which will often lead to decreased health and shortened life span. Being charitable can help improve your mood, make you feel more optimistic and bring you joy. When your emotional state improves, it can help strengthen your immune systems and improve your physical state too.
It doesn’t have to be a lot. Sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference, like offering to be a designated driver, making dinner for a sick friend, reading to someone at a senior center, donating to a local shelter, volunteering to take someone to the doctor, or picking up a friend’s kids from school when he or she can’t make it.
Volunteering Can Improve the Balance Between Work and Life
Although you probably won’t consider giving up some of your valuable time to volunteer as a way to get more free time, a study referenced in the Huffington Post says volunteering can do just that. According to this University of Zurich study, workers who also volunteer their time feel as if their lives have more of a balance. When you volunteer, you feel productive and you get a sense of accomplishment. Volunteering can also lead to other activities not associated with work, which in turn can help balance the time and attention spend on work.
Brings People With Common Goals Together
Another positive effect of charity is it brings people with common goals together. People from all different backgrounds can volunteer. Many volunteers opt to join up with an already established organizations, groups or team, where they can build camaraderie and get much more accomplished. These groups can do so much when pooling their resources.
Aids Personal Growth
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, that’s the “Golden Rule.” When you volunteer to help others and give the best of yourself, it can aid in your own personal growth as well. When a person understands someone else’s needs and the importance of community and giving, it helps to build empathy and improve self-esteem. Being able to give back or pay it forward can provide a sense of self-worth and happiness otherwise unattainable.