AUGUST 21, 2020: Volunteering makes people feel good. It gives them a purpose. It can help reduce stress, improve mood and health. Research shows it can also help cope with pain.
People with higher pain levels are more depressed, have lower life purpose and well-being. Volunteer activities can have a significant effect on the relationship between pain and depression. Volunteering has a role in improving symptoms of depression. It can increase life purpose in people with pain.
Studies show that volunteering can indeed help reduce pain and give a renewed sense of purpose in people who suffer from chronic pain.
- Volunteering and good deeds result in improved mood. When mood is improved, pain levels decrease.
- Volunteering can help reduce symptoms of depression, improve health, and lower mortality.
- After individuals perform altruistic actions, brain activity in the areas that respond to pain are instantly and significantly reduced.
- In one study, chronic pain patients who participated in volunteer activities reported both decreased pain and “a sense of purpose.”
- Volunteering increases social, physical, and cognitive activity and leads to improved function.
- Volunteer related functional improvements may be associated with reduced dementia risk.
You need to feel comfortable volunteering. If you feel forced to do it, it may not have the same positive effects.
With so many encouraging results, now may be the time for you to consider giving back!