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who volunteer have happier life than who don’t.
People who volunteer for selfless reasons, such as helping others,
live longer than those who don't lend a helping hand, a new study shows.
However, those who volunteer for more self-centered reasons do not reap the
same life-extending benefits.
"This could mean thatpeople who
volunteer with other people as their main
motivation may be buffered from potential stressors associated with
volunteering, such as time constraints and lack of pay," study researcher
Sara Konrath of the University of Michigan said in a statement.
(Past research suggested another benefit for selfless volunteers —
a date. Apparentlywomen rate such
altruismhigh on their
list of desirable traits in a mate.)
In 2004, the participants reported how often they had volunteered
within the past 10 years. They also explained their reasons for volunteering,
or, in the cases of those who had not volunteered but were planning to,
the reasons they would.
Some of the participants' motives weremore oriented
toward others, such as "I feel it is important to help
others" or "Volunteering is an important activity to the people I
know best." Other respondents, however, had more self-oriented reasons for
volunteering, such as "Volunteering is a good escape from my own
troubles," or "Volunteering makes me feel better about myself."
Researchers then compared the participants' responses with
physical health information that had mostly been collected in 1992. The
researchers also considered the respondents' socioeconomic status, mental
health, social support, marital status and health risk factors, including
smoking, body mass index and alcohol use.
The findings showed that those who volunteered for morealtruistic reasons had lower mortality rates as of 2008 than people who did
not volunteer. Of the 2,384 non-volunteers, 4.3 percent were deceased four
years later, compared with 1.6 percent of altruistic volunteers who had died.
However, people who said they volunteered for their own personal
satisfaction had nearly the same mortality rate (4 percent) as people who did
not volunteer at all.
"It is reasonable for people to volunteer in part because of
benefits to the self; however, our research implies that, ironically, should
these benefits to the self become the main motive for volunteering, they may
not see those benefits," said study researcher Andrea Fuhrel-Forbis, also
of the University of Michigan. We are calling all the people who wants to volunteer either by virtual or being present there in India can contact E:firstname.lastname@example.org " As We Believe Volunteering Can Make Difference in Poeple's Lives "
There are numerous
volunteer opportunities available. The key is to find a volunteer position that
you would enjoy and are capable of doing. It’s also important to make sure that
your commitment matches the organization’s needs. The following questions can
help you narrow your options:
you like to work with people or would you rather work in solitude?
you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?
you better behind the scenes or do you prefer to take a more visible role?
much time are you willing to commit?
much responsibility are you ready to take on?
skills can you bring a volunteer job?
causes are important to you?
Consider several possibilities
In your search for
the right volunteer opportunity, don’t limit yourself to just one organization
or one specific type of job. Sometimes an opportunity looks great on paper, but
the reality is quite different. Try to visit different organizations and get a
feel for what they are like and if you click with other staff and volunteers.
The more satisfaction you have as a volunteer, the better your contributions
and the more likely you’ll continue.
Getting the most
out of volunteering
You’re donating your
valuable time, so it’s important that you enjoy and benefit from your
volunteering. It’s important to make sure that your volunteer position is a
good fit and to communicate with the people you’re working with in the
questions. You want to make sure that the
experience is right for your skills, your goals, and the time you want to
spend. If you have any questions, be sure to speak up. Sample questions to your
volunteer coordinator might address your time commitment, if there’s any
training involved, who you will be working with, and what to do if you have
questions during your experience.
sure you know what’s expected. Before starting, make sure you
are comfortable with the organization, know what is expected, and understand
the time commitment. Consider starting small so that you don’t over commit
yourself at first. Give yourself some flexibility to change your focus if
be afraid to make a change. Speak up if your experience isn’t
what you expected. Don’t force yourself into a bad fit. Talk to the
organization about changing your focus or consider looking for another match.
yourself. Most importantly, make sure you’re having fun!
The best volunteer experiences benefit both the volunteer and the organization.
If you’re not enjoying yourself, ask yourself why. Is it the tasks you’re
performing? The people you’re working with? Or are you uncomfortable simply
because the situation is new and familiar? Pinpointing what’s bothering you can
help you decide how to proceed.