Volunteering and Its Role in Social Psychology: How Community Services are Good for Mental Health?
Last Updated: January 01, 2023Tweet
Social psychology is the collective thoughts, emotions and responses created by the social interaction of someone with people around them.
Volunteerism has an immense power to change how a person feels, thinks, perceives and interacts during a certain situation or makes a decision regarding their life issues.
Countless studies have suggested that people who spend their time volunteering are happier and satisfied in general which inadvertently benefits their mental health and wellbeing.
Give purpose to your life
In a world filled with deadlines and to-do-lists it might be difficult to take a pause and reflect on why you are actually here. Volunteer work is the perfect way to get back the sense of purpose.
When you go out to help the hospitals in the community or the children in the orphanage, or help conserve some plants, these actions will also help you understand the meaning of your life in return.
Boosts self esteem
Are you someone who gets shy and nervous to communicate or socialize in a group of people? In that case, volunteering might be the perfect mental exercise for you to go out there and speak.
When you start communicating with an increasing number of people your social boundary is widened and you will start feeling more comfortable around new people. This can be the opportunity for you to come out of your shell.
If you have been feeling left out and lonely in the past, volunteerism can help you associate with the right people in the society. As humans we all need social identity and need to belong in a group.
Luckily, when you volunteer, you get to spend time with people in your community. Working with a group of people in your society will help you gain a sense of belongingness and make more friends.
Sense of satisfaction
Earning your salary and profits may meet your financial needs and ego. But in order to stay in balance as a human being, you also need to have your social and emotional needs met.
When you give back to society, you will feel more satisfied with your accomplishments than ever. The action of helping makes you feel that you are a part of something bigger than just your job or work.
Leaves you feeling happier
When you get to see the fruits of your labor and see the results of your volunteer work, it will fill your heart with happiness. You will have reduced stress and an overall improved mood.
At the end of the day, watching someone else smile as a result of your hard work and selfless action will make you smile as well. The act of helping someone will take your mind off your problems and focus on someone else's happiness.
You will learn a list of skills from communication, language, leadership to team work when you work as a volunteer. You wouldn't learn these skills if you had invested your time elsewhere.
With your increased exposure to new people and situations you will have better decision making ability. As a result of volunteerism you will have an overall positive outlook on yourself and higher confidence.
Especially after the two gruesome years after covid, there is an increased risk of isolation and people falling back into the pattern of self criticism and self destructive patterns.
Volunteer work keeps you occupied with meaningful work that can lessen your stress and anxiety which are major triggers for depressive episodes. Thus, volunteerism helps you stay mentally fit.
Gratitude for what you have
One way to boost your mental health is to be at peace. You can be at peace when you are grateful for whatever you already have or have achieved in life. It is easy to lose that clarity when you are busy.
Volunteer work can help you bring back that clarity. When you are grateful for all that you have in life, you will also feel more valuable and impactful in the society.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What can the community do to help mental health?
Volunteer work is proven to have excellent benefits on mental health improvement.
How can volunteers help with mental health issues?
Psychology volunteers can provide service in communities with higher mental health issues.
How important is community service for social psychology?
People who volunteer tend to be more happy, satisfied and hold a better perception about life in general.
How does volunteering relate to psychology?
Volunteers may serve in the field of psychology and mental health sectors.
What personality traits do volunteers have?
Volunteers are known to be empathetic, better at interpersonal relationships and have a higher internal locus of control.
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