Link Between Psychological Well-Being and Volunteering

An interview-based study in India explored self-perceived linkages between well-being and volunteering. The self-reported findings from individuals engaged in long-term volunteering indicates positive development of key mental and physical characteristics.

  • Long-term volunteers experience higher levels of positive psychological outcomes in both mental health and general physical health
  • Engagement in community activities contributes to positive youth development through competence, confidence, caring, and connection
  • Volunteering propels positive youth development that enables skill building and comfort with identity
  • Long-term volunteers report that engaging in volunteer activities give them a sense of purpose
  • Prejudices diminish
  • Individuals who volunteer are able to interact well with people from a different social class
  • Volunteers gain a willingness to go beyond individual comfort zones
  • Serving the community fosters higher levels of self-confidence in social situations
  • Volunteers achieve better emotional regulation skills and manage negative emotions
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Learn More About the Psychological Benefits of Volunteering

Long-Term Volunteering and Well-Being

ML Notes – key points from the research study:

  • Study indicated that long-term volunteers experienced higher levels of psychological well-being, including self-acceptance and sense of engagement and growth, as compared to short-term volunteers.

  • Volunteering associated with positive psychological outcomes in terms of mental health and general physical health as well as strengthened social connections.

Long-Term Engagement in Formal Volunteering and Well-Being: An Exploratory Indian Study

Volunteering Fosters Positive Development in Youth

ML Notes – key points from the research study:

  • Civic engagement and volunteering experiences are avenues for propelling positive youth development.

  • The article analyzes experiences of a volunteer with an animal rescue and protection organization. Highlights of the study focus on enhanced competencies as well as shifts in self-perception and social-moral thinking as a result of his volunteer activities.

Youth Civic Engagement in India: A Case in Point

Recommended Reading

Allan Luks

  • Summary. This book highlights that doing good for others goes beyond the emotional benefits of feeling good about one’s service. It highlights how caring for others also nurtures positive changes in both mental and physical health. This personal guide helps readers select an activity, prioritize time for volunteering, and maximize health benefits.

  • Reviews. This is a great book that explores the phenomenon of a “helper’s high”- the immediate feel-good sensation as well as the longer term sense of calm and enhanced self-acceptance. Highly recommended to relate the message that helping others leads to improved health.

Order a Copy

Stephen Joseph

  • Summary. Explore the challenges and opportunities for how positive psychology is integrating with new areas of self-help, life coaching, social work, and other real-world settings. Learn how positive psychology is being used in schools.

  • Reviews. This 2nd edition, updated book is highly admired by readers. It’s detailed and technical so keep in mind it’s not a simple beach read about positive thinking. Included are a lot of detailed research and well thought out discussions about the effects of positive psychology for various applications.

Order a Copy
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