It is important to the community as well as you to be actively giving back each day, even it is simply giving someone a hug to make their day a little brighter. I promise you that for every act of kindness you show not only will you bring joy to someone else but your day will be brighter and your body, mind and soul a bit healthier.
There are many ways to volunteer that don’t involve money in any way, not even a dime of gas. You don’t need hours of free time to bring a smile to someone’s face. Read a story to a child, compliment a stranger, give a hug to someone who may need one, share a meal with a neighbor, the list goes on and I am sure you can come up with a few of your own. Become a virtual volunteer, check out ways you can volunteer online, no special skills needed, if you are living, breathing and can do anything at all you have what it takes to make someone’s day better.
A 2005 Stanford University survey of 7000 older adults found that frequent volunteering and helping others is linked to a healthier, longer life. The study also showed it didn’t need to be giving on a grand scale, it could be anything meaningful.
Allen Luk's 1991 survey of thousands of volunteers in the US found that people who helped others reported better health than peers in their age group who didn’t volunteer.
A recent survey of 4500 American volunteers showed the following;
- 73% reported that volunteering lowered their stress levels
- 89% reported that volunteering improved their sense of well being
- 92% reported that volunteering enriched their sense of purpose
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and give some free hugs, blow some bubbles, give someone a smile..you have no excuse...I have given you links to some great opportunities and I’m sure you can create a few of your own...give to others and you will always be giving back to yourself.
For more on Kristen and her storytelling adventure as well as her literacy program please visit her site. To leave comments on her TED video click here.