- Written by Pat Sicard, Volunteer Manager, RSVP of the Pioneer Valley
- Published: 19 October 2018
Volunteering improves brain function and boosts happiness
Volunteers make a world of difference in the lives of those they serve, and giving back also benefits the volunteer. According to the AARP at www.createthegood.org, benefits of volunteering for older adults can include lowering stress, finding new friends and social opportunities, gaining confidence and a continued sense of purpose. Aren’t you more interesting company when you have something to talk about?
“Brain Benefits for Seniors Who Volunteer,” a 2009 study by Johns Hopkins University, revealed that “volunteering increases brain functioning because activity gets you moving and thinking at the same time.” Volunteers also experience “The Happiness Effect,” which is similar to the aftermath of a vigorous workout. That feeling of happiness and well-being comes from a release of dopamine in the brain, and helping others has that exact same effect. The more you volunteer, the happier you become!
So, as the song says, “Don’t worry, be happy,” and use those extra hours in your weekly schedule for good. Share your skills and experience to benefit local nonprofits, make new friends, or help an organization that has helped you. RSVP of the Pioneer Valley is the volunteer connector for adults 55 and older who have some time and wish to help food banks, meals programs, thrift shops, or give elders who are homebound some companionship or rides to medical appointments. RSVP offers options, you choose, and we facilitate the match.