Friday, April 24, 2009
According to US News and Reports post on 5/7/07 by Adam Voiland http://health.usnews.com/usnew
"older people who volunteer enjoy longer lives, higher functional ability and lower rates of depression and heart disease".
I believe it has something to do with not thinking about yourself so much and centering on someone else and their problems. Personally, it gives me a great social network of people I may not normally meet in my daily life. I get to travel and live in hardship situations, that helps me appreciate what I have at home (even though it may not be much).
It is also a great diet. You are always on the move; you can't snack constantly and you have proportioned meals. You get instant gratification from the people you are helping. Hugs, cheers and a sense of well being are often side effects of helping others. It can be addictive.
Right now there are wildfires in Myrtle Beach, SC. People are loosing their homes and places of businesses. Many volunteers from all over are going to help with shelter, food and clothing - the basics. They give freely of their time, energy and heart to help people they don't even know without judgement or fear.
It is a wonderous gift one person can do for oneself and others.