Volunteering is a great way for individuals to strengthen their communities, but it also can be a unique way for individuals to improve their own overall happiness.
A 2020 study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies examined 70,000 participants, each of whom received surveys that asked questions regarding their volunteering habits and mental health. The study found that, when compared to those who did not volunteer, people who had volunteered in the previous 12 months were more satisfied with their lives and gave their overall health higher ratings. The frequency of giving back to one’s community also may affect just how much volunteering affects mental health. Study participants who volunteered at least once per month rated their mental health even higher than those who volunteered but did so infrequently.