3 Habits That Will Change Your Life

Improve Your Life In One Day

You know all the reasons why you should volunteer more often—it benefits others, just plain feels good, and helps you bank good karma—but if those aren’t giving you the motivation you need, try these: Volunteering justone daya month will give your life a greater sense of purpose and will make you feel more connected to your community, finds new research from Duke University and the National University of Singapore.

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Researchers looked at survey data collected from more than 3,200 middle-aged Americans who were asked questions related to the frequency of their volunteer work and their mental and physical health. 

More from Prevention:Surprising Way Volunteering Helps Your Brain  

Turns out there’s a significant correlation between social well-being and volunteer work. Those who volunteered also experienced a lasting boost in “eudemonic” well-being, or feelings that your life has purpose, the study finds. Why? Volunteering makes you feel good about yourself, and helps you form new relationships with the people in your neighborhood, explains study author Joonmo Son, PhD, a sociologist at the National University of Singapore.

Think you’re too busy? It’s not about how much time you give, Son says, it’s about forming an identity as a volunteer. That means you have to give back regularly enough to consider the activity part of who you are, Son says. In his team’s study, that required just 3 to 4 hours of volunteering each month, but it could take even less for you. 

OK, you’re convinced. But where to start? Here are five volunteer options to match your personality:

You love TV dramas—especially the ones about heroic doctors and nurses.Volunteer to help the American Red Cross. From organizing and managing blood drives to disaster response, you can channel your inner ER hero to give back.

Your nest is empty, and it’s bumming you out.Spend time around at-risk youth by signing up with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Opportunities range from weekly mentorship work to occasional group readings and outings. 

You’re fired up about the November elections.Help ensure the legitimacy of your country’s democratic process by volunteering to help at your local polling place. Contact your county officials about opportunities.  

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You love animals, but your partner’s allergic.Get your furry friend fix by spending some time around at-need cats and dogs. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or the SPCA, is a great place to find information about volunteering at your local humane society or animal shelter.  

You’re not afraid to get your hands dirty.Put your green thumbs—or at leasteagerthumbs—to work by helping out with community gardens and pitching in with neighborhood cleanups. Look for opportunities near you though VolunteerMatch.org.  

More from Prevention:Are You Happiness Material?  

Markham Heid Markham Heid is an experienced health reporter and writer, has contributed to outlets like TIME, Men’s Health, and Everyday Health, and has received reporting awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Maryland, Delaware, and D.C.

Video: 5 Essential 30 Day Challenges to Improve Your Life

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Date: 11.01.2019, 11:32 / Views: 42265