The Joy Of Helping Others

HelpingMonkeyFor the first eight years of my career in the technology sector my attention was mostly geared towards things. Computers, storage, networks and the like.  After some time I became a team leader and later on a manager working more with people than things. I discovered that I gained much more joy from helping my team members than fixing a broken computer. Ultimately that is what led me to become a member of the “helping professions.”

Helping others gives life a true and pure purpose. I have learned that I am able to have an impact on others and help them avoid the difficulties and challenges that I have faced in my own journey though life by sharing my own experiences.

As a life coach there is nothing more satisfying that finishing a session with a client and knowing deep down there was an impacting and meaningful shift for them. That is what drives me to excel in doing what I do… that knowledge that I have helped.

You do not have to be a professional helper in order to make an impact to others and for yourself. Volunteer with an animal rescue, homeless shelter, or with the elderly. The opportunities out there to volunteer and help are endless.

Volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health.

  • Volunteering increases self-confidence. Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.
  • Volunteering combats depression. Reducing the risk of depression is another important benefit of volunteering. A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against stress and depression when you’re going through challenging times. Working  animals has also been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy. Volunteering is good for your health at any age, but it’s especially beneficial in older adults. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not, even when considering factors like the health of the participants. Volunteering has also been shown to lessen symptoms of chronic pain or heart disease.

There are many benefits and joys to be found by helping and volunteering. To quote an old Chinese proverb, “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”

What can you do to help others and bring more joy into your life?

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar via photopin cc

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