We all crave a personal sense of meaning. One of the easiest ways to discover is to activate your kindness through volunteering. We are starting to reach critical mass of research about the accrued benefits of active benevolence. ‘Helper Therapy’ for example, is a core tenant of a variety of 12 step programs. Data derived from Project Match shows that recovering alcoholics engaged with supporting other alcoholics were 2x’s more successful in maintaining sobriety a year later than their unengaged peers. (For those unfamiliar: Within AA, Alcoholics Anonymous, its possible to volunteer to sponsor newer participants and uphold a mentorship relationship.) In the emerging field of PNI, (psychoneuroimmunology, the study of stress and happiness on immune function) we have a growing body of studies demonstrating that cultivating positive emotions enhances immune and central nervous system function. Therefore, through finding the ideal social causes you care about and mindful volunteering, we make a difference that brings happiness. In addition, we meet others who share our sentiments for these causes and these friendships are therapeutic.
Source: Mindful Community Participation