If you’re feeling a little lost in life, maybe wondering what your purpose is, there are a lot of things you can do to help you find that purpose. One of the best ways to do this is to volunteer your time to a charitable organization. While helping others can make you feel good and provide a sense of accomplishment, it also has a lot of extra rewards. We’ll take a look at these surprising personal benefits of volunteering in this article to help you understand why it can be so useful.

Volunteering Connects You to Likeminded People

One of the great benefits of volunteering is putting yourself in contact with others who share your same values. Not only does this allow you to learn from these new people, but you never know when you’ll make a lifelong friend as well. You can work on your interpersonal skills while doing some good in your community, and that’s a win-win scenario.

Volunteering Gives You Control Over Your Time

Many people who volunteer some of their time to help others tend to feel like they have more time in the day overall. The reason for this is that, in these situations, people often use the time they have left more efficiently and effectively than they would have if they were simply wasting time or focusing on themselves. If you find your days go by too quickly, consider volunteering some of that time.

Volunteering Reduces Feelings of Stress and Anxiety

One cannot dismiss the mental health benefits of volunteering. Giving back has the effect of reducing stress as you make meaningful connections with other people. It also can increase your self-confidence as you get to see the real-time impact of your work. Volunteering can even reduce anxious and depressive thoughts since the human brain is hard-wired to reward itself for selfless acts to other people.

Volunteering Can Help in Your Professional Life

If you have a skill that you’d like to use professionally but aren’t having luck getting a job with it, consider volunteering that skill instead. Not only are you doing a good thing for other human beings, but you will be able to hone your skills and gain experience that you can leverage toward a paying job. Don’t overlook how good volunteering looks on a resume, either, as employers like to see people who take initiative.

These surprising personal benefits of volunteering are just icing on the cake when it comes to giving back, but they are very real. If you have the time and the will to do good, it is well worth the effort.