That has NOTHING to do with love and valentines....contraire mon frere..it has everything to do with that gorgeous love muscle we all have...YOUR HEART!!!
I asked my friend Emily a couple of questions about her experience with being a volunteer, here is her take on it.....
Q:Do you think it encourages you to make healthier choices physically and mentally?
A:It can. Knowing that you are being used to help others can push you to take better care of yourself so you don't let them down or so you can do even more.
Q:Have you noticed any changes in your health and well being since you started to donate your time?
A:It really helped me to keep things in perspective. It's so easy to turn our focus on ourselves, but being able to see others in need really helped me to be more thankful for my own circumstances.
Q: Has being a volunteer affected how you view yourself and how choose to treat yourself?
A:It really made me feel good about myself to see that my life was making a difference and also to be able to model volunteering for my children.
So let me give you my own take on it, I have had the chance to be blessed with enough extra time that I could do some volunteering of my own. I used to take my daughter (4 at the time) up to the local nursing home with me and we would just go and sit with the residents and chat, sometimes i would read to them, or we would pray together. I would spend maybe an hour and a half with them, and I must tell you that the feeling they gave me of love and appreciation fills my heart up to this day. My daughter loved it too and it was a great experience for her to take all the focus from her daily life and cheer someone else up. Recently I was allowed to help out at a local food pantry, the people there come from all walks of life and are truly amazing. I helped box up food for an hour or so, that was it...nothing extravagant, easy to do. The interaction with the folks there was so wonderful, people so thankful to receive, and helpers just so loving and caring in how they treated everyone. I still feel overwhelmed and so happy to have been a part of that.
These great feeling that I get from the time I gave carry over into my every day life. Happy people make better choices, I know that I do.!
So do I think giving of your time is heart healthy??? HECK YEAH!!!!!! I believe 100% that a happy heart is a healthier heart. When I feel fulfilled in my life, when I feel happy, and that I have a purpose, I make better choices for myself...health wise, I feel worthy of hard efforts to improve myself...eating right, exercise, positive attitudes.
Still don't buy it....here are a few study results that may make you think twice about volunteering your free time.....