Although it’s a common enough attitude to think that one day we’ll get around to doing some volunteer work, many people never do. Living a hectic, stressful life can make it hard to prioritize acts of altruism. This is exactly why recovery can act as the perfect catalyst to get you started volunteering in your community. By providing you with personal values and mental resilience, you have the chance to get involved in meaningful work.
There are numerous kinds of volunteer groups for you to consider, so do some research and find a group whose mission and efforts speak to you. Contributing to your community in an altruistic manner will benefit your life and your process of recovery in numerous ways, and will ultimately improve your own state of mind as much as it helps others.
Expand Your Social Life
One of the most painful challenges associated with recovery is having to break ties with people who have a negative effect on you and your new lifestyle. This period of change can be profoundly difficult and mentally isolating. In contrast, volunteering in your community can provide you with a sense of belonging. It can be especially helpful to your recovery to feel like you’re part of a community and social network. Volunteer work will allow you to meet people in your community who share at least some of your positive values.
Even though you may understand logically the importance of having social connections during the process of your recovery, you may feel an urge to stay away from others in moments of challenge. Volunteering in your community can be a productive means of combating this urge. By taking the time to volunteer, you end up inserting yourself into social situations for the greater good of others. Your commitment to help others can be a great source of the motivation you need to spend time with people during your recovery.
Foster Fulfillment and Self-Worth
The majority of people progressing through recovery have to grapple with feelings of low self-worth and a lack of self-fulfillment at one point or another. Volunteering can help you be more comfortable in your own skin while at the same time providing feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction. By helping others, you can also help yourself. The act of being altruistic can help you view yourself as someone who matters to others and makes a positive impact on the world. In some cases, the positive emotions brought up by volunteer work can be enough to counter the negative self-image a person may develop over the course of dealing with personal hurdles like addiction and recovery.
On top of increasing feelings of self-worth, volunteer work can provide you with a deep sense of fulfillment. Volunteering to help others is likely to make you feel more proud of yourself and more satisfied with your life. Engaging in volunteer work can serve to strengthen your feelings of self-worth and provide you with a deeper sense of fulfillment, both of which are states conducive to recovery and personal development.
Make Yourself Happier
Studies have shown that engaging in volunteer work can make you measurably happier. By getting involved in altruistic activities, you can boost your mood and cultivate a lasting sense of joy. Even with the knowledge that being in recovery is for your greater good, it can still be stressful and overwhelming at times. Volunteering can help you combat these feelings and maintain an elevated mood.
In addition to boosting your own happiness, volunteering is likely to have a positive impact on the people around you. You may inspire others to get involved in similar efforts, or cause someone close to you to take up inspirational work of another form. By fostering happiness within yourself and those around you, engaging in volunteer work can help you create a positive, encouraging environment that serves as an ideal setting for your recovery.
Engage With Stimulating Experiences
Those in recovery sometimes feel as if they are no longer afforded the chance to have fun or be stimulated. Fortunately, this is not true, as there are countless ways to be stimulated and have fun in a healthy and positive manner. Volunteering is a profound activity that can provide you with fun, stimulating experiences while simultaneously making a significant impact upon the lives of others. Having regular, healthy doses of fun can help you achieve a more consistently positive mental state. Being in an uplifted state of mind will benefit the process of your recovery by keeping you sufficiently emotionally stable to deal with stressful situations.
Volunteering can be a wonderful use of your time while you are in the process of recovery. In pursuing altruistic acts, you benefit yourself and your new lifestyle in numerous ways. Volunteering offers you a new social network to explore, giving you the chance to forge critical healthy friendships throughout your recovery. Acting altruistically can also provide you with increased feelings of fulfillment and esteem, allowing you to feel more worthwhile and satisfied with life in the long term. Working for others can even make you happier: studies have shown that those who volunteer are likely to experience increased levels of happiness. For those in recovery, volunteering can serve as a positive, healthy means of being stimulated and having fun, making your life more balanced and enjoyable. For more information about addiction, treatment, and recovery, reach out to True Recovery located in sunny southern California. We provide a wide array of resources for every step of recovery and aftercare, including personalized guidance for achieving lasting happiness and satisfaction in your new life. Call (866) 399-6528 to learn more.