Why Do Volunteers Live Longer?

Source: Psychology Today

By David Fryburg M.D.

Research suggests that volunteerism is associated with a lower risk of dying.

Once a month, I volunteer at a meal center to help serve food to people who are in need. Prepping and serving the dinner is a busy yet fun team activity of five to six people, organized by two generous souls. Despite the many other things that I need to do, I really look forward to meeting and serving the patrons, even if only briefly.

Although my motivation begins with wanting to help others and being grateful for what I have been given, it is joy that helps bring me back when I am very busy. I first noticed this some time ago: At the end of our shift, after the kitchen and dining room have been cleaned up, I would experience a lightness of being, a sense of satisfaction and reconnection to purpose. It just feels good.



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