​​When you are struggling with a difficult situation in life, it can be tempting to spend a ​lot time focusing on your problems. Unfortunately, doing this too often doesn’t really make you feel better and usually just keeps you stuck feeling bad. So, why not try focusing on someone else instead?

There are so many benefits that come from doing good things for others. Of course, the person that you help will certainly gain something from the experience, but you can also profit from your good work. Read on to learn about the benefits of volunteering.

Gaining Self-Confidence

When you do something to help others, you can’t help but feel better about yourself. You gain a sense of being valuable, helpful, and worthwhile. You start to realize that even you can do good things. When you volunteer, you often discover new skills and talents, and you learn that you are actually good at some things! You feel a sense of accomplishment, that your life has meaning and you can make a difference in the world.

Gaining Perspective

Sometimes, when you see the way other people are struggling, you start to feel a little bit better about your own problems. This doesn’t mean that your problems aren’t important or that they don’t cause you a lot of pain. But when you realize that other people are struggling too, the burden of your pain can be lifted a little and your suffering eased. Sometimes you even realize that the thing causing you pain wasn’t something to be worried over in the first place. And other times you find a new way to resolve your problems. Perspective really does make a difference.

Gaining Experience

Maybe you are thinking of becoming a veterinarian one day or dream of working with kids. Or maybe you have no idea what you want to do in the future. In either case, volunteering can be a great way to gain real life experience and start you on the path to a future career. Help at the animal shelter a few nights a week, volunteer to assist with Sunday school at your church, visit people in the nursing home or make decorations or crafts for kids at the local children’s hospital. Whether you are building on an interest that you already have or trying something new, you can learn a lot about yourself and what you might want to do in the future by spending some time volunteering now.

Gaining Friends

Volunteering can be a great way to meet new people and make good friends. One of the best ways to get to know a person and grow closer to them is to work on a common project together. Whether you are helping to repair an old house or serving soup to the hungry, the people you are working with and the people you are working to help can become people that you look to for a smile or a kind word or some support when you are feeling down. You can also find people who share common interests and might be happy to spend time with you outside of volunteering!

Gaining a Distraction

Just in case you haven’t been convinced about the benefits of volunteering yet, you at least have to agree that volunteering can be a good distraction. It’s hard to think about the mean thing your sister said to you or the fact that your boyfriend is ignoring your texts when you are helping a child with homework or designing a new logo for the Christmas Giving Campaign. So, let your mind take a break for a while and do something good for others too!