Social to the core
Humans are social creatures. Depriving a person of human contact is torturous. It also impedes their cognitive and physical development. We need connections! And we need lots of it.
Communities take many shapes and forms. Most of us are part of many distinct communities. Friends, family, sports, religion, hobbies, work and other activities all provide communities. Both the number and the strength of those relationships can impact our health. How do we do that?
- Teens who volunteer wait longer before becoming sexually active and are less likely to become pregnant. This is even true with high-risk youth.
- College students who volunteer drink less alcohol.
- Seniors who volunteer live longer, and
- Adults who volunteer have less physical aches and pains.
How are these benefits possible?
Do we need to start young?
We are never too young or too old to start volunteering. Even before they are physically able to help, 9-month-old babies will point at hazards and help adults to solve problems. Young children feel happy when they are being useful. Happy children are more likely to form relationships and connections with others. They are more likely to start to see themselves as effective and worthy. And this is in addition to the benefits that come with just being a part of a community!
You may be thinking your family has no time, or your kids are too young to volunteer. But maybe there is a way…stay tuned!
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