The Joy of Volunteering

The Joy of volunteeringIn a world that often seems focused on personal achievement and material gain, finding true joy and fulfillment can sometimes be a challenge. However, the path to a happier and more content life might lie in giving back to others through volunteering. Engaging in selfless acts of kindness and service not only benefits the recipients but also has a profound impact on our own mental well-being.

  1. A Sense of Purpose and Meaning

Volunteering provides a sense of purpose and meaning to our lives. When we help others, we contribute to something greater than ourselves. Whether it’s tutoring a struggling student, feeding the homeless, or caring for animals, knowing that our efforts positively impact others can bring a deep sense of fulfillment and purpose to our lives.

  1. Boosting Self-Esteem and Confidence

Volunteering allows us to use our skills and abilities to make a difference. When we see the impact of our actions and receive gratitude from those we help, our self-esteem and confidence get a significant boost. It reminds us that we can create positive change, which can lead to increased self-assurance and self-worth.

  1. Reducing Stress and Anxiety

The act of giving back and engaging in altruistic activities can reduce stress and anxiety levels. When we focus on others, our minds shift away from our own worries and problems, providing temporary relief from stress. Moreover, the release of “feel-good” hormones, such as oxytocin and dopamine, during acts of kindness promotes feelings of happiness and well-being.

  1. Creating Social Connections

Volunteering often brings people together who share a common passion for making a difference. This shared purpose creates a supportive and connected community. Volunteering provides an excellent opportunity to make new friends, expand our social network, and combat feelings of isolation or loneliness.

  1. Developing Empathy and Compassion

Through volunteering, we gain a deeper understanding of the challenges others face. This cultivates empathy and compassion, making us more sensitive to the needs of those around us. Empathy not only benefits the recipients of our kindness but also enhances our emotional intelligence and ability to relate to others on a deeper level.

  1. Fostering Resilience

Volunteering often involves dealing with difficult and emotionally challenging situations. This exposure to adversity can foster resilience and emotional strength. Over time, we learn to cope with various challenges, making us more emotionally resilient individuals.

  1. Mindfulness and Present-Moment Focus

When volunteering, we often become more mindful and focused on the present moment. Being fully present in our actions and interactions with others helps us appreciate the beauty of the human connection. This mindfulness practice can reduce rumination and anxiety about the past or future, leading to improved mental clarity and overall well-being.

  1. A Positive Perspective on Life

Volunteering exposes us to the struggles faced by others, putting our own challenges into perspective. It allows us to count our blessings and be grateful for what we have. This shift in perspective towards gratitude and positivity can lead to a happier and more content outlook on life.

  1. Sense of Belonging and Community

When we volunteer, we become part of a community of like-minded individuals working together for a common cause. This sense of belonging and shared values can create a strong support system, boosting our sense of connection and belonging in the world.

  1. Improved Mental Health

Research has shown a positive correlation between volunteering and improved mental health. Studies have indicated that individuals who volunteer regularly experience reduced symptoms of depression, increased life satisfaction, and a greater sense of overall well-being.

The joy of volunteering extends far beyond the act of giving back; it has a transformative impact on our mental health and well-being. Engaging in altruistic activities provides us with a sense of purpose and fulfillment, boosts self-esteem and confidence, and reduces stress and anxiety. By developing empathy, fostering resilience, and cultivating a positive outlook on life, volunteering enriches our lives and the lives of others.

So, if you are seeking greater joy and contentment in your life, consider becoming a volunteer. Find a cause or organization that resonates with your passions and values and start making a difference in the world. Embrace the joy of volunteering and let it illuminate your path to a happier and mentally healthier life.

Summer health tips- blue sky with hands in yoga pose

6 Summer Health Tips to Feel Amazing This Summer

Making lifestyle changes has a significant impact on mental health and well-being. When you take care of your body and engage in safe and enjoyable activities, it has a direct impact on how you think and feel about yourself.

Mindfulness-Based Therapies

Meditation helps one become more present, utilizing the practice of being mindful. Perhaps you already have a basic understanding of meditation

Emotional Intelligence for Families

Self-awareness is a key skill of emotional intelligence. One way to build self-awareness early within a child’s life is to build their feelings vocabulary.


CARE Counseling has been recognized in the Star Tribune's Top Workplaces for the third year in a row!  In 2024, CARE was named on the National Standard Setters list.


Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Intersectionality of PRIDE and Juneteenth

In honor of Juneteenth in the middle of PRIDE month, intersectionality is a reminder that we hold multiple identities such as our race/ ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, religion, disability, and age that create unique lived experiences for each person, resulting in different advantages and disadvantages.

Relationship Violence

Partner abuse, domestic abuse, and intimate partner violence can happen to anyone. Unfortunately, abuse and violence in relationships are all too common.

Three Reasons Why It Can Be Difficult For Men to Seek Out Therapy

Men, it is OK to reach out for help. Asking for help is not easy, especially when topics are sensitive, and you may feel vulnerable.

Support for Emergency Responders and Professionals at Risk

Did you know that approximately 70% of the world’s population has been exposed to a traumatic life event?

Learn More About Acute Stress Disorder

The National Center for PTSD describes acute stress disorder as a mental health problem that can occur in the first month after a traumatic event.

Build Resilience: Re-evaluating Your Mental Health Toolkit

Now that school is over, it is the perfect time to look at what is in your mental health toolkit.

Recharging Your Self-Care Battery: Support for Caregivers

Each person has their limits as a caregiver. The work can be emotionally and physically exhausting, especially as you expend energy. If you do not have opportunities to “recharge”, you will become depleted.

Summer De-Stressing with a Therapist

Teachers, professors, school administrators, student support… those who directly interact with children in an educational setting know the joys and challenges that are present at the end of the school year.

7 Reasons Summer

School is out and summer is right around the corner. The responsibilities and pressures of many young people look very different this time of year. Students may seem happier and more relaxed, as stress lessens, and emotions appear regulated. However, adolescents and young adults may struggle to adjust and engage in maladaptive coping strategies.
broken plate

Broken, Yet Whole

If your life can be best described as “a mess” and you feel like your sense of self is shattered, there is hope.

The Power of Explanatory Styles

Often the everyday moments in the present do not get much attention, while regrets of the past and worries of the future take center stage. You may miss out on a big chunk of life when it is hard to move forward.

10th Anniversary: Announcing our 10th Location

2024 is an extra special year. CARE Counseling is celebrating our 10th anniversary as a clinic and we are opening our 10th location in the Woodbury area!
Mental Health Factors Impacting Celebrations

Mental Health Factors Impacting Celebrations

Celebrations often come up in therapy due to having a mixed range of emotional experiences on celebratory dates depending on the person.
Understanding CARE Coordination

Understanding CARE Coordination

Care coordination is an important aspect of your treatment; understanding this service can help ensure you receive the best care possible.
gaining independence

Gaining Independence and Finding Yourself After Being in an Unhealthy Relationship

It can be hard to adjust to a new norm after relationships end. It can also be tough to cope with the thoughts and feelings that come up after no longer being in a relationship you didn’t think would ever end.
Death Anxiety (Thanatophobia)

Death Anxiety (Thanatophobia)

While fear of death is a common existential fear, some people have intense fears of themselves or a loved one dying. An extreme fear of death or the dying process, known as thanatophobia is considered as a specific fear, or phobia that is under the broader category of anxiety disorders.
Understanding Fear: Questions to Ask Yourself

Understanding Fear: Questions to Ask Yourself

If you are experiencing significant discomfort or find that there are things that you want to do, but are unable to do because of fear, then talking with a mental health specialist is recommended. Fear that becomes persistent can take a toll on both your physical and mental health, so it is important to take preventative measures.
Sexual Violence Prevention

Sexual Violence Prevention

What (or who) do you turn to amid suffering? How about when faced with situations that seem beyond your own control? As strong as you are, you may feel weak or helpless. Adverse childhood experiences, community violence, and sexual violence are just a few of many serious public health problems that impact communities.
The Importance of Learning about Trauma (Psychoeducation) for All Ages

The Importance of Learning about Trauma (Psychoeducation) for All Ages

Psychoeducation can be provided in many forms including printed and web-based materials such as facts sheets, psychoeducational videos, books, and conversations with professionals in the field. Hearing stories from those who have experienced similar events can also be helpful. All these methods help normalize the reactions to traumatic events and can reduce feelings of guilt and shame through sharing of information and common experiences.