It’s January. Hopefully, you’ve just experienced 8 long weeks of family togetherness, filled with caroling, laughter, and generally merriment. But, let’s face it, the holidays are hectic and tense. And now you find yourself smack dab in the middle of winter – and starting another busy year of work. You’re stressed.  You’re irritable. And the last thing you want to do is go out of your way to hold a door open for a stranger or help an old woman cross the street. But, guess what? That’s exactly what you should do if you want to relieve your stress a little bit. At least according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and the Yale University School of Medicine.

They recruited 77 adults between ages 18 and 44 to find out whether helping others can actually shield you from the negative effects of stress. What did they find? “Results suggest that even brief periods of supporting or helping others might help to mitigate the negative emotional effects of daily stress.”

This was a small study so there are some limitations recognized by the researchers themselves even. Still, we like where they are going with this. And we say, take it one step further. Don’t stop at cheering up a sad friend. Commit, instead, to reading to an elderly resident at a nursing home for a few hours a week – or to cleaning up a local park a few Saturdays each month. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do – just volunteer. You might find yourself a little less stressed…and a whole lot happier.

How to Get Started Volunteering

Did you know that the majority of volunteer organizations now require volunteers to get a background screen? You can speed up your onboarding process at your volunteer organization of choice by getting screened on your own – in advance of registering with the organization. Click here to register with Verified Volunteers for free and order your background check today. You can then share your check with any volunteer organization you would like.

Not sure what type of volunteer position is right for you?  Or would you rather try out a few different roles and organization types?  The Volunteer Fast-Pass is the right choice for you.  You’ll be able to share your check with an unlimited number of organizations and see what type of volunteer work you enjoy most.

Get started now.

Happy volunteering – and here’s to a stress-free 2016!

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