Helping as a Work Stress Reliever

This just in: Doing volunteer work makes your regular job a lot less stressful. A study by psychologists at the University of Konstanz, Germany, found that people with full-time jobs who also spent a few hours a week volunteering turned out to recover faster from pressure at work. Several magazines around the world have picked up on this research, including our own Reader’s Digest (August issue). So, feeling some office-related angst? Take two hours of candystriping and call me in the morning.

Now for an update about the leaky water main on my street corner. After I called it in, and after workers came to place an orange traffic cone beside the trouble spot, and after more workers came to place more traffic cones around the entire puddle, and after yet more workers came to dig a seven-foot hole… well, eventually there was quite a crew clustered around the watery pit with their big trucks and machines. I had a brief chat with the nice young man in the hard hat. Turns out if the leak had gone unattended for much longer, we’d likely have had a burst-open pipe on the block with much messier consequences. Now I’m thinking about my vulnerable basement just down the street that quite honestly could quite do without any more water incursions. And I’m realizing that by taking the time to help, I reaped not inconsiderable benefits.

That’s karma, baby. The question is: Does it still count as a good deed when it circles back on you?

5 responses to “Helping as a Work Stress Reliever

  1. Hey Lisa,

    You saw something that needed attention. And you were proactive about it, never expecting that your act would personally come back to reward you. So I say, “You rock!”

    P.S. Beautiful blog, too!

  2. Thanks, Grace! A lovely comment, and I do believe you’ve just done your good deed for the day.

  3. Actually…it totally counts as a good deed Lisa…like you said, it’s karma. Even when you don’t feel the immediate effects of your good deed, I absolutely believe it will benefit you later, physically, emotionally, spiritually or, if you’re really lucky, financially!!
    I love your website and your blog…actually I’ve gotten totally side-tracked reading about diets and fresh breath when I am supposed to be doing other things, but I love the website and the kick-start you are giving all of us to get out there and do things!

  4. Great blog, Lisa!

    I absolutely agree with you (and the research) saying that volunteer work is good for the soul. It’s how I’ve lived my life for the past 25+ years and is something I schedule time for — regardless of other commitments. I think volunteerism is a learned behaviour (my father was an avid volunteer) and I’m glad it’s rubbed off on me.

    Even wrote a book about the benefits of volunteerism and how to get the most out of the experience. Anyone interested can find “Before You Say Yes …” via my website at:

    All the best to you,

  5. Love these comments, and the blog traffic. And the fact that there are so many like-minded folks out there!

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