28 SEPT 2022

Volunteering Helps Those in Recovery

We’ve all heard the phrase “the joy of giving.” And science has proven, joy really can be derived from giving! It has been one of the many golden principles when it comes to transitional living services.

After all, a major part of the 12 Steps focuses around helping others in recovery. Alcoholics Anonymous literature lays it out clearly; one passage states: “Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs.”

While it’s evident that transitional living services and helping others benefit those people directly, it’s harder to quantify how it helps the helper himself. Researchers have taken on that arduous task themselves and came up with some curious findings:

In a study: One year after becoming sober, 40% of those who reported high levels of helping others in recovery have remained sober. Among those with lower levels of helping other alcoholics, 22% are still sober (Source: Psychology Today).

As the research shows, helping other, volunteering and serving other recovering alcoholics and addicts has clear benefits—both for you and the recipients. This goodwill doesn’t always have to be shown through grand efforts; there are also other transitional living services that one can employ in their daily lives. Everyday activities, such as giving a fellow addict a ride to your meeting or asking someone how his or her day went, help focus your energy on others rather than yourself. Even giving a simple hello and smile, or sharing your story with another spreads encouragement and positivity.

How do you help others? Please share at @SoberChi!