Learn a Language for Mega Mental Health Benefits!
Would you say no to a bigger, better brain? How about an improved memory? Well, say yes to learning a foreign language, then! There’s growing evidence in favor of learning a foreign language and the benefits on our mental health. Simply learning another language has the potential to make you smarter, help you become a better decision-maker, and even protect you from cognitive decline as you age. Let’s dive in!
Better Decision Making Skills
Learning to speak another language probably doesn’t sound like something that can help you make decisions more quickly. However, research from the University of Chicago shows that bilingual individuals are better able to pick up on subtleties or nuances in a given situation. This is in comparison to those who did not learn a foreign language.
According to the study, being bilingual gives you a heightened knowledge of the various complexities of any given situation. It thus means that the person is better able to come to a decision. Monolingual people base their decision emotionally rather than on making use of clues.
Improvements in Memory
The Journal of Experimental Child Psychology took to the task of finding out what effect learning a foreign language had on the memory of children. The study came to the finding that children who spoke two words outperformed monolingual children in various tasks that made use of working memory during the study. Working memory is the type of memory that processes information over short periods. The conclusion was that knowing more than one language improved working memory. If strong working memory will benefit you in your work or studies, then picking up a second language may be beneficial to you!
Increased Attention Span
Learning a second language benefits your brain in more ways than you think! The Brain and Language journal says that a bilingual person switching between two languages frequently can filter through information and stretch their focus with ease. This leads to a better attention span and increases in concentration. A bilingual person was better able to concentrate on writing, reading, or studying while simultaneously blocking out distractions.
Improvement in Multi-Tasking Abilities
The NIH in research found that a person’s ability to multitask has a relation to their attention span. Of course, it only makes sense then that it will enhance your multitasking abilities.
This is because improvements in attention span, tuning out distractions, and increases in memory all come together to make multitasking easier. A stronger brain is going to get you finishing many tasks; it seems!
Better Cognitive Abilities
Bilingual people have displayed impressive cognitive skills, exceeding that of monolinguals. According to the University of Edinburgh and the research results they have accumulated, bilingual individuals score particularly well on reading, verbal, and intelligence-based tests. This means that bilingual students are better learners. This applies to all ages. Yes, this means even adults will benefit from learning a second language.
Delayed Onset of Dementia
Considering the benefits of being bilingual, it’s no surprise that learning a foreign language also maintains brain health. Keeping your learning curve on the move also helps your brain’s aging process. According to a scientific research, bilingual people tend to develop signs of dementia five years later than the monolinguistic people do.
This is because speaking more than one language is like exercising your brain! An active brain leads to delayed onset of dementia. That means, you not just get smart but also live a healthier life by learning an extra language. What’s more? You never know when this new language might come handy and save you in life.
And with all the time that the quarantine period gives us, it is possible for everyone to learn a new language. Don’t let the costs bother you too, because there are many apps and websites that let you learn for free! Are you all set to learn a new language? If you are not sure which language to pick, follow your heart. Because it’s important to love what you learn, that way it gets easier to pick the nuances of the new language. After all, learning is all about keeping your motivations high and what better way to do it than fall in love with the subject!
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