Can language learning improve your mental health and well-being?
Mental health is a serious business. In England, alone, it costs £105.2 billion each year including lost productivity at work and reduced quality of life. Experts also highlight the impact of ‘digital distraction’ and the negative impact of mobile devices and social media our thought-processes and sense of self-worth.
There no easy solutions, but language learning is shown to reap multiple health benefits, as well as helping you complete your dream of being able to converse in a new language. Many recent studies have found that learning a language is not only beneficial academically, but it can significantly improve your cognitive health.
Here are seven good reasons why just taking an hour each day to learn a language can have a positive impact on your life and mental health.
Multi-tasking? Simple! Actually it isn’t. Overseeing several things at once can bring on anxiety. Evidence shows that people who can switch from their mother tongue to a second language are better at multitasking and compartmentalising.
A whole new world…
As the Disney song goes ‘…a new fantastic point of view’. Learning languages really can open you up to a new world. You could meet new people and explore new destinations with ease without worrying about what to say or how to respond in conversation. If you want to travel alone, learning a language can also help you become more independent in your exploration.
Better test results
Language learners and multilinguals tend to score higher in cognitive tests. This isn’t just specific to school children, but adults also score higher marks specifically in remembering and sequencing. Language learners are proven to be more perceptive and can focus better on the information they need in examinations. By helping you focus, language learning can really improve your stress and anxiety levels in examination situations.
You’ll be smarter
Pursuing languages significantly improves the overall functionality of your brain. By pushing yourself to recognise and understand new phrases, terms, and grammar, you will be able to problem-solve more efficiently in other languages. What an amazing skill to have!
At first, language learning may feel like an obstacle to overcome. But over time, your confidence will grow with every new interaction you make. Because you will become more organised, relaxed and focused as part of the language learning process, you will also build confidence. Whether you realise it or not, learning a new language will massively improve your confidence in social situations. We can guarantee you’ll also make new friends in the process.
You’ll live longer
By learning a new language as an adult, you can ward off the potential of cognitive decline. It has been found that people who can speak two or more languages have healthier brains and avoid dementia related diseases by up to five years. Keep your brain active and healthy, for longer!
Improved career prospects
Learning a language, not only opens the door to other cultures, it will also enhance your career prospects. If you can communicate in two or more languages, you will instantly appeal to more employers. Imagine the feeling you’ll get adding fluency in a new language to your CV.