Millions of Americans have found within the past year since Covid-19 began that keeping busy was the one past-time that got them through the months of being stuck at home. While starting a new task can be a bit stressful, the health benefits that learning something new creates far outweighs any challenges.
The most beneficial to your mental health can be learning a new language. Studies proved that learning a new language significantly increases the brain’s cognitive functions, therefore benefiting your mental health.
Here are 9 reasons why learning a language is beneficial to your mental health:
1. Cognitive Functions Improve
Several scholarly studies have proven that being bilingual assists with the aging of our brains positively. The link between cognitive function and language learning engages parts of the brain that affect aging.
Exercising the brain through learning a language also improves:
- Attention span
- Increased memory
- Ability to comprehend abstract material
- Assists with learning other tasks more efficiently
2. Build Resume for Future Career
Being able to speak many languages in today’s workforce is an excellent addition to your resume. Since the global pandemic of Covid-19, jobs that are majorly online have increased both in supply and demand.
Careers such as a translator for language translation service are gaining momentum on many freelance and social media platforms worldwide. Learning a new language enhances your opportunity to land international jobs that would typically be outsourced to other countries native to the language an employer would be seeking.
3. Dementia Is Decreased
According to evidence-based studies by the National Institute of Health, learning a new language decreases the onset and symptoms of dementia-like diseases by up to 5 years. Keeping the brain networks functioning continuously with new information such as language aids in benefiting overall mental health.
4. Depression Is Decreased
Depression is an ever-increasing mental health issue affecting the world today, more so since the Covid-19 pandemic. People out of the blue were forced to be away from friends and family, have limited to no social interaction, and suffered an increased uncertainty of job and money stability.
Beginning online classes for learning a new language can be highly beneficial for those suffering from depression. It increases the likelihood of connecting with new people via Zoom, creating connections with teachers and classmates, and providing a sense of community.
5. Multitasking Skills
People who can switch from one language to another are better at multitasking. This is because the stimulation it creates in the brain builds cognitive reserves, increasing the person’s flexibility to manage more than one thing at a time without actually thinking about it.
6. Build Self-Confidence
Learning a language is an excellent way to build self-confidence and not to mention a fun party trick as well. Once you get over any obstacles you may feel to learning a new language; the benefits will begin to show in your everyday life. Interacting with new cultures and people through language can boost esteem by creating situations to show off a few new skills.
7. Gaining a New Hobby
Having something to do to fill a lazy Sunday, such as learning a new language, can make time fly by much faster and give you something to look forward to. Hobbies are a great way to keep our minds busy, emotions balanced, stress decreased, and feeling as if our time is well spent.
8. Create New Experiences
Learning a new language can create unique and fun experiences in someone’s life that they may never have been open to before. Traveling, for instance, to the country whose language you have learned is a fantastic way to broaden your horizons and open your mind.
9. Creating Fun
Diving into the unknown is daunting but also packed with excitement. Providing a stimulating task every day, such as learning a language, can prove to be fun. Having something to look forward to when you’re stuck at home, testing yourself on development, and creating games from what you learned are all part of having fun with learning a new skill.
Mental health is a very vital part of self-care; keeping the brain at peak performance by learning new and exciting tasks such as a new language is an easy way to get the daily dose of stimulation we all need to keep the mind sharp.
Merrisa Moore is a highly reviewed foreign language translator and interpreter. She works in the private school system with ESL students and is currently working on her degree in behavioral health. Merrisa is a mom of two boys and loves to hike and spend time with her family.
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.