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Benefits Only Bilingual Brains Understand

Benefits Only Bilingual Brains Understand

Bilingualism was once thought of as a handicap as late as the 1960’s that slowed down a child’s ability to speak because they had to spend extra time switching between two different languages. Scientists strongly believed that there were no postive aspects of bilingual children and thus created a social stigma around it. While there is still concern that there are some negative aspects like slower reactions in cross-language exams, there have been increasingly positive views in the scientific world as well. Fortunately, now it is considered to be an additional strength that not only help helps you linguistically navigate your way between two or more cultures. It also has been scientifically proven to increase higher density in the gray matter in your brain and ward off diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s for up to five years. Here are some other benefits of being a bilingual that are highlighted in the video:

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1. There are different components of bilingualism

Individuals who speak more than one language know that there language ability is measure in two parts: active and passive. The active part consists of speaking and writing, while the passive is listening and reading.

2. There are different types of bilinguals

Individuals use their bilingualism in different ways, according to their particular situation and how often they use their second language. For people who can write, read, and speak two languages almost equally, this is considered balanced bilingualism. Compound bilinguals are small children and are learning two languages simultaneously with only one set of concepts to understand the world around them.

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Coordinate bilinguals are usually older children who are learning a language with two sets of concepts by using their second language at school, but continue to speak their native language at home. Lastly, there are subordinate bilinguals who practice a second language by filtering it first through their native tongue.

3. You are never to old to learn a second language

Bilingual individuals know that there is no age limit on learning a new language well. It is true that younger children are better at learning languages, since they use both the right and left hemispheres in their brain and develop an emotional and social connection to new words and phrases. Adults use only their left hemisphere which is associated with analytical and logical reasoning to learn a new language and are more likely to use rational approaches and have less emotional attachment to words and phrases in their new language. This does not mean that bilingualism is only possible in children, since with hard work and constant effort adults can achieve this linguistic success as well.

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4. Bilingualism helps boast executive function within the brain

The extra effort and cognitive activity that goes on within bilingual brains strengths the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is responsible for executive function which includes problem-solving, switching between tasks and being able to focus while filtering unnecessary information.

A study conducted by psychologists Ellen Bialystok and Michelle Martin-Rhee, asked monolingual and bilingual preschoolers to organize red squares and blue circles into separate bins marked with blue squares and red circles on a computer screen. In the first test, the children had to sort them into the bins according to color. Both groups accomplished the task easily. The second test required the children to sort the shapes into the bins with the matching shape. This proved to be more difficult because there was conflicting colors, but the bilingual children completed the task quicker. This study proves that bilingual individuals have a better ability to complete complex tasks that require intense focus and holding onto crucial information that is necessary to follow through with a task.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Reinvent Yourself and Change Your Life

How to Reinvent Yourself and Change Your Life

There will always be times in your life when you may need to learn how to reinvent yourself. This could come when you experience a big change, such as leaving your job, moving on from a relationship, transferring to a new home, or losing a loved one. If you are going through a major shift in your life, you may have to find new ways of thinking or doing things, or risk failing to reach your full potential.

“When something bad happens, you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”

Many people who dared to leave their old unhappy lives enabled themselves to pursue their passions and find a renewed zest for living. You can also achieve the same if you take a leap of faith and make things happen for yourself.

To help you always be at your best wherever you may be in your life, here are some practical tips on how to reinvent yourself.

The Reinvention Checklist

Before embarking on a journey of self-reinvention, you need to make sure that you have everything that you need to make the trip bump-proof. These things include:

Resilience

Problems and obstacles are guaranteed to happen. Some of them will be difficult and may knock you off course; the important thing, however, is that you learn from these difficulties, never lose focus, and always get back up. This requires building resilience to get through the tough times.

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Support

Humans are social beings. Although it is important that you learn to rely on yourself when facing any challenge, it is also important to have a support team that you can lean on to give you a boost when things get too tough and to correct you when you’re making mistakes.

The key is to find the right balance between independence and dependence. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and share the difficulties you’re facing. When you open up, you’ll find the people who are really going to be there for you.

Self-Care

During the process of learning how to reinvent yourself, you will have to pull yourself away from your old comfort zones, habits, roles, and self-perceptions. This can be difficult and cause you to question your self-worth, so it’s important to engage in self-care to maintain a positive outlook and keep your mind and body healthy as you face the challenges that await you. Self-care can include:

  • Participating in a hobby you enjoy
  • Spending time with your support system
  • Taking some time to walk in nature
  • Practicing loving-kindness meditation

Find what works for you and what helps you feel like your true self as you seek a reinvented version of you.

How to Reinvent Yourself

Once you’re sure that you’re equipped with all the tools in the self-reinvention checklist, you can begin your journey of learning how to reinvent yourself.

1. Discover Your Strengths

This step provides valuable information on how you deal with certain situations. If you have this information, you will be able to manage difficulties more efficiently.

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To find out what your strengths are, you can ask your friends and colleagues for feedback, engage in self-reflection, or try these 10 Ways to Find Your Own Personal Strengths.

2. Plan

This step calls for a thorough assessment of your current emotional, psychological, and financial status so that you can develop plans that are realistic and practical.

It’s okay to have ambitious dreams, but your plans have to be realistic. Making use of SMART goals can help you plan your life better.

You can also consult your mentor or life coach for practical tips and advice.

Ultimately, you’ll want to create specific long-term and short-term goals that you can create milestones for. By doing this, you’ll lay out a specific roadmap to your reinvented self.

3. Try Things Out

Sometimes, we don’t know if solutions actually work until we try them out. This is why it is important to experiment whenever possible, especially if you’re dealing with a career change. You may need to simply experiment in order to find the things you like. This can be the same with hobbies. If you’re not sure what you would like doing, accept invitations from friends to join them in their favorite sport or take a class, like pottery or photography.

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By seeing what’s out there in any area of your life, you’ll have a better chance of finding the things you enjoy and the goals you want to create.

4. Manage Your Finances Well

Changes may require a bit of money. If you’re shifting to a new career, you may have to pay for training. If you’re going through a tough divorce or having a hard time dealing with the death of a loved one, you may have to pay for therapy. If you’re moving to a new home, you’ll definitely have to pay a whole lot of expenses.

All of these things are possible, but it will require a bit of money savviness as you learn how to reinvent yourself. If you have that cushion, you’ll feel more comfortable straying from your current path to try new things.

5. Muster Your Courage

Fears and self-doubt may arise when you encounter difficulties and setbacks. Sometimes, they may also come when you’re taking risks. You have to manage these negative emotions well and not allow them to discourage you. Tap into your courage and try doing at least one new thing each week to develop it.

Learn how to deal with your self-doubts to move forward in this article: How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It)

6. Use Your Support Group

As stated above, you need to build a strong support group before you even start the process of reinventing yourself. Your group will keep you from taking wrong turns and encourage you when you get too weighed down by problems. Don’t be afraid to call them, or even ask them out for coffee if you need to vent about the current difficulties you’re facing.

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7. Remind Yourself Every Day of Your Commitment

Write your goals on different-sized cards and scatter them at home and at work in places where you can easily see them. This way, you will constantly be reminded of where you want to be. Remember, writing down your goals helps them stick[1].

8. Accept Failure, Learn, and Resume Your Journey

Failing is normal, especially when we’re trying out something new. When you fail, simply recognize it, learn from it, and move on. Failure, in the end, is the best way to learn what does and doesn’t work, and you simply won’t be able to learn how to reinvent yourself if you don’t accept the inevitable failures that await you.

Final Thoughts

If you truly want to learn how to reinvent yourself and live the life you desire, take the advice above and start taking action. It will take time, patience, and plenty of effort to make the change you want happen, but it will be all worth it.

More Tips on How to Reinvent Yourself

Featured photo credit: Ashley Rich via unsplash.com

Reference

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