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7 Ways Learning a Foreign Language can Improve Your Life

7 Ways Learning a Foreign Language can Improve Your Life

Learning a foreign language can enhance your life in so many ways. It can help improve things like health, job opportunities, relationships and personal development. Unfortunately, and maybe generally, those of English-speaking heritage are notoriously lazy when it comes to learning a language other than our own. Once you can speak another language, it can open so many doors. We’ve listed seven excellent reasons as to why you should learn a foreign language.

Improve Brain Health

Multiple studies have shown there are many cognitive benefits of learning a foreign language, no matter what your age is. These benefits include a longer attention span, memory improvement, better focus and concentration, and increased listening skills. There are so many quizzes online that finding a good one can be hard; although you might not learn as much as you would in a lesson, you might gain an idea of what level you’re at.

ONLINE QUIZ
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      Increase your Job Opportunities

      There are many ways that languages can be incorporated into potential jobs and used to improve your employment prospects. Many companies operate in multiple countries around the world, therefore hiring employees who can speak at least one foreign language is vital.

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      As well as increasing the number of jobs you can get, the ability to speak a different language also sets you apart from other candidates for potential jobs. When up against another person for a job, speaking a foreign language fluently is an admired skill which could easily set you apart from another candidate.

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        Make Friends and Build Relationships

        Speaking a different language enables you to meet new people who also speak that language, and can result in lifelong friendships that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to make. As well as building relationships with people who speak that language, it also gives the opportunity to learn more about other cultures. You can participate in exciting and engaging conversations about topics which you may have never even discussed before.

        You can learn more about foreign cultures, attitudes and values as well as finding out more about your own culture, gaining an outsider’s perspective on your culture and how you live. Speaking a different language lets you develop a deeper connection with others, allowing a truly enriched friendship or relationship to blossom.

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          Improve Holiday Selection

          Going on holiday to somewhere you can speak the language can greatly enhance your experience. There’s nothing better than being able to communicate with the locals, navigate your way round and talk to anyone with ease.

          One of the great things about learning a foreign language is that it is usually used in different places as well as the origin country. For example, Spanish is spoken in Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Cuba and many more countries.

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            Become a Better Learner

            When you learn a new language, your brain automatically finds a way to learn more efficiently. Whether you want to learn multiple languages or simply gain more skills, mastering a foreign language can help kick your brain into gear to adapt to learning new knowledge and information.

            Enjoy a Cultured and Varied Lifestyle

            Speaking in a foreign language gives you the opportunity to appreciate works of art in their original language. You don’t need to rely on translated films and books, or badly English dubbed TV shows. You can savour the beauty of the original message; whether it’s manga, Bollywood films or Swedish rap, you can capture it in it’s finest form.

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              Confidence

              Overcome your fears and doubts, learn from your mistakes, find out more about yourself, and challenge yourself. Learning a foreign language can be incredibly rewarding and can do wonders to your courage and determination. Practicing this language is a great way to get over your insecurities, and find it easier to talk to other people.

              When getting started, you can learn with online quizzes and tests to increase your confidence before you practice with other people. Websites like Sporcle and Transparent provide fun quizzes which test you on your knowledge. Programmes like Rosetta Stone teach you in an interactive way which lets you learn by yourself or online with others.

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                Featured Photo Credits: Lang-Which Quiz, Travel Quiz: Languages of the world, Rachel Job Gif, Best Friends Beyonce and NickiWhere Should I Go On Holiday QuizAmélie Gif , Sassy Adele

                Featured photo credit: thegospelcoalition via blogs.thegospelcoalition.org

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                Last Updated on June 24, 2019

                Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

                Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

                A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

                Social Media Could Lead to Depression

                Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

                Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

                If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

                • low self-esteem,

                • negative self-talk,

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                • a low mood,

                • irritability,

                • a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

                • and social withdrawal.

                If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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                Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

                We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

                Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

                Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

                Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

                Why We Need to Take This Seriously

                Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

                Advice on Social Media Use

                Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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                One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

                Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

                Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

                If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

                Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

                Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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                Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

                Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

                The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

                Reference

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