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Why Multilinguals Are More Creative And Have Sharper Minds

Why Multilinguals Are More Creative And Have Sharper Minds

Good news multilinguals, if you haven’t had the chance to step into the creative world or try your hand in business, maybe it’s time that you consider doing so just because you have the sheer advantage to excel in it. Being conversant in multiple languages not only makes you sound cool like Jason Bourne, it also makes you more creative and have a sharper mind. Here’s why:

1.Enhanced Memory

There are definitely times when we suffer mental blocks and can’t remember an English word we want to use and for most of us, it’s probably the only main language we speak. But for a multilingual, that struggle is multiplied especially when they need to use the right word, grammar rules and structure when shifting in culture and context. So it is no surprise that multilinguals are blessed with better working memory than monolinguals.

2.Better Creative Process

According to a team of experts in Europe, they had concluded that being multilingual helps your brain develop more neuronal connections. By learning a new language, your brain is being worked like a muscle, stimulating and developing more neuronal webs which can lead to a higher capacity for generating more creative processes.

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Medical Daily reported on a research done to observe 120 9-year-old students. Half were monolinguals and the other were bilinguals. The children were then tested on problem solving and creative thinking. The results? The children who could speak more than one language scored better at the tests. In terms of creative thinking, the bilingual children demonstrated a difference in the level of detail and richness in description.

3.Better Problem-Solving Skills

Research conducted at the American University of Sharjah had shown that multilinguals approach the same problems with different perspectives compared to monolinguals. This is due to the practice of being exposed to different cultures when learning a new language, therefore they are more open-minded when faced with a situation.

Studies have shown that multilinguals are better at filtering out unwanted information because they use more of the executive function of the brain. By doing so, they are efficient in focusing on the problem and yet bring about new perspectives to tackle the problem at different angles.

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4.Masters at Multi-tasking

To be able to handle twice or thrice as many words efficiently, the brain has no other choice but to use more focus and resources to be able to switch between languages quickly. Research has shown that because of this, multilinguals are able to switch between multiple tasks and shift their attention quicker than monolinguals.

Not only that, but because the brain of a multilingual has to look out for mistakes and errors during the task of switching languages, this would also be applied efficiently to reduce errors when switching between tasks.

5.Sharp Decision Making Skills

A study in Chicago University had revealed that multilinguals are more likely to make the right decisions as compared to monolinguals. Being able to speak multiple languages allow multilinguals to see the bigger picture and to understand more complex situations better.

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The study also showed that when we speak a different language with a less familiar language, we tend to be less biased when making a decision. What this means is that we become more rational when we speak in a second or third language which in turn, helps us to make a better decision.

Multilingualism makes you smarter

Concrete evidence have shown us that being a multilingual can bring about many benefits and as proven in the workforce, it can also be an advantage when searching for a job. Job applications require us to fill in the types of languages we speak as being multilingual is seen to be an asset by employers.

Being a multilingual truly has its perks, so why not get started on a new language right away?

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Featured photo credit: Tom Hiddleston via flic.kr

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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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