Most people have pretty common goals when it comes to living a full life. We want to be happy. We want to be healthy. And, at a lot of us wouldn’t mind being wealthy too. You may be wondering how in the world you can manage to achieve all three of these things in a single lifetime. Well, we’re here to tell you that the answer is simple: learn a foreign language. It really is that easy, but if you don’t believe us read on to discover how a new language could be your key to health, wealth, and happiness!
Here’s To Health
There’s more than a few health benefits to learning a new language, so let’s dive right in. Scientists state that being bilingual or multilingual can drastically delay the onset of dementia in old age. Because speaking a foreign language is essentially exercise for your brain, it keeps your mind healthy and is the best way to ensure that it remains that way later in life too. There are also more immediate benefits such as helping your brain to be more capable of making rational decisions, helping you to approach complex situations with more ease, and greatly improving your memory. Of course, we can’t forget about the typical bilingual’s greater capacity for multi-tasking—due to the fact that people who speak more than one language are already pros at switching back and forth between tongues. And, strangely enough, parts of your brain actually get bigger when you speak more than one language, so you’re helping your brain grow too!
Here’s To Wealth
As a bilingual or multilingual you’re also set up for more success and higher salaries, experts say. According to recent studies, children who grow up in bilingual households where they speak their parents’ mother tongue and also the language of the country they’re living in can expect to earn more money as adults than their monolingual peers. Bilinguals are also in high demand in the work place, and with multiple languages under your belt you’ll discover more job and work opportunities as well as a higher payscale. In the United States a bilingual is expected to earn up to $7,000 more on average. Some studies even show that bilinguals are more valued as employees than those who only speak one language (perhaps due to their amazing multi-tasking and rational decision-making skills). No matter which way you look at it, being able to speak more than one language adds to your personal value and ultimately benefits you in the job and career spheres.
Here’s To Happiness
According to experts, good mental health is the key to happiness, and learning a foreign language can actually help you to achieve that! But beyond the health benefits listed above, language learning has actually been shown to be an effective method of combatting depression. If you struggle with depression, studying a foreign tongue can give you a sense of accomplishment and help you to make connections with other people. You gain confidence by learning to speak another language—just think of how it feels to have your first successful conversation in Spanish, or French, or Japanese! While it takes a lot of courage to put a language into practice, it’s an incredible confidence boost when you pull it off. And finally, being able to connect on a deeper level with another culture, to make friends around the globe, and to travel freely all contribute to making you a happier person.
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Does all this sound too good to be true? It shouldn’t be! There are scores of bilinguals and multilinguals out there who can attest to the power of languages, and many will tell you that learning another tongue is the best decision you can make. For me personally learning another language has always benefited me and made me feel incredibly happy and accomplished. While you may not see the payoff of health, wealth, and happiness immediately, if you stick with it and invest in your education you’ll never regret giving foreign languages the chance to make you fitter, richer, and a whole heck of a lot more cheerful!
What are some of the personal benefits you’ve experienced from being a bilingual or multilingual? Do you agree that being able to speak more than one language can make you healthier, wealthier, and happier?