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Improve Brain Health By Learning a New Language

By Paul Rothbart

Of all the many human creations, language is one of the most important and useful. The ability to communicate thoughts, feelings, and ideas first helped survival, and now is important to working, relationships, and enjoying life. Most of us have just our native language. It can be very useful to be able to speak a second language. It may help in business and certainly makes travel to other countries easier. You also may encounter someone who doesn't speak your language and be able to help. Although not commonly known, learning a new language can be very good for your brain.

Improved Memory

A good memory is one of the most useful things you can have. Few things improve recall as well as studying a new language. Learning vocabulary and rules of grammar stimulate your memory. Research has discovered that people who are bilingual are better at remembering names, addresses, and other data. It's a good reason to learn a new tongue.

Reduce Risk of Dementia

As people age, the mind tends to slow down. Cognitive decline can lead to problems like dementia. Learning a new language keeps the mind engaged and processing at a rapid rate. This can significantly reduce cognitive decline and help to prevent dementia. Single language people with signs of dementia start to show those signs at the average age of 70. Bilingual people don't show signs until an average age of 75.

Bigger Brain

The size of the brain has a direct correlation with the intelligence of its owner. Research that culminated in 2012 discovered that learning languages increases cortical thickness and the size of the hippocampus. Memory is the domain of the hippocampus. Continuing to fluency in your new language will further increase the size of the essential parts of the brain.

More Self-confidence and Decisiveness

Indecision is often tied to not having faith in one's own judgment. This is directly tied to self-confidence. Learning a new language is an impressive feat that can help boost self-confidence. It can give you a sense of accomplishment that can help your decision-making. This is one of the most common mental skills for success.

Increased Attention Span

It's frustrating when your mind starts to wander in the middle of something important. Studies conducted at York University and Spain's Pompeu Fabra University found that people who speak more than one language are better able to focus and more attentive to their surroundings than people who only speak one. They also are better at shutting out distractions and changing from one task to another.

Lifelong learning is great for mental health. One of the best things you can study is another language. The ability to communicate with people of other cultures is fun and can be handy. It can also help your brain stay healthy and sharp.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Clearwater, Fla.

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