Learning a foreign language: stress or salvation?
The influence of external factors on a person's life is currently going through the roof, causing many to live in perpetual stress. This can lead to a rapid depletion of the body's resources and serious health issues. The words of Socrates “Health is not everything, but nothing else is needed without it” is always relevant. Listening to experts, each person tries to find his own method of dealing with destructive stress. It can be regular exercise, yoga, pets, a variety of hobbies...
Changing the type of activity is one of the real ways to get rid of stress. Learning a foreign language is a great way out, which can help protect you from worries and anxieties of everyday life.
A common stereotype is that learning a second language requires much effort, time, and special abilities. This gives rise to self-doubt, anxiety, fear of mistakes, condemnation, or ridicule from others. We are offering a different approach.
Learning a foreign language is a stress-free space!
You will not be able to successfully master another language in an environment of constant pressure of people, time, and events. Relax, take your time, do not be afraid of mistakes - they are natural and inevitable when mastering a new affair. Practice regularly, starting with greetings, simplest phrases, elementary questions, and never doubt your abilities for a moment - success will come.
It is important to enjoy the process. After all, it has long been noticed that if a person does what he loves, without coercion, his well-being improves. The phrase “learning with passion”, which has gone out of active use, is again becoming relevant and significant today.
“To learn a language, free curiosity is much more important than a formidable necessity,” let us listen to these words of the philosopher, one of the “fathers” of the Latin Church, Aurelius Augustinus of Hippo, who had his own unique experience in mastering Greek and Latin languages. Make mastering a new language your hobby, and the level of negative stress will decrease. After all, the attitude towards a desired occupation is always positive and joyful.
According to some studies, learning foreign languages helps to achieve a feeling of emotional uplift due to “happiness hormones” produced in the body, which include dopamine, endorphin, serotonin, and oxytocin. This reduces the level of "stress hormones" - cortisol and adrenaline. While learning a foreign language, together with first success, you will also get more satisfaction. This way, the body encourages and motivates you to continue learning, during which new neural connections are formed in the brain. They allow you to improve memory, respond faster and more efficiently to external stimuli, and increase your resistance to stress.
- Psychological comfort
“Learning a language is opening a new window to the world,” says a Chinese proverb. Stress leads to isolation, it is easy to fall into despair from the flood of news, to be in a state of constant irritation, anxiety, and depression. An unfamiliar language increases your individual mental space, contributes to a more subtle perception of reality, a better understanding of the diversity of other cultures.
Dr. Tim Lomas, lecturer in positive psychology at the University of East London, says that there are words in a foreign language that represent "a part of the world that our own language does not describe." In his opinion, “it is very useful for people to communicate using words from other cultures”, which favors the expansion of a person’s horizons, and makes it possible to mentally go beyond their own experience. A person gains access to new positive sensations and experiences, and this can bring him out of a state of psychological decline and discomfort.
With gradual success in mastering a new language, your self-esteem will increase, and your self-confidence will grow. Depression and anxiety will disappear, and they will be replaced by ease in communication, and new ways of self-expression. Learning a foreign language will become an effective anti-stress factor.
- Is entertainment a way to learn?
There are several points of view on the entertainment aspect when learning another language: some scientists consider this component to be one of the most important ones, having a strong anti-stress effect; others suggest that with such an approach one can hardly count on serious success in achieving set goals.
Let us pay attention to the first point of view - a proposal to study a language in the "context":
- favorite songs, arias in the original language (listen repeatedly, memorize words, sentences, translate, try to understand the meaning, do not be shy to hum);
- poetry (stable neural connections are formed by repetition of a poetic text you like and reciting poems by heart);
- foreign films, series (viewing with simultaneous translation into the native language, repeat with subtitles, watch a show in a foreign language, discuss with your friends the plot and details using the vocabulary, phrases, sentences from the film);
- books (works of literature - pleasure and work that brings satisfaction: “I can”, “I read”, “I understand”, “I retell” - free pace, individual level, lack of tension);
- live communication (do not be afraid, forget the phrase: “Do not speak or speak correctly!”; speak a lot without fear of making mistakes, using words from different languages to replace difficult words).
Many researchers claim that all these components and the regularity of non-coercive exercise help create a stress-free space.
“New language - new life”
This idea is repeated in different versions both as folk wisdom and the statements of many famous people. A new life is a hope for the best, a feeling of freedom, an expectation of a positive outlook, joyful events and meetings, a desire to get away from stress and to find comfort.