Can language learning help you destress?
For some of us, language learning might be seen as a stressful experience. All those grammar rules to get to grips with. All that vocabulary to memorize. There is a reason learning a language is often something we talk about doing yet often don’t actually do. But for others, learning language might actually be a stress reliever! Can’t imagine it yourself? Here’s why learning languages can help you destress.
We live very busy lives. Our nine-to-fives rarely keep to those hours, and who hasn’t laid awake worrying about elements of our jobs? Sometimes when we work the schedules we do, it’s difficult to remember how important it is to enjoy life, instead of just existing to work. A hobby can be a great way to create a little space in our schedules that is just for us — and provide a little stress relief in the process.
The thing with learning a language is that you can make it as intense or laid back an experience as you choose. Your way of learning could be a language exchange held in your city once a week where you meet with like-minded people, sharing your interests in a new tongue. You might take a break away from your desk by fitting in a quick session of apps like Memrise or Duolingo, returning to work refreshed for doing other things. Or perhaps you like the idea of taking a little time to meet with a tutor, sat in a coffee shop corner somewhere where you can learn something just for you. Everyone’s study experience is different, but however, you choose to do it, studying a language is a great hobby to have to relieve stress.
You don’t even need to put in that much effort to learn a language if you want a truly stress-free experience! Want to unwind after a long day at work? There are thousands of foreign language films and series available across streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. You get to relax watching something interesting, and with subtitles on screen, you don’t have to put much thought into following the story. You might not become fluent by the end of a series, but you will have picked up some language along the way!
Music is also known as a great stress reliever; learning a language can play a part in this as well! Whether you sing along to the radio while cooking or like a Spotify playlist for when you’re at the gym, listening to music in your target language is a great way to drop the tension out of your day. But how does this help us learn a language? Well, how many of us pick up a song after just a few listens? How quickly will you be looking up the lyrics so you understand what you’re singing along to? Learning a language with music can be one of the least arduous ways to study and a great way to destress at the same time!
First and foremost, learning a language expands our world view, which is essential when dealing with the isolation that illnesses like depression and anxiety can bring. It’s easy to despair at the news and see nothing but catastrophe around us when we’re feeling at our lowest. Learning a language makes us think bigger, look for more than our own experiences, understand more of other cultures — and in doing so can bring us out of that isolated slump.
As our abilities in our new languages grow, our confidence and self-esteem do too. All those horrible thoughts anxiety and depression can put in our heads suddenly have new things to compete with; as good as we think we are at multitasking, our brains can’t be mean to us and let us learn new skills at the same time! But as well as this, learning a language gives us a new way to express ourselves. A horrible day at work can be scribbled down or yelled out in our new language as a practice activity. Our new-found confidence in our language skills might be just the boost we need to socialize more in order to use that language. In these ways learning a language is an amazing destresser!
If you like the idea of using language learning to destress, or are just considering learning a language and want to know more, why not get in touch? We have free online level tests in a number of languages so you can see how good you are already, and a quick inquiry will give you all the details you need about our tailormade courses.