Nostalgia Arms Us for the Future

Fond Memories of Yesterdays Helps Us Cope with Today




Having lingering fond memories of happy times, once actually thought to be a psychiatric disorder, have now been confirmed as a healthy and, ultimately, positive activity. Most people experience nostalgia at least once a week and nearly half of those surveyed reported experiencing it three or four times a week, say researchers at England’s University of Southampton.

When speaking wistfully of the past, individuals are usually reconstructing happy memories of family and friends, and typically become more optimistic about the future, reports lead researcher and Social Psychologist Constantine Sedikides, Ph.D., who observes, “Nostalgia makes us a bit more human.”

The Southampton paper, presented to the American Psychological Association, meshes well with another study confirming that nostalgic memories inspire positive feelings of joy, high self-regard, belonging and meaningfulness in life.

In two studies, social psychologists at North Dakota State University found that past fond memories help us become more self-confident and cope better in the present. “We see nostalgia as a psychological resource that people can dip into to conjure the evidence they need to assure themselves that they’re valued,” says lead researcher Clay Routledge.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Meditating Raises Spirits More than a Vacation

Women between ages 30 and 60 that were novice meditators had less depression and stress markers after six days of meditating while at a resort than peers just vacationing there.

Awe and Wonder Prime Physical Health

Adults that reported feeling awe and wonder while walking in nature or listening to music had lower levels of an inflammation marker.

Purpose and Meaning Help Seniors Live Longer

Seniors that feel they have purpose and meaning in their lives are less likely to die between the ages of 65 and 73.

Spirituality is Beneficial for Cancer Patients

Cancer patients with strong religious or spiritual beliefs experience fewer symptoms, lower anxiety and distress, and stronger social health, researchers find.

Non-Natural Painkillers Double Depression Risk

Large doses of opioid medication significantly increase the danger of depression, a Veterans Administration study has found.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags