Nostalgia is a sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. Nostalgia is associated with a wistful yearning for the past, its personalities, and events, especially the “good old days” or a “warm childhood”. These recollections of one’s past are usually the important events, people who they care about, or places where one has had beautiful memories
Music and weather can also be strong triggers of nostalgia. Nostalgic preferences, the belief that the past was better than the present, has been linked to biases in memory.
Although nostalgia is often triggered by negative feelings, it results in refreshing one’s mood and heightening positive emotions, which can stem from feelings of warmth or cope resulting from nostalgic reflections.
Why do you feel Nostalgia?
Nostalgia is actually all about you. Your memories, your past; who you used to be and consequently, who you are now. It connects all of the past events.
Now, let’s get back to the topic—why do you feel Nostalgia?
In the late 17th century, a medical student named Johannes Hofer noticed a strange illness affecting Swiss mercenaries serving abroad. Its symptoms, including fatigue, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, indigestion, and fever were so strong that the soldiers often had to be discharged.
As Hofer discovered, the cause was not some physical disturbance but an intense yearning for their homeland. He dubbed the condition ‘Nostalgia’ from Greek “Nostos” for homecoming and “Algos” for pain or longing.
By the early 20th century, professionals no longer viewed it as a neurological disease, but as a mental condition. But over the next few decades, the understanding of Nostalgia changed in 2 important ways. Its meaning expanded from indicating homesickness to a general longing seen as a poignant and pleasant experience.
Later on, professionals realized that many of the negative symptoms may have been simply correlated with Nostalgia, rather than caused by it. And in fact, despite being a complex emotional state, it can include feelings of loss and sadness.
Nostalgia doesn’t generally put people in a negative mood. Instead, it allows you to remember your meaningful, rewarding, and most beautiful experiences you had with your loved ones in your life. It can also boost psychological well-being. Studies have shown, it in people can help increase their feelings of self-esteem and social belonging, and also encourage psychological growth.
So, rather than being a cause of mental distress, it can be a restorative way of coping with it. When people experience negative emotional states, they tend to naturally use nostalgia to reduce distress and restore well-being. It helps us remember that our lives can have meaning and value, helping us find the confidence and motivation to face the challenge in future. If you find yourself recalling a warm memory and wishing you could recapture that moment, give in. It may give you the boost you need to deal with the current challenge or to simply feel better.
Do you think Nostalgia is a good feeling? Have you ever felt nostalgic in your life? Let us know in the comments section below.