Weekend Plus Desk :
You may be happier now, objectively, than you ever were in your earlier years. You may even have had a pretty miserable or perhaps lackluster adolescence. Yet, once you’ve passed the age of 30, all of a sudden the late teens start to acquire a glow that they perhaps didn’t really deserve.
Our life experiences trigger the release of neurotransmitters and hormones. For example, if at some stage we have a positive experience associated with feelings of success and accomplishment, the neurotransmitter dopamine is released in our brains.
These substances can be addictive in a similar way to the way drugs can be addictive. Because they are associated with things that are an evolutionary advantage, they trigger instinctive cravings. They are indirectly a part of our survival instinct; the complex set of biological and social mechanisms by which we are able to survive, reproduce and thrive as a species.
Life is meant to be lived in the present, but the occasional flashback can do wonders for both your mental and physical wellbeing.
For instance, did you know that thinking about old memories is enough to boost your confidence? Or if you’re feeling lonely, that the best and most instant cure is a walk down memory lane? Herein, we’ve rounded up some of the surprising reasons you love-and should love!-nostalgia. And for ways to relive your childhood, read up on the nine things you’re nostalgic for but shouldn’t be.
It causes us to feel happy
Nostalgia has some pretty amazing effects that leave us wanting more. Firstly, nostalgia tends to keep us feeling as happy as can be. Studies have actually found that when nostalgia is triggered in participants (by having them do something like write down a nostalgic event), they tend to feel positive emotions.
Looking at the past gives us hope for the future
Though nostalgia tends to focus on the past, that doesn’t mean you’ll get stuck there when reflecting on bygone days. In fact, nostalgia can remind us that there’s good in the world as it helps us look forward to the future.
Reminiscing supplies our lives with meaning.
With the above idea in mind, it’s no surprise that nostalgia makes life more meaningful for us all. Nostalgia can specifically help people who deal with a fear of mortality. By making individuals feel as though their lives are meaningful and valuable, nostalgia can remind us all that it’s possible to overcome hardships and can also give our lives purpose. After all, who’s life wasn’t made more meaningful by the boy bands of the past?
It helps you cope with the bad times
Those who are more wistful tend to have larger social circles. And because they have stronger support systems, these nostalgic folks are better able to cope with life’s many hardships, in some cases even seeking professional help at the behest of their family and friends.
It gives you confidence
Recalling an old memory of a time when you succeeded makes it easier to hold your head up high and prevail once again. With memories of prior achievements and former feelings of triumph in the back of your mind, you’re better set up for success in the present and future.
It brings people closer together
If you ever find yourself in a rough patch with your significant other, try thinking back on some of the fonder times in your relationship. Remembering these good moments reminds you of why you’re together in the first place, and it only serves to strengthen your bond. Nostalgia increases feelings of social connectedness to others. It makes people feel loved and valued.
It soothes stress
Nostalgic memories can serve as reminders that life wasn’t always so difficult and restore a sense of being grounded and able to survive during difficult time
It makes you healthier
Nostalgia is the ultimate health aid. When researchers asked subjects to write about a nostalgic event, they found that they were more optimistic about their wellbeing. What’s more, subjects’ newfound positive attitudes led to more time spent at the gym! And if you need some help on your own making it to your workout class.
It makes you feel younger
Nostalgia is the ultimate fountain of youth. As you age, just thinking about times when you were younger and healthier can live you up and make you feel more physically fit?