Do you know that nice, fuzzy, warm feeling of reminiscing that also feels like a painful punch in the gut? Looking through old photos, hearing an old song, or seeing a toy from childhood can take you back in time. When you experience nostalgia, it’s a powerful thing.
Nostalgia is arguably one of the most complicated feelings because of the array of emotions that come with it. Beauty, pain, appreciation, longing, and heartache are all wrapped up in one moment of deep and complicated emotion.
If you know this feeling, you may wonder why you experience nostalgia. This intriguing and complicated feeling happens to go deeper than you might think.
The History of Nostalgia
Nostalgia is a deep yearning for what you once had in the past. In the late 17th century, doctors considered nostalgia to be a disease. It brought symptoms that looked an awful lot like a virus.
However, they soon realized that it was a type of homesickness that was so severe it caused physical symptoms. It’s no longer considered a disease but is now compared to intense feelings like depression.
Why is nostalgia so common?
Psychologists assume that experiencing nostalgia may mean that you’re having a hard time letting go of your past. It can be challenging to let go of certain parts of your life, so it’s understandable that everyone experiences this to some degree.
Is nostalgia bad?
Nostalgia may point to a need for some emotional healing, but it’s not inherently bad. Be aware that dwelling on the past can be dangerous if it’s overromanticized or glorified over your present life.
Nostalgia can be a beautiful and beneficial emotion just as much as it can be dangerous. It allows you to bask in appreciation for what you had and learn how to integrate more of what you love into your life.
Don’t be afraid to reminisce on those meaningful memories you’ve made, but be careful not to live in regret. Romanticize your present experiences just as much as you hold on to that nostalgia!