How to Use Nostalgia to Improve Your Headspace

We had crossed the dunes behind my house and reached the quiet, mostly private beach that lined the Chesapeake Bay and protected us from the occasional storm. As usual, a cool, thick fog blew gently on my face. It limited our vision in a strangely relaxing way. There was no sound except for a subtle splash of water. The natural aesthetic was unmatched and made us feel like we were walking inside in a desktop screensaver.

“Are you sure we won’t get lost in this fog?” She said with a nervous laugh and turned to me.

“No, I do this walk all the time,” I reassured her. Then she held out her hand with a smile and said, “OK, good, I can still see my hand.” We had a lot of fun. This beach was always very relaxing and we were both so stressed about school. Feeling the sand on our bare feet and enjoying the soothing mist did wonders.

Years later, I walked those same foggy beaches after a back injury, feeling depressed, wondering why my recovery was taking so long and why I had been the target of the universe with this illness. These beaches healed my thoughts and took my mind to happier places.

Even today, decades later, I feel a wave of nostalgia every time I see fog. I don’t get many here in Florida, but when I do, usually in the morning, you’ll find me on my couch, looking out the window and wistful about days gone by.

Psychologists classify nostalgia like a social emotion, embarrassed and bittersweet, but above all positive. This often stems from a nostalgia for the past and old relationships. Nostalgia is often triggered by the senses. For example, every time I smell chlorine, I become nostalgic for my summer spent playing in pools while visiting my grandparents in Florida. I remember all the fun friendships and problems we made, and lounging around at friends’ houses playing video games.

Scientists treat nostalgia as a complex cognitive emotion that uses many parts of the brain – which are also used in the emotional domain regulation, reward processing, self-reflection and autobiographical memory. Deliberate nostalgia is studied and has been shown to improve friendships, motivation, and reduce cortisol.

A study by Dr Wijnand at King’s College London I found it bad weather can trigger nostalgia, which is true in my case – although I now consider fog to be good weather because of what it does for me. Bad weather tends to cause more stress, which leads to more nostalgic thoughts as a coping mechanism. We often do it without even realizing it.

Another study found that the exercises by evoking nostalgic moments, we can strengthen the bonds between two people. Simply sending them a message or calling them and talking to them about stories from the past can strengthen that human connection, so essential to well-being.

You can invoke nostalgia in several ways. First, the most obvious and simplest way is to reflect on those moments and have a mental repertoire of treasured memories. The other is to use your senses. Researchers…

Read Complete News ➤

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 + 19 =