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Why Nostalgia is Important?

Why nostalgia is important? Nostalgia is a shield against existential challenges. Evoking positive experiences and feelings from the past can help you cope better with the present and the future.

January for me is the month to think about what happened the year before. To make a balance, to see what went well and what went less well. What I achieved, and what I would need to continue to work on. Thinking about people I met, I worked with, I shared nice moments. But also places I have been, perfumes, food, sun and rain…It is the time for a bit of nostalgia.

What is nostalgia?

It is a rear view mirror that reflects a particular feeling of a time or place or an emotion that happened in the past. It could be the memory of your first love, a yellowed photograph found by chance, or an object that reminds you of something. The Internet can help make you nostalgic. With one click you may find, for example, the soundtrack of a pleasant moment you lived, or you can look at the photos you published on your social media account.

Experts tell us that nostalgia is a complex emotion, mainly, but not always, positive.

It can give you greater sensitivity and can help you understand the present.

The word nostalgia was invented in 1680 by a student (Johannes Hofer) from the University of Basel who combined the Greek word nóstos (homecoming) and algia (suffering). He described it as the pain that the Swiss soldiers felt in battles, and their wish to go home.

Current studies distinguish nostalgia from melancholy because it has a stimulating effect and does not cause symptoms of illness, rather it tries to fight them.

Could we say that nostalgia is a source of resilience and well-being?

Researchers from the University of Southampton (UK) have observed that nostalgia is a vital component of mental health that motivates us, and increases our self-esteem.

Nostalgia also represents a reservoir of emotions that you can consciously access and that you can also unconsciously use in your daily life to reinforce the feelings of your past.

By doing so, you can find some help to cope with the present and the future.

However, the past can obviously be only remembered. You cannot change it, but you can learn from it. Nostalgia does not give you back what you have lost but it helps you to better manage the life you are living.

Do you think nostalgia helps you with managing your life?

wine glasses and pictures on table
Evoking positive experiences and feelings from the past – Photo by Inga Seliverstova on

13 thoughts on “Why Nostalgia is Important?

  1. Nostalgia can be a good thing: I myself tend to melancholy. My worry with nostalgia is when people don’t remember the truth, but what they wish the truth had been. This can lead us into all kinds of trouble, both personally and societally.

    I appreciated very much your open: “January for me is the month to think about what happened the year before.” It can be a month! I don’t know why I never considered leaving the whole month open for the new year renewal, but I have to say, that small sentence lifted a weight I hadn’t been aware of. My thanks 💖

  2. Such an interesting post and idea. I was amused that I got up when I was halfway through this post to put on some music without realizing why — and then put it together that it was nostalgia! For me, nostalgia is often reaching to the ideals and idealism of the past. Before your writing, I hadn’t thought of it much but on reflection, it does give inspire me by bringing close things that I value.

    Thanks as always for good writing and interesting ideas!

  3. Experience is a great teacher. Negative experiences are instructive, but not something I recall for pleasure. Nostalgia is also instructive, but it brings pleasure. Young people are often curious about the “old days.” Contemperaries enjoy swapping stories about shared or similar experiences. Writing nostalgia also helps us see the “big picture” and make plans for the future.

    As long as we do not fall into the trap of trying to live in the past and do not bore people who are not interested in old stories, I wholeheartedly agree with you that nostalgia is usually a good thing.

  4. Thank you for a lovely post.
    Made me wonder how a smell, music, off-hand remark, a place, or just thinking of a person or a feeling of Deja vu makes me dive into nostalgia.

    If I look back at the past without any regrets, I can be objective..
    But there are times I look back with a longing so strong that I feel sad.
    Mostly, though, I look back with gratitude that though at times life was challenging, I came through them and learned lot from my experiences.

    I like how you have concluded. “Nostalgia does not give you back what you have lost but it helps you to better manage the life you are living.”.
    Best wishes,

  5. Nostalgia is an interesting concept that I need to think more about. It seems to be a kind of yearning that feels both sweet and a touch sad. I think nostalgia can be a kind of escape. Most of life is rather ordinary and nostalgia allows us to apply “color” to certain recollections. While feeling nostalgic, we almost certainly romanticize the past. You’ve given me something very interesting to think about. Thanks.

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