November 2016 – Nostalgia

It appears to me as our society moves at an increasingly accelerated pace, more people want to go back to a simpler time.  Personal nostalgia is defined as “a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition.”  The state fair for me is a time of nostalgia.  I have so many good memories of going with my grandparents.  It does sometimes make me yearn for the past.

The first known use of the work was originally by a Swiss physician Johannes Hofer.  He describe the condition in his 1688 medical dissertation. It was thought of as disease similar to paranoia, except rather than perceived persecution longing was the issue.

Nostalgia is seen in a more positive light now.   Though it is often triggered by negative feelings, it results in increasing one’s mood and heightening positive emotions.  Krystine Batcho studied nostalgia with the conclusion that the strategies that are likely among nostalgia prone people often lead to benefits during stressful times. Nostalgia can be connected to more focus on coping strategies and implementing them. Her research finds that people who are prone to nostalgia excel at maintaining personal relationships and choose healthy, social ways of coping with their troubles. “Nostalgia is helpful,” she says. “You can stumble upon the times you overcame obstacles and realize that you are capable of overcoming new problems, too.”

If you are more nostalgic now that the weather is colder.  There is data.  Xinyue Zhou of Sun Yat-Sen University in China. By tracked students and found feelings of nostalgia were more common on cold days. The researchers also found that people in a cool room (68 degrees Fahrenheit) were more likely to nostalgize than people in warmer rooms.

IMG_3706Researchers now talk about historical nostalgia where a distant past is perceived as preferable to the present.  Maybe that is part of why many like me got so hooked on Downton Abbey.  I think I should have lived in the Roaring Twenties.  So this November grab a cup of tea and invite a friend over to talk about old times or your favorites historical show!