Nostalgia is a yearning for return to some past period or seemingly-irrecoverable condition. It is the reliving of a past time, which is usually in a more positive light than the reality of that event may have been.
Psychological Benefits of Nostalgia
There are some profound psychological benefits of being nostalgic periodically. A recent study has found that individuals that exhibit nostalgia have high self-esteem and are less prone to depression. Thinking of good memories for just 20 minutes a day can make people more cheerful than they were the week before, and happier than if they think of their current lives, report researchers from Loyola University.
Researchers at the University of Southampton in the U.K. have also found nostalgia to be a potent mood booster. Furthermore, the studies also show that people who write about good memories report higher self-esteem and feel more positively about friendships and close relationships.
For best results, research suggests reminiscing in your head rather than on paper. When Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychologist at the University of California at Riverside asked participants to either write or think about their happiest life experience, she found that those who replayed their happiest moments in their heads later experienced greater well-being than the writing group. The contrary was true for those who thought about unpleasant and negative memories.
Nostalgia Through Music
With the rise and advance of electronic equipment in the 21st century, it is now possible to create very sophisticated and complex harmonic tones and frequencies that in ages past were essentially impossible. With this new technological benefit, several individuals have dedicated their time and effort into producing music that brings about a nostalgic tendency for the listener.
The harmonics bring the listener to a time in the past, whether they lived in it or not. Oftentimes, this nostalgia is very tranquil, serene, and peaceful. It is suggested that even simply listening to such music will provide the benefits that research has shown comes about during experiencing nostalgia.