We already knew that feeling nostalgic can warm your body, but it can also warm your heart. Studies conducted by the University of Southampton found that fond memories boosted subjects outlook about the future.
Photo by Prayitno.
In one study, when asked to describe a previous, nostalgic event, subjects used more optimistic expressions than the control group that was asked to describe a simple, historical event. Separate studies demonstrated a similar effect when subjects were asked to describe nostalgic songs. As Dr Wildschut put it:
Memories of the past can help to maintain current feelings of self-worth and can contribute to a brighter outlook on the future. Our findings do imply that nostalgia, by promoting optimism, could help individuals cope with psychological adversity.
While it won’t singlehandedly overcome the issues you deal with, remembering fondly your experiences of the past isn’t just a futile and flighty exercise. As these studies demonstrate, there are tangible benefits to reminiscing about the good old days.
Reminiscing Can Increase Self-Esteem, Optimism [Psych Central]