Feeling low? Take a walk down memory lane. Study says nostalgia improves psychological well-being

Feeling low? Take a walk down memory lane. Study says nostalgia improves psychological well-being

Several years ago I came across the idea of “positive reminiscing”.

And I loved it! We’re often told that we shouldn’t dwell on the past and that we should “live in the moment” but if we reflect on the past in a positive way it can actually be really good for our health and wellbeing and, of course, our happiness!

Check out how you can take advantage of this simple but potentially powerful strategy …

vis PsyPost by Laura Staloch

Nostalgia, or the good feeling one gets when thinking about the past, may not be getting the respect it deserves. A recent study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology concludes that the more nostalgic one is, the more authentic one feels, which has positive consequences for psychological well-being. The research team found correlational and experimental support for their hypothesis. Moreover, the effect was cross-cultural; subjects from the United States, China, and the United Kingdom were included in the study.

Factors that improve psychological well-being (PWB) are studied frequently and put to good use as components of therapy or valuable life advice. However, for some factors, it is not always clear why it improves PWB. Prior studies have found that nostalgic thinking improves PWB, but why was unknown. Nicholas Kelley and colleagues set out to answer this question with a series of four studies.

Their hypothesis is the feeling of authenticity, generated by nostalgic thinking that increases PWB. Understanding how behaviors or cognitions improve PWB provides opportunities to establish innovative methods to increase PWB.

The first of the four studies confirmed a relationship between nostalgia, PWB, and authenticity.  In these studies, authenticity was defined as “the sense that one is in alignment with one’s true self.” Psychological well-being was assessed with the Brief Inventory of Thriving (BIT)…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE