Psychology of Nostalgia

Three Amazing Ways Being Nostalgic Can Brighten Your Holidays


Are you hoping for an unforgettable holiday season this year?  Why not try a little nostalgia.  Why? Studies have shown nostalgic thinking has powerful benefits to lift you up, to motivate you, to strengthen your relationships, to make you feel happy, and to make you feel content, among many other perks. Here are three amazing ways nostalgia can make this year’s holidays better and brighter:


Nostalgia strengthens social bonds, positive self-regard, and positive affect  

You can feel a sense of belonging and closeness with others when you are nostalgic, especially during the holidays. Reminiscing about those special holiday events, parties, places, and people from your past connect you to your family and friends and reminds you of the love you have shared over the years and decades.

Being nostalgic during the holidays can help you feel better about yourself as you move forward into a new year; it can ground you in who you are and where you come from and remind you of the people and traditions that shaped you.

Nostalgia can also improve your emotions and mood by helping you experience happiness, positivity, and joy–three things essential for creating magical holiday experiences today. So whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Festivus, go ahead and think about those “days gone by” . . . The warm and fuzzy feelings that nostalgia produces can do wonders for your happiness this holiday season and for the future.

Nostalgia can be used as a stress reducer and energy booster

We all know that stress is bad for your mental and physical health and the holidays can be an especially stressful time for many. Nostalgia comes to the rescue by helping to reduce depression and anxiety. While nostalgia can potentially have negative consequences when the present is compared unfavorably to the past and there is unreasonable resistance to moving on, nostalgia in healthy doses can be used positively to ease stress and boost energy by calming the mind, improving mood, and creating optimism toward the future.

Less stress and more energy during the holidays?  Sign me up!

Nostalgia strengthens a sense of meaning in life

No matter your beliefs, the holiday season often prompts deep thinking about what’s important in life. Loving . . . giving . . . hoping . . . Want to feel like your time here on earth is important? That your life has meaning and your present and future are bright? Then don’t forget to look to the past!

Nostalgia can help boost your connection to others, including family, friends, and even strangers. Sharing history, laughing, and even crying with others when you “remember when” and honoring the moments and traditions we share and the people we have known and the life we have created for ourselves and our families is a step toward knowing what life is really about.

Simply, nostalgia can remind you of who you really are and who you want to be . . . now and in the future.

So what are you waiting for nostalgia seekers? Be nostalgic about your wonderful life. Engage in nostalgic-to-be memories today for the future! Go out and celebrate your past to create better days today this holiday season!

Photo Credits: Bob Rica | Nathan Anderson | William Stitt | Ben White | Yutacar | Nikola Jelenkovic







8 thoughts on “Three Amazing Ways Being Nostalgic Can Brighten Your Holidays

  1. That was interesting. I never really put that much thought into it before. I am going to try and use nostalgia to cheer up some of the people around me this holiday season.

  2. Thanks for this interesting post. I have never thought about being intentionally nostalgic to brighten my mood. My daughter is 14 months right now so I definitely get hit with waves on a daily basis.

  3. Great post! I never really thought about how nostalgia can affect us during the holidays. There is one down-side to being nostalgic during the holidays. While we want to remember the good times, maybe somebody has had a bad experience around the holidays and they seem to cling to those memories instead of the good ones they may have had. So while nostalgia can be great during the holidays, we need to be mindful of those who may not have those positive memories and maybe try to encourage them to find new ways to make memories.

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