Nostalgia is a shield against existential challenges. Evoking positive experiences and feelings from the past can help you cope better with the present and the future.
Nostalgia is a rear view mirror that reflects a particular feeling of a time or place or an emotion that happened in the past. It could be the memory of your first love, a yellowed photograph found by chance, or an object that reminds you of something. The Internet can help make you nostalgic. With one click you can find, for example, the soundtrack of a pleasant moment you lived.
Today, experts tell us that nostalgia is a complex emotion, above all, but not always, positive, which can give you greater sensitivity and can help you understand the present.
The word nostalgia was invented in 1680 by a student (Johannes Hofer) from the University of Basel who combined the Greek word nóstos (homecoming) and algia (suffering). He described it as the pain that the Swiss soldiers felt in battle and that they wanted to go home.
Current studies distinguish nostalgia from melancholy because it has a stimulating effect and does not cause symptoms of illness, rather it tries to fight them.
Researchers from the University of Southampton (UK) have observed that nostalgia is a vital component of mental health that motivates us and increases our self-esteem.
Nostalgia also represents a reservoir of emotions that you can consciously access and which you unconsciously use in your daily life to reinforce the feelings of your past that help you cope with the present and the future.
But remember that the past can be recalled but cannot come back. Nostalgia does not give you back what you have lost but it helps you to better manage the life you are living.