When you hear things like “Etch-A-Sketch”, “Roller Disco”, “8-Track Tapes”, “Panavision” you may break out into a fond smile. Being reminded of past enjoyments can unlock memories and fond stories to go along with them.
If you’ve ever taken a trip to the old neighborhood where you grew up, you may have been overwhelmed with the number of memories that came rushing back. Returning to familiar places can help you remember and relive experiences, friends, and good times you had there. The memories can provide a new perspective that time can provide.
Research has found that delving into the past can benefit you today. There are many benefits of nostalgia that allow older Americans to resolve issues from their past, deal with negative emotions, and come to a more mature understanding of their lives, which also benefits their health.
The Benefits of Nostalgia and Reminiscing
Studies have shown reminiscing can lower blood pressure and heart rates. Reminiscing can also provide a host of other benefits:
- Resolution of negative emotions
Sharing memories and recalling stories can provide opportunities for laughter and connecting with others.
- Stress Relief
Reminiscing has been shown to reduce stress and its effects like headaches, back pain, indigestion, and heart palpitations. It can also relieve cognitive and emotional issues such as poor concentration, indecisiveness, and irritability.
- Enhance Personal Value
Recalling the past can provide several benefits of nostalgia – such as reminding you of your accomplishments and your contributions to family, friends, and others.
- Encourage Emotional Strength and Confidence
Remembering the past and how one overcame challenges and obstacles can provide the strength and assurance for older people that they can handle current issues.
Focus on Favorite Memories
Even talking about favorite movies, preparing a favorite family recipe, or what foreign countries you’ve visited can open a wellspring of favorite memories that can spur happiness and engagement. Looking at old photographs, listening to familiar songs, the taste of food, or even scents can bring back moments perhaps long forgotten can be memories to savor.