Photo by Travis Yewell on Unsplash
The start of the new decade has put everyone’s mental health in an unpredictable tail spin. With the unknowns of normalcy lingering on everyone’s head, we all need some kind of relief. A possible solution? Taking a trip back in time; back to when things were at its most simple. Whether it be those 80s and 90s TV shows, movies, and music that bring us back or going through an old photo album to bring those carefree moments that the world felt like it was in an equilibrium. While this trip down memory lane may seem like a solution, like anything there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Let’s explore.
Take Me Back
Nostalgia is capable of giving us that small kick of relief from the good times that we return back to. Sometimes, we think about that time we took that road trip and got into all kinds of trouble, or we think about that time we celebrated a friend’s birthday and ended up in a VIP area, or we think about that time that we were at that family party with our friends just being happy. Nostalgia has been shown to be beneficial whenever we are going through transitional and traumatic periods in our life; right now has been one of the biggest transitions and while it has made it hard to feel that much needed sentimentality, we can always turn to old entertainment that was there to make us feel carefree. Watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Boy Meets World, Sister Sister, Caso Cerrado, or any other show that you watched during your adolescence that gives that warm fuzzy feeling can help you get that emotion going. Your emotional state will become more stabilized with the reassurance of the small things that have helped create the person you are. We are still the kid that won the science fair, that kid who was dancing on their bed to their childhood songs, and the person who gave money to that homeless mother. You can feel how far you have come from the simplest things that have been a part of your growing experience. However, nostalgia can also suck us into the past and make it difficult for us to move forward.
Too Much of A Good Thing
While those emotions that are evoked through nostalgia can help us get through our next coming of age chapter, it can prevent us from continuing to write our story. Personal nostalgia and historic nostalgia are two very different things. The personal nostalgia we feel with memories and entertainment is looking back at how far we have come while historic nostalgia can trap us in a completely different chapter in our lives. Historic nostalgia tends to be rereading the same chapter, over and over again. That ideal world that you once lived in, may it be living in another country, college dorm years, or that year you were top in your class; they have passed because you have evolved past that. Our evolution is something to smile about because they consist of a series of memories that we fondly look back on to help motivate us into the future. We need nostalgia at the end of the day to reflect on ourselves but, the temptation of recreating a world that doesn’t exist anymore, it will only hurt you in the end.
The best way to describe nostalgia is bittersweet, it is the happy memories that fuel the pleasant emotions and the passing time that makes it so hard to believe the moment has passed. While we need those nostalgic moments in our lives to remind us how wonderful it has been, it helps fuel the greatness we have within ourselves to create more moments of achievements, laughter, and happiness that we can look back and continue to see how we try to be a better version of ourselves everyday.
Source: The Conversation