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A Stroll Down “Memory Lane” Shows Signs Of Wellness For The Brain!

Finally!  I feel absolutely vindicated for being the nostalgic, hopeless romantic that “lives in the past” frequently revisiting those “Good Old Days,” and now I know why!

Are you a “Frequent Flier” to thoughts of people and days gone by?  Do you often hear you should “Stop living in the past?”  Do old family pictures, or songs sometimes cause you to tear or laugh?  Well then do not ever stop reminiscing!  Nostalgia Buffs and Time Travelers can rejoice over a new study reported by The New York Times found that we do not have a “disorder” as many in society previously believed.

This study conducted by psychologist, Time Wildschut of the University of Southhampton in England debunks the notion that people who enjoy reminiscing are not depressed, sick, or unable to accept society today, actually, they are reliving stress, anxiety and gaining more closeness with their friends and loved ones by stimulating feelings of warmth, comfort and satisfaction of having lived a meaningful life!  This behavior may, in fact be the very reason nostalgia became such a “popular” practice in the first place.

Becoming “nostalgic” is triggered by feelings of lonliness, or isolation, mostly experienced by people in some form of transition period they are going through.  For example, a divorce, a young adult leaving home for the first time, death of a loved one or loss of a pet.  Some may believe that “thinking about what has left our lives” only makes one feel worse, however, this study found that to be untrue.  In fact,  nostalgia seems to make us feel better by returning our minds to special and beloved moments of  people, places and things we have cherished.

Want more benefits of a trip down Memory Lane?

The research also found that reminiscing can cause us to feel more generous and warmly romantic with our partners!  (Take that Mr. “Living-In-the-Moment!)

These  benefits have been shown to cross all cultural borders and societies, bringing the same results to ALL people regardless of race, color or religion.  So Memory Lane is an international roadway with only positive destinations for those who chose to travel it!

Break out the photo albums, old movies, LPs and box of old letters, and fight the feeling of isolation, anxiety or loss by strolling back-in-time!  Remind yourself of who you are, where you have been, who you loved and who loved you and never fear you’re wrong for doing so!  Memories exist to keep our pasts alive.  Remember that!


Read more posts by Leo Battenhausen, MSW, addiction and mental health counselor.  Leo is a blogger for JenningsWire.