Does anyone ever dream or think about "the good old days?" Nostalgia is alive and well. In a recent study at the University of Southampton in England, 79% of the 172 subjects surveyed admitted to having nostalgic thoughts at least once a week and 16% reported experiencing nostalgia once a day! There is a growing body of research on the subject that is looking at the benefits of nostalgia. The HEALTHFUL benefits...what other kind of benefits are there? According to the July/August issue of Scientific American Mind magazine, the term "nostalgia" is derived "from the Greek words nostos ("return") and algos ("pain"), so that nostalgia means, literally, the suffering that results from a desire for return-to a place, to a time, to a way of life." It also was once referred to as "immigrant psychosis"...nice, but in hindsight understandable.
Finally, in 1979, sociologist Fred Davis discerned that words such as "warm", "old times", and "childhood" were being associated with nostalgia. A survey in 2006 yielded results that demonstrated that nostalgia is a "specific form of autobiographic memory; most people give themselves the starring role in nostalgic flashbacks. These glances back often focus on relationships; a third of nostalgic thoughts involve other people. And nostalgic memories quite often feature a so-called redemptive theme or master sequence-a story line that begins with a bad experience out of which something good ensures."
I'm out of the loop on this. My nostalgia involves clips (little videos) that play in my head. They involve drinking out of the hose on a hot day; watching my grand mother laugh so hard that her belly shook, her toothless mouth was open, and her corn cob pipe was held high; the clink of glasses at my parents' cocktails parties; Christmas morning-the first few moments (the sensory overload and the smiles on my dad and sister's faces) of it, just little short bursts of video. I remember mastering riding a bike, and being forced off of the diving board and then loving it.
I'm interested in others' tales of nostalgia. Does anyone match the findings described in the research? You can answer anonymously if you wish or you can share openly. I'm just curious is all.
The geek in the glasses.