What is the psychological explanation for nostalgia


Nostalgia describes the longing turning to past objects or practices, whereby nostalgia can refer to one's own life as well as to times not personally experienced - collective nostalgia. The word nostalgia is derived from the Greek nostos (return) and algos (pain), i.e. homesickness.

Often times, nostalgia is one Mixture of joy and sadness, although, paradoxically, it is mainly positive memories that can put people in a sad mood. Feeling nostalgic is an emotional peculiarity of human beings that was sometimes even earlier devalued as pathological. Nostalgia was also considered to be a disease associated with sadness, irregular heartbeat, and loss of appetite mental disorder that is accompanied by anxiety and insomnia. Psychodynamic Approaches interpreted nostalgia as suppressed Obsessive-compulsive disease, an unconscious need to return to an earlier stage of life or as a form of depression.

However, nostalgia often only arises in response to depression or loneliness, whereby it tries to reduce both as a psychological solution by conveying an earlier positive self-image and social solidarity, because in a nostalgic retrospective, the positive emotions usually outweigh the negative emotions. That is also decisive for nostalgic feelings Experience your own identity or. continuity, because in the moment of nostalgia we feel a close connection to the person we once were, so that nostalgia can also make it easier to deal with new challenges. Only when the feeling prevails that one has far fewer opportunities at the moment than before does nostalgia become a painful reminder of what has been irretrievably lost.

Iyer, A., & Jetten, J. (2011). What's left behind: Identity continuity moderates the effect of nostalgia on well-being and life choices. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 94-108.

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