6 Ways That Feeling Nostalgic Actually Alters Your Brain

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Do you love feeling nostalgic? Nostalgia is often known as that specific feeling of longing for times that have passed and remembering things that happened in the past. Nostalgia is one of the most common human emotions. It often makes you feel good to think about happy times from your past.

Interestingly enough, nostalgia can also change your brain, according to science. Here are some of the ways.

1. Nostalgia combines your memory and the reward system in your brain

How Nostalgia Impacts Your Mood
By Tim bates | Wikimedia Commons

When we come across something that is a meaningful, happy memory, certain neurons fire in the brain. These neurons can be connected to happiness, emotional processing, and other positive feelings. When we see something that is nostalgic to us personally, it often makes you feel good right? This is the connection.

2. It makes you more optimistic

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That good feeling you get when you feel nostalgic? If you keep feeling it, over time you can become a more optimistic and positive person in general. It can also cause an increase in self-esteem.

3. It can literally and figurately warm you up

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You might feel more nostalgic in winter months because of the holidays and festivities. Do you ever notice that you actually feel a warm sensation? They say nostalgia warms your heart, but studies have shown that people literally feel warmer too. This could be due to that same reward system in the brain that will make you feel more comfortable.

4. There is a reason you see so many nostalgic advertisements

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It can be effective in changing your decision making. Have you ever noticed that a lot of advertisements use nostalgia to advertise their products? Studies have shown if you feel nostalgic, you might spend more money too. For example, Coca-Cola often uses nostalgia in their ads.

5. It can block negative emotions

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Sure, you can feel nostalgic about negative or sad times, but chances are you like to focus on the happy times of the past. Studies have shown that the more nostalgic a person is, the less they focus on negative emotions or feel guilt or remorse about the past.

6. It can help change your bad habits

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If you are a smoker, you might be able to stop by being nostalgic about life before cigarettes. People have found this to be a more effective way to stop smoking instead of learning about the dangers of cigarettes. Emotions from the past can be powerful tools to help move you in the right direction in terms of habits because of our brain’s reward system. Use it to your advantage!

Nostalgia can be very complex and lead to interesting emotions. Do you love being nostalgic and looking to the past? Chances are you do if you are reading this website!

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