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Domingo, 03 / 11 / 19

The Psychology of Nostalgia: Why Do We Feel a Longing for the Past?

Lottie Miles.

learning-mind.com

November 3rd, 2019.

 
psychology of nostalgia.

 

 
Should we dwell on the past? Until recently, psychologists would likely have argued not to. However, longing for the past, otherwise known as nostalgia, is now gaining recognition as a useful tool for people fighting anxiety and depression. As a result, nostalgia is a growing focus of global inquiry and research in psychology.
 
In this post, we will look at what nostalgia is, what causes nostalgia, and what some of the psychological benefits of nostalgia, and potential pitfalls, can be.
 
What is nostalgia?
 
“A feeling of sadness mixed with pleasure and affection when you think of happy times in the past” (Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries)
 
Coined by a 17th Century Swiss military doctor, the word itself is rooted in the Greek words nostos (meaning longing for a return home) and algos (the pain linked to this longing).
 
Similarly, in “Nostalgia: A Neuropsychiatric Understanding”, nostalgia psychologist Alan Hirsch links nostalgia to a yearning for the past. However, the past longed for is an idealized version of itself, with positive emotions existing in your memory with the accompanying “negative emotions filtered out”.
 
Nevertheless, whilst nostalgia is rooted in a somewhat rose-tinted version of the past, recent studies have shown that nostalgia can offer new perspectives on our present state of being, reminding us of our connectivity with others.
 
Indeed, Hepper et. al.’s study across 18 countries and 5 continents on ‘Pancultural nostalgia’ found nostalgia encouraged feelings of empathy and social connection and even worked as a form of antidote to feelings of loneliness and depression.
 
What causes nostalgia, according to psychology?
 
Whether we are going through tough times, or things are simply changing in our personal lives, memories of simpler times are a common refuge that can provide us solace.
 
Furthermore, research has shown that nostalgia is a common response to change. As such, when we are going through a transition in our lives, be it becoming an adult, reaching retirement age, moving to a new country or even struggling to cope with technological advances, we are driven to nostalgic yearning.
 
Interestingly then, nostalgia is typically caused by negative emotions but typically fosters an improved mood and increases positive emotions. However, this nostalgia comes with a bittersweet taste, since we can only experience the good times intangibly and fleetingly.
 
Moreover, a 1985 psychoanalytic paper on nostalgia found extreme cases of nostalgia could be debilitative due to this search for something that never truly was there.
 
Given this, should we view nostalgia as a malady to overcome or a useful tool to help guide us through turbulent waters?
 
The psychological benefits of nostalgia
 
Researchers into the psychology of nostalgia at the University of Southampton have found that nostalgia can act as a neurological defense system that helps us to overcome negative thoughts or experiences.
 
Nostalgia achieves this as it helps people to achieve a temporary change in how they perceive their current state. This enables them the strength to persevere through hard times. Moreover, by connecting people with their past in their own mind’s eye, it reminds them that their present state of being is temporary.
 
So even if they are feeling isolated in the present, nostalgia reminds them of intimacy they have achieved in the past and reminds them that positive times can lie ahead and that they are not alone.
 
Nostalgia also has benefits for the wider community, with people in nostalgic states having been found in the same study to be more likely to demonstrate altruistic traits and commit to volunteering.
 
Similarly, children who have been encouraged to think about the past more, making them more prone to feelings of nostalgia, were found to be less likely to demonstrate selfish traits.
 
Nostalgia has also been shown to have physiological as well as psychological effects. For example, Zhou et al.’s 2012 study on the psychology of nostalgia found that participants in their study who were left in a cold room were more likely to experience nostalgia.
 
Moreover, they found that those experiencing nostalgia perceived the ambient temperature to be higher and could tolerate colder conditions than participants not reporting feelings of nostalgia.
 
The great news is, a single positive memory last’s a lifetime so even for those with troubled pasts, nostalgia can be a useful psychological tool to draw upon to help people navigate troublesome waters.
 
A cautionary note
 
As already alluded to, nostalgia was previously seen as a malady rather than a potentially useful tool to fight against depression. Indeed, if we allow ourselves to retreat too much into the romanticized past we have created for ourselves, then it can have negative implications.
 
This relates to something Barbara B. Stern termed ‘Historical Nostalgia’, or the desire to escape from the present into an unreachable, imaginary, and idealized past. Therefore, it is important to take care to not rely too heavily on nostalgia as the major benefits are felt in its transitory effects.
 
Nostalgia can be a useful tool to help us overcome challenges in our lives, help us feel connected to others when we are feeling isolated or alone, and even foster improved connections with our community.
 
So next time you feel wistful about the past, enjoy it and let this natural response to life’s changes give you hope for a brighter tomorrow.
 
References:
 
Lottie Miles
 
 



 
About the Author: Lottie Miles


 
Lottie Miles is a professional researcher and writer with a passion for human rights. She has 4 years of experience working within the NGO sector and has a Masters Degree in Social Policy. She has a keen interest in exploring ways in which happiness habits can help to improve mental health and wellbeing. In her spare time, she likes doing crossword puzzles, painting and traveling.
 
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No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
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publicado por achama às 21:50
Sábado, 02 / 11 / 19

Saudade: A Profound Emotional State You’ve Probably Experienced

Becky Storey.

https://www.learning-mind.com/

November 1st, 2019.



 
Saudade is a Portuguese word. Its meaning is so complex that cannot be translated into one single word. It has a notoriously complicated definition which can be difficult to explain. There is no English word that it translates to, instead, we use entire phrases, to sum up, its depth.
 
Saudade is often thought to be a kind of nostalgia, but even that isn’t quite right to describe this profound emotion. When you feel saudade, you are experiencing a deep and profound emotion. This emotion is more akin to yearning, pining and longing.
 
The correct version of saudade defines it as a desire for something that once was. It combines the sadness for something that has gone, whilst still being happy as you think of the memories.
 
For example, you would feel saudade for a loved one who has passed away. You would experience a deep sense of sadness at their loss and long for their return. However, you might also be experiencing happy moments as you fondly remember the good times you shared.
 
Simply put, it is a combination of sadness and happiness directed towards something you wish would come back. Sadness for the loss, happiness for the memories, or thoughts of what could have been.
Saudade and Its Origins
 
Like most words, saudade gets its roots from Latin. Ancient versions of the word can be loosely translated to “solitude”. It wasn’t until the 13th-15th centuries when the word developed its modern meaning in Portugal.
 
During the Great Portuguese Discoveries, men would be sent off on ships to discover new territories and wage wars for possession. Their wives, children and loved ones would be left behind. As the men sailed off around the globe, their families would pine for their return.
 
It wasn’t uncommon for the men to go missing in action. This left their grieving families uncertain if they were dead or alive. Saudade is a word perfectly designed to describe the loss they felt.
 
The country experienced a phase of melancholy among its people. Those left behind would dream with the hope of their return, sometimes naively. They wallowed in the sadness that came from missing their husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons.
 
Joy, however, was also in the mix. The people of Portugal were proud of the achievements their men were making. They remembered fondly the times they had with the men who had left. Their loved ones also tried to stay optimistic about the times they would have after they returned home and the golden age their discoveries would bring to Portugal. The only way to sum this up was “saudade.”
 
In the 20th century, this feeling had a resurgence amongst the Portuguese people. As emigration to America and the rest of Europe became popular, so did this confusing emotion.
 
People who had moved away to start new lives felt saudade for the home they had left behind. They fondly remembered their home country and the people in it. They often longed to be back there, though they knew they had to stay.
 
The new countries they settled in were strange and made them wistful for the familiar safety of Portugal again. As the Portuguese started to describe this feeling as saudade to the people in their new countries, the word started to spread.
 
Saudade Versus Nostalgia
 
Though nostalgia is the closest the English language gets to saudade, it’s still not quite the same. Nostalgia is a feeling you get when you feel happy thinking of the past.
 
We get nostalgic for our childhoods because they were joyful and carefree. We feel nostalgic for old television shows or even music because they remind us of those good times. Saudade is more closely connected to sadness. It is a sense of longing or yearning for the past.
 
Saudade can also apply to more than nostalgia ever could. You can feel it for people, places, phases of life and even things that never happened at all. Unlike nostalgia, which is a joyful memory and even wishful return of the past, saudade can be theoretical.
 
So, How Does It Feel?
 
Saudade can be felt for things that never happened at all, like longing for “the one that got away”. In this case, you would be feeling a deep sadness from missing them and wishing they would be back in your life. You might also feel a sense of happiness when you consider what could have been and the good moments you could have had.
 
Saudade can also come on pre-emptively. Imagine your last summer before leaving for college (even hypothetically). The emotions you feel are a complicated mix of sadness and happiness. Your heart might ache, thinking of how much you’ll miss your home and friends.
 
You might also feel happiness, for all the good times you’ve had. Somehow, this happiness could also make you feel more sadness when you consider all that you’ll be losing. This complicated mix of emotions sums up exactly what defines saudade.
 
In 1912, Aubrey Bell, a Scholar, and Author tried to summarize this in his book In Portugal. It became one of the most renowned descriptions of this untranslatable word:
 
“a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present, a turning towards the past or towards the future.”
 
This tells us even more that saudade is a nostalgia for something that could have been, not just something you’ve lost. Next time you’re yearning for what was or what could have been, know there is a word for how you feel. Saudade will put a face to the complicated emotions of a bittersweet feeling of loss.
 
References:

 
Becky Storey
 


 

About the Author: Becky Storey


 
Becky Storey is a professional writer who has been passionate about the way we think and the human mind since she developed chronic anxiety many years ago. Now she loves to write and educate people on mental health and wellbeing. When Becky is not writing, you’ll find her outside with her Labrador, sitting behind a jigsaw puzzle, or baking something with too much sugar.
 
Copyright © 2012-2019 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.
 



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No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


 

 

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publicado por achama às 00:12
Segunda-feira, 13 / 05 / 19

7 Signs You Could Be Living a Lie without Even Knowing It ~ Sherrie.

7 Signs You Could Be Living a Lie without Even Knowing It.

By Sherrie.

May 12th, 2019

 

Could you actually be living a lie? It’s possible that society’s expectations have forced you to be something you’re not and living a fake life.
I’ve been living a lie. Yes, me. In fact, on many separate occasions, I have lived different lies. Eventually, I’ve pulled myself free and thoroughly cleansed all the crusty fakeness away for a while.
But, for some reason, it slowly grows back, gradually accumulating around my personality and changing me into something I no longer recognize. It can really be this serious, you guys. I think it’s a daily struggle, really.

So, what is living in a lie?

To live a fake life, or lie is to act or do things you really wouldn’t do. These are things that often make you feel uncomfortable or portray yourself in a disguise. Those who “wear masks” are examples of people who live lies. Let me give you an example.
So, I hate going on “girls’ night out” things. You know what I mean. Well, when I was living a lie, I forced myself to do this a time or two. Unfortunately, the situation was so uncomfortable that I secretly hated being there, so bad, that I grew nauseated.
I was living a lie, but no one knew how sick I felt by trying so hard. Uggh. Thank goodness, I hated living this particular lie.

Are you living a false life?

So, maybe this is about as clear as mud to some of you, so I will provide a few signs. These are signs that you might be living a life that’s not your own.
Maybe it’s so subtle that you never realized it before. Well, now’s the time to crack the code and do some spring cleaning within your character. There’s no need to live a lie. Read on.

1. You do what society wants

If you’re living a false life, you will always be concerned about what society wants. What you want out of life will take the backseat to what’s popular, what’s trendy, and the all the rest of the peer pressure.
You must fit in, or even rise above, and society must know this. You give society what it wants and then some.

2. You have a fan club

There are good friends, then there are associates. Then, there are what I like to call, “the fan club”. The fan club is the group of people who praise you for your deeds and looks on a regular basis.
This group of people usually keep an eye on you and expect a certain amount of good deeds, new possessions, or new plans to always be rotating. The fan club needs something to adore and you give it to them on a regular basis, sometimes ignoring your own real needs and the needs of your loved ones.

3. Following through, no matter what

Yes, it’s great to follow through on plans and choices. I get it. But, when it comes to realizing you’ve made the wrong choice if you’re living a lie, you will follow through anyway, despite the consequences.
The healthy choice would be to follow through as long as the focus is the same. If not, then it’s okay to change your mind. Those living in a lie believe others see changing your mind as a weakness. Know the difference and you will understand this sign.

4. Practicing facial expressions and laughs

One of the most noticeable signs that you could be living life in a lie is your habit of rehearsing facial expressions, laughs and even speeches.
Instead of just being your authentic self and winging it, you must be prepared and offer the world your best rendition of you. Did you get that? A rendition, not the real you, this is what you will present to the world, thus fake.

5. You will be sad

One sign that you’re not living the true life is your predisposition to sadness. You will be sad quite a bit, but you will try to hide this sadness because it’s not part of the façade you’ve created.
But, since you’re not really happy about the life you’ve created, you will remain sad anyway. Most people who fit into your plan will not notice the sadness, but the ones closest to you, in reality, will notice.
Keep this in mind. If you know someone who is sad or depressed quite a bit, try to figure out if they are indeed lying to themselves about their life.

6. You’re bored…always

When you’re not living your best life, you will always be bored. Nothing will be fulfilling because you’re usually doing things others like to do instead of what you really love.
Things like hanging out with friends constantly, vying for attention or talking on the phone/texting/emailing constantly – all are signs of terrible boredom. They are also signs that you’re living a lie.

7. Loss of identity

Who are you? If you cannot answer this question without mentioning others, then you have no idea of your own identity or worth. This means you have been living a life that’s not really your own.
This will only be noticeable when having deep discussions with some of the few genuine people that remain in your life. If you’re being questioned about your identity, just pay attention and learn what you can about your true predicament.

Living a lie is never a good thing

No matter how easy it may seem, or how pre-made this life may feel, it’s not the life for you – not the fake one. I believe if there were more genuine people in the world, the world, in general, would be a much better place.
If you are living a lie or you know someone who is playing it fake like this, don’t be afraid to improve. Being the real you is the only you that’s supposed to be.
Think about it!
References:
  1. https://www.theguardian.com
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
About the Author: Sherrie

Sherrie is a freelance writer and artist with over 10 years of experience. She spends most of her time giving life to the renegade thoughts. As the words erupt and form new life, she knows that she is yet again free from the nagging persistence of her muse. She is a mother of three and a lifetime fan of the thought-provoking and questionable aspects of the universe.

COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.
 

 



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Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 

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publicado por achama às 04:13
A Luz está a revelar a Verdade, e esta libertar-nos-á! -Só é real o AMOR Incondicional. -Quando o Amor superar o amor pelo poder, o mundo conhecerá a Paz; Jimi Hendrix. -Somos almas a ter uma experiência humana!

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