Quotes to Spark Nostalgia
A little while ago, I came across a Bustle article about the ways nostalgia changes your brain. “Changes” was kind of clickbaity– a better word would just be “effects.” But the content of the article was still really interesting! One of my favorite facts was that children as young as seven can experience nostalgia. That explains why the middle school students I sub for love talking about their old Nintendo DS systems and animal bracelets. I laugh when they start talking about things they miss at 12 years old!
Of course, there are both positive and negative affects of nostalgia. I’m sure you’ve noticed that when you sit around with your friends and talk about the past, like my middle schoolers, it can make you feel pretty warm and fuzzy. But other times, like if you’re all alone and it’s night time and cold outside, those feelings of nostalgia can quickly turn into all-out sadness. How do you know what you’re gonna get? And how can we inspire some nostalgia in you today if the conditions are right?
How does Nostalgia Work?
Basically, when you see something that triggers nostalgia, neurons associated with the memory center and reward center light up in your brain. This can have a lot of different effects on your behavior– some good and some bad.
I’d rather start negative and get more positive as we go on. So, one study said that nostalgia is related to your capacity for sadness. That means if you often feel sad, you’re more likely to often feel nostalgic. If you’re a more happy-go-lucky person, you may not experience nostalgia as much. I know, kind of puts a cap on the good stuff. And at the same time, people more prone to sadness need this boost to catch up sometimes.
As for the things that could go either way– they’re just as important to note because they’re tricky! Nostalgia can help you escape feelings of guilt and shame. That sounds like a good thing! And it is for people who experience these feelings disproportionately. But it’s a slippery slope into not taking responsibility for things you should feel guilt and shame over.
Similarly, nostalgia affects decision-making. Think of how many companies rely on “the good old days” to sell you stuff. Trump relied on “the good old days” to sell us him as our president. That’s the negative side. But on the positive side, this knowledge can be powerful.
According to the Bustle article, a study done in 2013 says we may seek out nostalgia because it helps us feel more positive about the future. I did not read the study, so I cannot speak to whether or not this is true, and it seems a little far-fetched for me. If it is true, I imagine it’s because remembering our good memories may inspire hope of creating more in the future.
What I do believe is that nostalgia can give us the warm fuzzies. A study from 2012 found people experience more nostalgia when they’re literally feeling more physically cold. And haven’t you sort of found that to be true? In the fall and winter I almost look forward to that inside-kind-of-cozy that comes with thinking about Halloween and Christmas and the traditions that come with each.
The last cool thing is that it can help shift people’s habits. For example, a group of researchers exposed smokers to memories of their life before smoking, and found that they had an easier time quitting than those who didn’t get that nostalgia.
So now let’s spark that positive nostalgia with one of my favorite things: inspirational quotes!
Quotes To Bring Out Your Nostalgia
I made these pretty pictures nice and pin-able, so don’t forget to add them to your Pinterest boards!
“Appreciate everything around you before moments turn to memories.” -Unknown
“I spent my whole childhood wishing I were older, and now I’m spending my adulthood wishing I were younger.” -Ricky Schroder
“Sometimes I wish I could go back. Not to change anything, but to feel a few things twice.” -Unknown
“Wasn’t it beautiful when you believed in everything?” -Taylor Swift
“Smells could bring a person back clearer than pictures ever could.” -Anne Tyler
“You’ll never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss
“You know that place between sleep and awake, that place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I will always love you. That’s where I will be waiting.” – Peter Pan
“If you don’t do wild things while you’re young, you’ll have nothing to smile about when you’re old.” -Unknown
“We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.” Unknown
“The greatest memories are made in the most unlikely places.” -J.A. Redmerski
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss
“She often dwelled on things that might have been.” -Perry
“Oh, the places you’ll go.” -Dr. Seuss
“I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.” -Anna Quindlen
“I am all the ages I have ever been.” -Anne Lamot
“For it is up to you and me to take solace in nostalgia’s arms and our ability to create the everlasting from fleeting moments.” -Sanober Khan