I’ve noticed recently that, especially as we gradually get back to normal life, that nostalgia has played heavily in the latest trends and what we anticipate for the future.
Nostalgia has always been present in everyone’s life, but I’ve never had to consider it a ‘trend’ before.
It makes sense. We have been in lockdown for over a year and I’m sure you’ve all thought non-stop about what you used to be able to do and what you miss about pre-covid life.
Nostalgia has even crept into Gen Z fashion trends (who would have thought that baggy jeans would make a comeback?)
But what are we gaining from nostalgia? And why does it have such a powerful effect on us?
The term nostalgia was coined by a scientist in the 17th century who wanted to delve further into the yearning that soldiers had to return home. This homesickness was initially seen as a mental condition as it drained their energy and spirits.
Even with the rooting of nostalgia being quite bleak, it then led to that feeling you get from past memories to be seen as more of a comfort. Unsurprisingly, studies have shown that nostalgia tends to be most present in young adults, as it tends to be used as an escape mechanism as they move forward from childhood to young adulthood.
Nowadays, it’s one of the most powerful marketing tools and has, in a way, brought generations together as teenagers find our walkmans and flannel shirts ‘Lit’.
You cannot stop a trend, you have to let it run its course.
After explaining the background of nostalgia and how it is now seen as a badge of honor, could this be hindering us in any way from personal growth and development?
Nostalgia can be used for many beneficial reasons such as:
- Building on who you were and who you would like to become
- Taking any anxiety you feel from nostalgia and learning from it
- Remembering to reach out to loved ones and continue connections
Let’s however remember not to hide away by using the mask that nostalgia can create for you.
That warm feeling you get is comforting and can be used for the better, but ensure that it is not holding you back. For example:
- You are living in the past and therefore not moving forward
- You are comparing present life to the past and losing motivation
- Nostalgia is a way to hide from present issues by living in that warm feeling and not addressing today.
I never would have believed that a neurological function would ever become a trend. It seems anything can happen. It’s worth remembering that just as trends come and go, your feelings, emotions, and goals ebb and flow too.
So, nostalgia can help build on your goals, but always consider what you want now and how you can get there in the future.