A Universal Feeling How many times have you reminisced on a certain memory and It almost felt Like you were there again? You could smell, see, and even taste that exact moment. These memories are always triggered by something, but you are not entirely sure what. You are overcome with a longing for that moment in time and the memory is so fond that you can't help but feeling warm inside. Nostalgia is the sentimental longing felt when reminiscing on the past.
It is not a feeling of melancholia but more of a bittersweet sentimentality for what once was. Nostalgia has been widely used to describe many notations but has Just recently been modified to describe a positive experience. The word nostalgia was first coined in the 17th century. The term was used to describe the medical conditions of Swiss mercenaries who longed to return home. Nostalgia soon became a name for a disease who's symptoms included fainting, high fever, stomach pain, and even death.
By the late 19th century nostalgia was discarded as a medical condition and recognized as a form of melancholia and a mentally repressive disorder. Now nostalgia has a positive meaning. It Is classified as the term to describe the exact feeling felt when thinking of past memories. Nostalgia does have a positive effect on an individual. The Oxford English Dictionary defines nostalgia as sentimental longing for a period of the past. Merriam- Webster Dictionary says is it pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again.
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The most common synonyms used when referring to nostalgia are sentimentality and yearning. The important things about these definitions are the positive tones they all have. Many people have experienced nostalgia at some point in their life, whether that be a nod memory from childhood or a strong feeling of homesickness. Many of these happy memories even trigger an euphoric feeling that takes you back to that certain place or time. These overall feelings provide a sense of comfort when life gets difficult.
Young adults find that reminiscing on past memories has helped them smoothly transition into major life changes such as moving away from home. Nostalgia has been proven to counteract boredom, anxiety, and even loneliness. When things are especially difficult in different aspects of my life I find that I begin to feel lonely. Loneliness has always been a horrible feeling to cope with because there is nothing more helpless than feeling like you don't have anyone. With that loneliness I start to question the continuity of my life.
Why am I not friends with that person anymore? What am I supposed to be doing with my life? At this point in my life everything Is changing and there isn't a stable thing that roots me to reality except for my memories. On the days that I feel anxiety or loneliness I always think of a certain memory that brings me back to a happier time. The memory Is always the same, but I can feel It better than I remember It. I remember the way the alarm feels a room window and noticing how the sun isn't quite as high as it normally is.
I remember the exact smell of the cinnamon candle that my mom starts burning every fall. This memory has no actual significance but somehow it gets rid of all the loneliness I feel and makes me feel continuity and optimism instead. Nostalgia itself does not involve any feelings of melancholia. The literal act of nostalgia is to recall a memory that is fond to you in some way. The purpose of remembering past memories is to relate them to now to provide the sense of nonentity that you need to maintain a comforting balance when life changes..
The experience of nostalgia is positive; the aftermath is not. Nostalgia is often confused with unpleasant feelings because of the longing that occurs when remembering a great experience from your past. But that longing is not an overall bad emotion it is just a reminder of all the positive things that once were. The term nostalgia has come a long way since it days of an actual medical condition to its description of a positive emotion. It is important to remember that nostalgia is not only Just a positive emotion but a positive experience.
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