If you want to be happy try a good old dose of nostalgia. For those not familiar with that term it is defined in the dictionary as, “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.”
With all the madness in 2020 I’ve thought quite a lot about happy memories from my childhood the times I played barbie dolls with my sisters or created entire cities out of chalk on the driveway with my brothers. I had such an awesome childhood growing up with my nine siblings playing kick-the-can…happy memories indeed.
Thinking about happy memories from the past is a great way to lift your spirits in the present. I’ve had a lot of fun this year collecting vintage toys I played with when I was kid. Each one I find brings with it a flood of happy memories.
A study conducted at the University of Southampton England stated that nostalgia is “a source of great strength, enabling the individual to face the future.” Not only does it increase overall happiness, they found that nostalgia raises optimism, evokes inspiration, boost creativity, builds compassion and empathy, and increases self-esteem. The study states that: “…nostalgia is now emerging as a fundamental human strength. It is part of the fabric of everyday life and serves at least four key psychological functions: It generates positive affect, elevates self-esteem, fosters social connectedness, and alleviates existential threat. By so doing, nostalgia can help one navigate successfully the vicissitudes of daily life. More generally, nostalgia is uniquely positioned to offer integrative insights across such areas of psychology as memory, emotion, the self, and relationships. Nostalgia has a long past and an exciting future.”
A dose of nostalgia is a great way to fight your covid blues. Seek out a toy from your past and see if it lifts your spirts as it has mine. Here’s just a few fun pics of some the vintage toys I’ve collected so far from growing up – P.S. as an added perk my grandkids absolutely LOVE them!!!
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )