Reminiscence is the behavior of reflecting on your past while nostalgia is the emotional response that reminiscence can trigger. Clay Routledge, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at North Dakota State University, just published a study that extols the benefits of reminiscing to induce nostalgia.
The study determined that allowing ourselves to re-live memories results in a general feeling of happiness, higher self-esteem, to feel closer to loved ones, and to feel that life has more meaning. The study also discovered an unexpected side effect of reminiscing – our bodies warm up.
A related study in 2013 conducted by Erica Hepper, Ph.D., demonstrated that nostalgia can produce increased optimism about the future. And reflection doesn’t only affect our introspective lives. Hepper writes that people donate more generously to charity after a moment of nostalgia. Sharing nostalgic stories forms bonds with romantic partners, friends, and relatives, growing support and consideration and stymieing arguments.
Both Dr. Hepper and Dr. Routledge recommend using little reminders – scents, phrases, fabrics, or pictures – to provoke moments of nostalgia during times of stress or negativity. Nostalgia brings perspective and just makes you feel good.
What better way to induce nostalgia than with a portrait of an old home or a family estate? At House Portraits by Deb, we work with you to create art that should trigger reminiscence with every viewing. Contact us today to start your project.