Nostalgia is the meaning of recalling old memories and sentiments of the past where you have lived the life of your dreams, but sometimes it can have a downside too that inspires your bad experiences in life. It’s a term of psychology that is often used in positive manners where it produces serotonin hormones and makes a person’s presence pleasant.
But having your thoughts on something you cannot reclaim and all you have now are memories affects your present unpleasantly. Hence, the nostalgic depression began from hopelessness and dissatisfaction. When your emotions start defusing, and your feelings get disappointment, you conclude that it’s getting hard for you to accept the present and forget the past.
Old Memories and Depression Linkage
Old memories are like a parrot in a cage who doesn’t want to imprison but cannot fly after the cell. Research shows that old memories, whether good or bad, can cause a depression that includes severe symptoms and mental illness, including forgetfulness and confusion. Declarative and autobiographical are the main types of memories that cause depression.
What is Declarative Memory?
Declarative memory is a type of memory that you recall consciously, and you know that the information you are remembering has passed, but still, you are storing it and trying to retrieve it. The best example is recognizing when you first went to school and rode a bicycle. It involves long-term memory recalling and storing.
What is Autobiographical Memory?
It is a type of memory when we do something to remember. We need to store it in our mind and attempt it again if did it wrong. The best example is when we do our homework or solve maths problems. Autobiographical memory helps in exams or house chores. You eventually remember that you last kept the jewelry box at your side table.
Nostalgic depression is different from standard medical conditions. It originated from psychology and is directly connected with mental health and sentiments. Mostly, Nostalgia happens with people having the problem of overthinking and worrying. Nostalgia is the root of overthinking; when you start recalling memories, it depends on your mood on their sentiments and diverts your emotions to be positive or negative according to the consequences of those memories leading you to be patient with nostalgic depression. But don’t worry; there is also a way to cope with reflective depression successfully.
Coping Tips for Nostalgic Depression
If the present is no more entertaining because you always looked back and went into depression, these tips may help you cope with old memories.
Remove the word “I wish” from your dictionary because it will always throw you into an inferiority complex and never let you live the present with whatever you have. Realism means being agreeable and grateful for what you have at the moment because the past has gone, and it will never come back. The life you have spent might have a good, but if you think positively and live your life of today, it will gather immense joy and happiness to you. Also, it will increase your happier times and positive emotions.
Do not complain about what you lose but always be grateful for what you have. Because loss may not recover, but recalling your loss with sorrow may destroy the happiness of your present. Also, the ungrateful people cannot produce serotonin (hormones of positivity) in their mind, which cause severe depression. Old memories are good to remember but with a limit. Overloaded thoughts and continuously looking back for old memories will make your mental health worse, which may cause short-term memory loss. You will not remember the happenings of the past but will feel sorry for the memories of two years ago.
Mindfulness is another significant source to cope with old memories and depression. When you consciously focus on something, you notice that thoughts are just visitors. Let them visit and go. Also, mindfulness helps develop and strengthen your mental capabilities to understand things rapidly and overcome your loss without regrating. You may find yourself missing your long-ago moments when you first met your best friend in the class and shared your lunch. These Nostalgic thoughts will make you depressed about ‘then’ and ‘now.’ However, it would help if you spent more time doing mindfulness and should focus on all the things you have now but were not in the past.
It’s hard to address your feelings and emotions when you miss your lost friends or family members. You started feeling lonely, and your stubborn mind refused to pay attention to the work. In that case, you should return to the relationships and friends in the present. Relationships require attention, love, care, and time to grow, and once they are grown, you will not feel lonely again. So, you should spend more time with your family, your soul mate, or with the friends, you have right now instead of crying about those who left you or are no more with you. If possible, you may return to your friends whom you are missing. Everyone knows that new relationships cannot fulfill the emptiness of past relationships. Still, you have another chance to build a strong bond with the new person this time, as you failed to do in your past relationships.
Seeking Support from Professionals
As I mentioned before, Nostalgia is not a medical condition, so it will be difficult for the psychotherapist to find out the reason behind depression. However, he can still help you treat your emotional distress, further treating Nostalgia. Depression slows down the energy level and affects the immune system. It also makes you separate from your relationships, resulting in ending relationships. Meanwhile, connecting with a mental health professional may help you rapidly overcome your mental depression.
Downsides of Nostalgia
The human mind remembers more bad memories as compared to good memories. What will you recall the most? When do your parents scold you for not doing homework? But you will not place when your parents appreciate your good performance. Same as you will remember when someone hurt you, but you will not remember when someone favored you. What’s wrong with recalling the good memories? It will increase your happier times and will emphasize your mental health too.
The downsides of Nostalgia include the symptoms of nostalgic depression.
Worry and Overthinking
Unwanted thoughts can scold you whenever you try to live in the present. Research shows that most university students are involved in overthinking and often feel more depressed while talking about their past or old memories. The habit of worrying about every other problem also may occur memory loss.
You will feel sad about every little to the big problem. The emotion of happiness will eliminate from your life. Whenever you look back on the past, you might think that you missed a chance to lighten up your life. Most youths seem hopeful, but when you cross this age and look back, you feel regrating yourself for not achieving your desired goals.
Loneliness and loss
Loneliness and loss also occur when you feel distanced from your loved ones or from whom you cannot reunite again. You feel deprived of relationships that cause depression.
Upsides of Nostalgia
Nostalgia is not negative every time. It also has positive aspects that psychologists address.
Strong self- Identity
Sometimes, looking back on the past make you realize how beautifully you have grown up and make yourself stable by coping with severe problems. These are the life experiences that will build your personality and groom you.
Value of Life
Recalling your accomplished goals from the past adds value to your life and makes it remarkable how you made efforts in achieving your life objectives. For example, you started your business two years ago from scratch, and now you are earning well.
Recalling Of Belongings
When Nostalgia depresses you with loneliness, it also contributes to remembering those beautiful belongings and connections when you were united with your loved ones. Those feelings are enough to feel joy, like how you make those moments treasure in your life. Rest all depends on the mentality and thinking of the person and how positively he can think or remember.
Motivation and Inspiration
Isn’t it new to know about Nostalgia? Yes, Nostalgia will motivate you to work better in your present and to set dynamic goals for your future. But, you will have to remember only good times, when you did a splendid job when something good happened to you, the moments when you made your parents feel proud, and many more. It will produce the serotonin hormones (the hormones of positivity) to increase your happier times without depression.
Old memories can dig you deeper into the past, depress you for a long time, and can be a barrier to making your Identity in the present world. But also, it can be a reason for you to get inspired and motivated for your future goals, set alluring strategies for your future, and develop your groomed personality.