This is a guest blog post from Aaron Lange. Learn more about him in the bio. If you ever guest blog for me be sure to add links in your bio for people to connect with you.
The scent of grandma’s peach cobbler, the unmistakable sound of Pat Benatar belting out “Battlefield,” a yellowing Polaroid of a small child clutching a tattered teddy bear. Nostalgia can be triggered by just about anything, and new research reveals that it may give much more than the warm fuzzies.
A 2012 study conducted by the Journal of Consumer Research found that nostalgia can increase our overall self-esteem, give us a sense of connectedness and fortify our perception of the meaning of life. The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of Southampton took the study even further, bridging feelings of nostalgia to heightened charitable giving. Participants were more interested in donating to earthquake victims if they had first been asked to think about a nostalgic event. Another Southampton study found that nostalgia is so powerful, that it has the ability to make us physically warmer. The study had participants rate their perception of a room’s temperature (after being placed in rooms of varying temp) after being exposed to nostalgic stimulation, and those with the strongest nostalgic thoughts consistently perceived warmer temperatures, despite the actual climate.
Nostalgia seems to make us more empathetic, less lonely, happier and apparently warmer. Emotion and reason seem to agree that tapping into your nostalgic side is a great way to celebrate and thrive, so don’t forget to pay homage to your favorite memories before they slip away:
Bring New Digital Life to Old Media
You probably have yellowing photo albums, spools of homemade films and tattered envelopes of negatives you haven’t looked at in years. Print and film is notoriously fragile. Converting film into digital copies allows you to be nostalgic and preserve those memories. Most of us don’t have the time or technological expertise to scan and retouch all of our old family media to digital, but professional services do it for you. Costco or Walgreens can digitize old slides and prints for as low as 29 cents per image. You can transform your unorganized boxes of media, including prints, negatives, slides, VHS and 8mm to DVD at Dig My Pics.
Treat Your Ears to Old Tunes
When you’re stuck in traffic, at the gym, on a walk, running errands or doing chores, treat your ears to the good old days. Browse iTunes and create playlists devoted to your favorite songs from the past. Reminding yourself of your wedding, your grade-school musical or the rock concert you snuck out to see in high school is a surefire way to bring a smile to your face. If you can’t remember the songs that framed your youth, YouTube has channels devoted to every era.
Let Your Nose Know
Scent is the most powerful sense associated with memories. Taking a walk in freshly cut grass might be enough to trigger the excitement you felt when you rounded home plate and won the district championship for your team. Or, perhaps it has been awhile since you’ve let yourself indulge in a pecan pie, but making one from scratch will take you right back to grandma’s kitchen. Sometimes smells are hard to recreate, but scent nostalgia is so powerful that it has even prompted designers like Tobias Wong to create newsprint scented candles ($65) and companies like Demeter to produce crayon scented cologne spray (21.99).
About the Author
Name: Aaron Lange
Bio: A Web designer and adjunct professor, Aaron shares the latest blogging tips and trends.