Holiday reminiscing can have psychological benefits says Krystine Batcho, PhD, a Nostalgia Expert. This is something that Forget Me Not Book is very interested in as we start to plan our Christmas celebrations this year and how we all tend to look back on Christmas past and the continuing of family traditions.

Dr Batcho says that people tend to feel more nostalgic over the holidays as we re connect with family and friends through face to face contact, cards, posts on social networking sites and phone calls. We catch up on other people's lives, we reflect on past times and see what has changed. We are reminded of our childhoods, when we had less stress or were more carefree and also of the people who are most important to us. 

Music can often cause nostalgia, both good and bad. Happy music can bring back joyful memories but even songs that remind us us of loss can bring bittersweet memories characterised by nostalgia, how we have survived, enjoyed, loved and been loved. Holiday music can connect us to a people, shared tradition people, remind us of events and give us a sense of belonging.

Nostalgia is more often linked to good rather than bad memories and research has shown that it has very positive psychological benefits. Looking back, although there may have been ups and downs, it can be reassuring and we can feel strengthen by remembering our past and how rich our lives have been.

Research has shown that nostalgia can strengthen a sense of social connectedness by helping us appreciate what we have meant to others as well as what others have meant to us. Nostalgia can help a person cope with loneliness by enhancing the sense of social support that comes from knowing that each of us is someone’s daughter or son, mother or father, sister or brother. Nostalgic memories can help someone who is away from home or someone who is mourning the death of a family member by reminding us that the bonds we share with those we love survive physical separation.

Krystine Batcho's article was reported by the American Psychological Association and can be viewed in it's entirety