A Nostalgia Definition
Make Your Past A Goldmine Of Strength & Wisdom

Authored by William G. DeFoore, Ph.D.

This nostalgia definition will not only help you understand what it means to be nostalgic, it will help you to benefit greatly from your remembering and reminiscing.

But first, you want the definition, right? OK, here it is:

"Nostalgia is looking back with a grateful and happy heart."

William DeFoore

A lot of people don't get the full benefit of nostalgia, for a couple of reasons. They let regrets and old sorrows get in their way, or they get caught in reminiscing and longing for "the good old days," so much that they miss out on the good things happening right now.

The only real value that nostalgia has is benefit in the present moment. If your version of looking back causes you to think negatively about your present circumstances, you're not doing yourself any favors with your nostalgic longings.

Take a look at the chart below, and it might give you a different perspective on nostalgia.

How To Remove Barriers To Happy Nostalgia

You can see in the chart above that the middle column doesn't look so happy...and you're right about that! The only thing that keeps good folks from benefiting from looking back is those pesky regrets, sorrows and painful memories.

So, our nostalgia definition includes how to remove those barriers, so that your remembering and reminiscing is a consistent source of peace, joy, and well being.

Here's a breakdown of the steps:

  1. First, start a regular practice of remembering your positive memories, focusing on people, places, things and experiences.
  2. You will probably run into some not-so-great memories or thoughts as you do this...that's totally natural. Make a list of all of those unhappy memories.
  3. Next, take a look at each one of those memories, and ask yourself, "What did I learn?" Then organize your answers into those that limit you, those that build strength, and those that inspire you.  Get tips on changing old beliefs into new beliefs here.

When you do this, you're making all of your past experiences beneficial!

It's not what happens to you, it's how you respond to what happens that determines your character and well being throughout your life.

The Nostalgia Definition To Make You Strong And Wise

What if you knew you could turn every experience into something valuable to you? You can, and that's the key to using nostalgia in a positive, healthy way.

Here's  another nostalgia definition for you:

"Nostalgia is reviewing your past with an attitude of gratitude."

Start keeping a nostalgic gratitude journal on a regular, ongoing basis. Practicing gratitude is the best way to keep your nostalgia positive.

The Downside Of Nostalgia

There is no value to getting stuck in the past, and longing for days gone by. That includes a judgment of your present life as bad, and that will never work for you. So, be sure your remembering and reminiscing enhance your present life and increases your well being.

When you review and reminisce with a grateful heart, you:

  • Are looking for the upside of every experience.
  • Naturally look for the lessons learned, and emphasize that more than the pain or frustration felt.
  • Recognize and acknowledge the value you gained as a result of the positive and negative experiences.
  • Automatically gain strength and wisdom as you transform regret into appreciation and gratitude.

Your past is the foundation on which your present and future are built. Shore up that foundation with a thorough review of your past, with a grateful and loving heart.

Whatever happened, you survived. Here you are. Now make sure you get all of the value you can from what you've been through.

Learn more about this topic from a dictionary's version of a nostalgia definition.

Always Return To The Precious Present Moment

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