Do you remember when you used to drink CocaCola in a wine glass thinking that you were as tipsy as auntie Becky at a family reunion barbecue, ready to pass out on the floor and beg for salvation, or the time you cried for 10 days straight after finding out that gum you swallowed would stay in your stomach forever? But don’t worry. You’re not the only one, all of us were all secretly doing the same odd things.
Let us know if you’re having a déjà vu moment.
Krystine Batcho, a professor of nostalgia at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, has developed a universal tool to measure our emotions towards the past using The Nostalgia Inventory Test. It measures how deeply and often people feel nostalgic. She said: “Childhood memories can influence adult lives in a number of ways. They can contribute to our overall sense of happiness in life. Positive childhood social events, such as family get-togethers during the holidays or parties to celebrate birthdays or achievements, help establish good self-esteem and healthy social skills in adulthood.”
Her research has suggested that “positive childhood memories are associated with more adaptive coping skills in adulthood.” For example, people who had happy childhood memories were less likely to turn to counterproductive ways of dealing with stressful situations, such as substance abuse or escapist behavior. Healthy coping is not something we’re born with, but rather “is learned during childhood by role modeling trusted adults and memories of how respected adults coped with adversity,” said the professor. Also, she explained that this phenomenon is called a “’Rosy retrospection,’ that is, a tendency to remember the past as better than it really was.” But there might be a reason for it, because “a favorable focus on the past helps most people remain healthy and happy despite the practical and emotional challenges of adult life.”