Often as we grow older, we look at old photo albums, play music from when we were young adults, and pore through scrapbooks. New research shows that the sense of nostalgia can help with healthy aging over time.
A researcher at Arizona State University, Julie Fleury, is studying nostalgia’s impact on healthy aging. When you consider past research, it’s been found that nostalgia can bring about a feeling of being safe as those memories bring a sense of comfort.
Fleury shared with Arizona Horizon that within our bodies is a link that brings together our heart, brain, muscles and face. This link is how we can flash back to those times from our past. And her research has found that you can exercise this mechanism within your body that links all of these components together. And as you build on it, this can strengthen social, physiological and emotional outcomes over time, she says.
As Fleury put it, there is a mechanism inside our body that brings together our heart, brain, muscles and face to be able to flash back to these memories and stories.
But then how does that sense of nostalgia help with healthy aging? As nostalgia brings about a sense of safety, this contributes to the body’s abilities to support healthy aging. Also, feelings of nostalgia can give you a motivational boost, which then in turn helps with social and physical functioning. Over time, this gives a lift to our wellness as we grow older.
To learn more about why this is important right now, and for more details about Fleury’s research, check out Arizona Horizon here.