Nostalgia and Daydreams

Many psychologists, myself included, believe that our childhood is the foundations to who we are as adults. It explains why we frequently revisit our childhood as it influences our present. How we remember our childhood experiences is linked to the kind of childhood we have had. Generally speaking, if we have had good experience of love and nurture, we are nostalgic about our childhood.  If we have had a difficult childhood, it can be hard to feel nostalgic, instead it will feel like something we need to get over in order to move on. 

Nostalgia is good and healthy, we are usually remembering happy times and the brain is reliving it as if it was very much happening now, creating a happy feeling. Nostalgia can also be a good coping strategy for times of low mood and challenges. 

Nostalgia becomes difficult when it interferes in our everyday life and our ability to be more present. If we end up comparing it to our experiences today and feeling like nothing is as good as it was, then this will inevitably affect our mood and our ability to do what we need to do.  We can become stuck in our nostalgia; in which case it might be best to seek help from a counselling professional to help you process your past in order to enjoy your present. 

The thing with nostalgia is we are remembering the details through our own filter, we might not remember all the accurate details, just what we wish to remember. 

Tips for daydreaming:

  • Identify your patterns – think about the times you usually day dream, is there something about that situation or those times that means you are daydreaming? Do something about it if that is the case. 


  • Set a time limit, use a timer if it ensures you stop.


  • Write down the biggest thought or feeling as a result of the daydream. That way you are not just stopping day dreaming. You are doing something positive as a nice transition from stopping day dreaming to doing something. 


  • Interrupt your daydreams by reminding yourself of action points and to do lists.


  • Distract yourself by singing/humming a favourite song. Or reciting a poem or times table, something that occupies your brain enough to stop the day dream.


  • Finally turn your daydream into a visualization or goal exercise. Your day dreams could be a communication about your inner most desires. Could you begin to plan how to achieve those desires. 




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