Taking a trip down memory lane is good for the brain

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

nostalgia buddies
Memories are a great way to make deeper connections with friends.

Humans are obsessed with the thought of traveling back in time and either reliving our most cherished memories or fixing a horrible mistake, but the fact of the matter is that it’s impossible to do. Fortunately, there’s nostalgia, which is when we get bittersweet feelings thinking about the past. Wandering down memory lane allows us to make connections with other people and events, and a recent study found it even helps us move forward with our lives.

To show this, experimenters gathered a group of participants and analyzed their reactions to the fact that life is short. Being reminded of how precious it is to be alive has different effects on people, and the researchers wanted to see which individuals felt motivated by that fact and which ones were discouraged.

According to the results of the study, those individuals who experienced strong nostalgia were more likely to find extra meaning in life than those who didn’t think about the past too often. In fact, those who never recalled the good old days were more likely to think of life as meaningless when the researchers reminded them that the clock was ticking.

Though science has made groundbreaking discoveries in relation to time travel theories, it may never be physically possible for humans to revisit their past and change it. Until then, we have our bittersweet memories to carry with us and remind us life is totally worth living.

Image of photo buddies courtesy of haininteractive on Flickr.