Toxic VS Positive Nostalgia

Nostalgia :”a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past”

Toxic vs positive nostalgia, is it poss for nostalgia to actually become toxic? And how do you know when it has? How can such a heartfelt and sentimental aspect if life cause us pain? 

I know personally reminiscing on my favourite memories helps me get through my bad days. But if I’m not careful I can cause myself more pain in the process. I have plenty of memories of when I could go on bush walks, do martial arts, eat whatever I wanted and run like the wind. To me those moments were freedom, something I no longer have in that way due to my illness. I find when I’m in a bad headspace nine times out of ten it’s because I miss old memories and get caught up in wishing that was my reality now. Especially at night time when my pain is at its worst or when I see teenagers out and about having fun.  When the world was put on lockdown that I started to recognise that I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. As well as how much toxic nostalgia truly can affect people.

Being stuck at home for most felt like their whole world had been turned upside down. The positive is it made everyone that bit more grateful for the little luxuries freedom holds. All of the things they used to complain about they suddenly really missed. They were consumed by a fake persona that everything good was in the past. Yes some of those memories were really great ones, but not all. I am so guilty of doing this, I hyper focus on the tiny moments things were good and forget that reality is. That season of life really was no different to the current one. And by making it out to be this huge amazing thing that it actually wasn’t. I’m just making myself sadder, instead of looking for the little things in each day that are good. 

I don’t believe nostalgia as a whole is bad, Nostalgia brings people together, creates bonds and brings comfort. It’s just about being aware of your viewpoint in those memories.

I’m just beginning to be aware of my own toxic nostalgia and I still have a long way to go. But what helps me is to make plans and memories in the present time. Instead if always focusing on the past. And when I do get nostalgic looking at old photos or shows I grew up watching. I think about what I’m grateful for and what positives and life lessons have come from that time in my life.

– Have you ever experienced toxic nostalgia? And what are your thoughts on this topic? Comment down below I’d love to know! Xx


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