We all feel nostalgic sometimes, but we shouldn’t constantly dwell on the past to the point where we start feeling depressed. Comparing our past to our present makes it impossible for us to appreciate anything that we’ve accomplished or gained.
We tend to forget any of our past difficulties when going through current ones which results in us romanticizing the past. We may even wish we could go back to a specific time in our lives when things were just “easier” whether that’s actually true or not. If you struggle with living in the present, here are three tips to help you overcome your nostalgic depression.
Create A List
The best way to stop feeling nostalgic is to recognize all the great things about our current lives. Once we realize how much it has improved and what we’ve gained, we will be less likely to want to live in our past.
Creating a list of things you currently have that you wished for so desperately in the past will help you recognize that your past isn’t as great as your memory’s making it out to be. It becomes so easy to romanticize anything that we aren’t currently experiencing or living in. For example, think about how your past self would imagine your future. It was probably a perfect image of you working your dream job, or gaining independence from your parents. Whatever it was, you wanted to somehow fast forward and experience the future. And now that you’re experiencing it, you dwell on the past and your nostalgia only allows you to remember all the great things about it.
Our future may not be perfect or exactly as we’ve pictured it, but there are definitely great things that we’ve gained no matter how simple. Reminding ourselves of those things is key. So, whenever you’re feeling overwhelmingly nostalgic, create a list of three to five things that you have now that you didn’t back then. And if you can, go experience those things and remember that it’s something that only your current self can do.
Revisit & Create New Memories
Constantly thinking about our favorite memories and wishing we could relive them can be draining and depressing. Whether we’ve moved to a new place, lost friends and family, or have simply become an adult, many things can’t be relived or brought back. The best thing to do is to create new memories. This can be done in two ways. Experiencing something completely new, or creating new memories in old places or with people from our past.
Replacing your old memories with new ones can help you have something more recent to think about. These memories will be easier to relive if you ever feel nostalgic. For example, if you visit a zoo nearby that you’ve never been to before and it was a great experience, you could always do it again.
Visiting places and people from your past can also be a great way to stop feeling nostalgic. More often than not, people that go back to their hometowns or revisit their favorite places don’t enjoy it all as much as before. Their memories made it all seem perfect and much better than it actually was. Realizing that helps them move on and appreciate their current lives.
Romanticize Your Present
Our past seems much more full of joy than it probably was. We often forget how our bad and painful experiences felt when going through something difficult in our present. The past just seems so much easier because we aren’t experiencing those emotions anymore. This leads us to romanticize it and often view it as perfect.
A great tip is to start romanticizing our current lives. This can be done through scrapbooking, photography, videography, etc. We want to focus on all the good just like what we do with our past. Hang up photos of your favorite new experiences to remind yourself that your present is also full of happiness. Save movie tickets, game tickets, and whatever else was a great experience for you recently. Whenever you’re feeling nostalgic, go back and look at those things.
Enjoy Every Moment
Living in the present can be one of the most difficult things to do. We tend to either dwell on the past or stress over the future. Teaching ourselves to enjoy every moment now will do wonders for our lives. Once we can master that, we can become much more content. One day, we’ll look back and miss these moments as well, so we should enjoy them as much as we can.
1- Create a list of three to five things that you have now that you didn’t have in the past.
2- Replace old memories: Create completely new experiences or revisit places and people from the past and create new memories there.
3- Create a scrapbook of your favorite new experiences. Add pictures you’ve taken, movie tickets, etc. Look back on them when you’re feeling overly nostalgic.