Nostalgia Potentiates a Positive and Attainable Future

Nostalgia is defined as a self-relevant and social emotion. The content of nostalgic accounts features the self as protagonist, albeit embedded with close others into momentous occasions. Also, nostalgic content entails more expressions of positive than negative affect, and depicts redemption than contamination life scenes. Nostalgia has remarkable implications for one’s future. It promotes an approach (vs. avoidance) orientation. It raises optimism, and it does so by boosting social connectedness (a sense of support, belongingness, and acceptance) and subsequently lifting self-esteem.  It increases creativity, and it does by bolstering openness to experience. And it kindles prosociality, such as intentions to donate and actual monetary donations. Far from reflecting escapism from the present, nostalgia potentiates a positive, attainable future.