Nostalgia puts us in touch with our authentic selves

  • When thinking nostalgically about our past, we are the prime protagonists in our own life stories
  • Perhaps because of this, nostalgia helps us to see our lives as continuous and coherent, providing us with a sense of authenticity
  • Researchers found that when primed to feel nostalgic by writing about a time in their past, people saw their past self as an authentic representation of themselves
  • This, in turn, reduced their focus on meeting the expectations of others versus following their own intrinsic expectations of themselves