Nostalgia: An Overview

All About Nostalgia (1)

Have you ever smelled a certain aroma and then instantly found yourself immersed in a memory from years ago? How about catching someone wearing your grandmother’s perfume and suddenly feeling like she is right there in the room with you? Or walking down a street from your childhood and experiencing the exact emotions you felt back when you were young? These journeys deep into our memories are called nostalgia. Nostalgia can transport us from the present to years long past, providing us the opportunity to revel in vivid memories and the deep emotional material that is often associated with them. Nostalgic experiences have a wide variety of associations for individuals and here we will search for the definition of nostalgia.

You can define nostalgia as a sentimental longing, usually associated with a happy past experience. So why is it so hard for so many to understand the definition of nostalgia?

For many decades it was understood by the medical establishment to be maladaptive. Some even said that lingering in nostalgia could lead to serious consequences in life. But in recent years, the scientific investigation of nostalgia has deepened and expanded. Researchers have determined that it can actually be quite beneficial to engage with nostalgia.1 This opens up an entirely new arena of inquiry that is exciting to many health care providers. And, perhaps even more exciting, the research points to a connection between the powerful effects of aromatherapy, which has already been linked to memory, and how that could be used to maximize the positive benefits of nostalgia. This article will examine those potential connections in depth.

Nostalgia Definition

The term nostalgia was invented in 1688, and it was definied in reference to the terrible experiences of Swiss mercenaries who were sent to fight wars far from home. At the time, nostalgia was considered as a mental disorder, referring to the severe emotional pain and even physical manifestations of the soldier’s homesickness. The word itself was coined as a combination of the Greek term nostos, which referred to longing for home, and algos, the pain that came with that longing.2 The stigma associated with nostalgia lingered for centuries since, as psychologists and popular wisdom concluded that focusing on nostalgia would ultimately increase regret, despair, and general melancholy. Individuals were not encouraged to ruminate on the past and instead were prompted to focus their attention solely on the future.

man looking out window expressing nostalgia

In recent years, investigations of nostalgia and its consequences on the human psyche have taken a more nuanced turn. This is primarily because researchers recognized that nostalgia is one of the most powerful and common emotional experiences an individual can have. Evolutionary theory in psychology indicates that if a behavior is powerful and familiar, it most likely has an adaptive function. This prompted researchers to begin their studies.3

Neurological Research on Nostalgia

In time, neurological research demonstrated that nostalgia stimulates blood flow dramatically in the brain, increasing activity in the frontal cortex, the limbic and paralimbic regions, and the midbrain.4 It also stimulates the reward centers of the brain, which is why it can be so gratifying to listen to music from your young adulthood or take a walk in a place where you used to play as a child. At the time those memories were formed, neural pathways were created in the brain that are re-stimulated when memories are triggered by any of the five senses. This can cultivate positive internal feelings almost instantaneously, even if the original memories were neither positive nor negative.

Not all nostalgia is created equal, however. If you have difficult or challenging memories at a particular place or associated with a particular song, nostalgia can trigger you right back into that difficult memory, and make it challenging for you to be present in the current moment. And because nostalgia triggers the reward centers of the brain, some individuals can become addicted to thinking about the past, ruminating about what isn’t present instead of being awake to life is the moment. Studies have also shown that those with a predilection to depression can use nostalgia in these maladaptive ways. There is sometimes a fine distinction between cultivating positive nostalgia and ruminating on the past. Developing this discernment is essential to utilizing nostalgia in appropriate ways for increased mental well being.5

The research has shown that many individuals can experience a full range of incredible benefits through being prompted to experience nostalgia. It has been identified as a way to cope with loneliness, a sense of meaninglessness, and a general negative mood. As the research continues to be published, detailing all of the benefits of nostalgia, it becomes more exciting to consider how to cultivate it in positive ways in your life. Through understanding the nuances of nostalgia and putting them into action, you can benefit profoundly from the powerful effects of this ubiquitous human experience.

two women looking in a photo album

The Benefits of Nostalgia

Over the past couple of decades, psychological researchers have begun to clearly outline and prove the powerful advantages of experiencing nostalgia. Studies have shown that nostalgia can increase self-esteem, increase a sense of social connectedness, increase optimism, decrease anxiety, and in general improve motivation and productivity.6 Time and again, the power of the effects of nostalgia have been truly surprising to researchers. But the findings continue to support the idea that nostalgia has a multitude of incredible psychological benefits.  

An increase in self-esteem is one of the most remarkable benefits of engaging with nostalgia. Research has shown that when we engage in nostalgia, we can experience both positive and negative emotions as we recall certain memories. But more often than not, these reflections conclude on a positive note. This sense of redemption serves to bolster a sense of self and can increase optimism.7 

Another interesting discovery about the function of nostalgia was proven when researchers studied the relationship between nostalgia and loneliness. As many people have experienced, when feeling disconnected from others or just on our own in an unfamiliar place, waves of nostalgia can often roll in. We know intuitively that feeling lonely can trigger nostalgia, but researchers wondered if this had any positive adaptive qualities. Recent studies have shown that it does. When we are nostalgic, we often recall times when we felt connected and in close relationship with other people. Because the emotional experience can be so visceral, we may even feel as if the individuals we’re remembering are actually present with us. Research demonstrates that recalling these experiences of connectedness on deep emotional levels can help us feel more connected to others in general. These feelings of connection can occur even if we are quite distant physically from the people we’re remembering. This research demonstrated that engaging in nostalgia can actually improve our sense of closeness to other people and reduce social anxiety in general.8

Nostalgia can Alleviate Anxiety

An additional benefit of nostalgia is its power to alleviate anxiety, especially anxiety that stems from a sense of existential threat.9 This was shown by a study done on individuals who had difficulty detaching themselves from anxiety around death or difficult situations. The more likely someone was to engage in nostalgia, the less likely it was that they would see their lives as meaningless or have anxiety about death. In this sense, engaging in positive nostalgia can remind the individual of why life is so precious. In doing so, the individual experiences relief from the anxiety that can come from knowing that death is possible at any moment.

One might think that lingering in nostalgia can engender a sense of lack or stir feelings of regret or longing. But research is showing that experiencing nostalgia can actually encourage individuals to imagine an attainable future. In doing so, nostalgia can increase one’s sense of motivation, creativity, and productivity.10  These effects are particularly potent if you’re an individual who is prone to reflecting on the past already. For those who already engage in some form of nostalgia or another, increasing your reflections on the past can greatly increase your sense of acceptance, belonging, and overall optimism.11  If you have memories that create powerful emotions within you and you know how to access them, there are a myriad of ways to benefit from this ability.

vintage camera and photo album

Nostalgia Therapy and Aromatherapy

With the increase of research showing how powerful nostalgia can be, it’s unsurprising that healthcare providers have become interested in how to use nostalgia in therapeutic settings. In most studies of nostalgia, the central method for triggering nostalgia was simply guiding the individual back into memories to stimulate the experience. For some, nostalgia comes naturally and can even arise randomly throughout the day, unprompted. But for others, the experience of nostalgia can be difficult to summon. For those individuals, finding the right trigger for nostalgia is important. Music has been flagged as an excellent way to cultivate nostalgia, especially for individuals who are experiencing memory loss.12 In fact, the development of nostalgia therapy has been pioneered by caregivers who’ve noticed how powerful it can be to cultivate nostalgia for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients by playing old tunes. Many other triggers have been used by these caregivers as well. By stimulating the memories of these patients through familiar objects, decor, TV shows, and movies, they can see marked positive effects, including decreased agitation, increase in appetite, and even increased motor skills.13

But perhaps one of the least examined and potentially most powerful tools at our disposal to harness the power of nostalgia in our lives is aromatherapy and essential oils.14 Why? Because of the close connection between smells and memory. Almost everyone has had the experience of smelling a strong aroma and immediately being transported into a memory–of a person, place, or even just a single moment in time. Sometimes the memory could be something that you haven’t thought of in ages! There are unique biological reasons for this connection. First of all, the olfactory bulb, which creates the experience of smells in our consciousness, is directly connected to two powerful parts of the brain: the amygdala and the hippocampus. The hippocampus region has been demonstrated to be connected to our memory. The amygdala is the region that is activated when we have deep emotional experiences. In essence, smells go through our nose, are translated by the olfactory bulb, and then immediately take a neural superhighway through our memories and into our deep feelings. This is why nostalgia that arises from aromas is often associated with a distinct and deeply felt emotional mood or tone.15

Nostalgia Definition: Is it Merely Emotion?

Truly, it is the power of the emotional experiences that aromatherapy can spark that makes it such a spectacular way to regulate your emotional body and manage stress and tension in your life. In this way, aromatherapy is quite similar to nostalgia therapy. Both approaches focus on the ability these experiences have to render strong emotions in the moment.16 Because both aromatherapy and nostalgia therapy offers us the opportunity to shift our emotional state by engaging our memories, it makes perfect sense that combining the two approaches could maximize their effectiveness. In many ways, they are the perfect pair. By using aromatherapy and essential oils to trigger nostalgia, you can harness the positive benefits of both therapies and potentially change your experience of your life.

essential oil blend

This is perhaps best highlighted by a long-range study done on aromatherapy. The study examined the effects of essential oils on stress, depression, sleep quality, and immune function. The control group was given a placebo while the experimental group had a blend of lemon, eucalyptus, tea tree, and peppermint oils administered over the period of a month. Researchers then tested the perceived stress, perceived depression, sleep quality, and immune functionality of the patients. The study showed that those that used the essential oil blend reported less stress and depression and higher sleep quality, but the physiological factors of ANS activation and HbA1c levels (predictors of immune response) remained the same.17

One could read those results and conclude that the use of essential oils and aromatherapy is not actually functional since the physiological factors were not affected by the treatment. Despite the fact that the physiological evidence for the effectiveness of these oils has been proven in many other ways18, it is vital that we don’t overlook what this study is saying–that aromatherapy has a powerful effect on how we experience our lives, on how our lives feel to us. And when it comes to using aromatherapy to induce nostalgia, this is precisely what we are attempting to change. The purpose of the therapy is to improve how our life feels to us on a visceral level, increasing our emotional well being, creativity, and inner motivation. From that perspective, it is not as significant what the physiological effects of the treatment are. Instead, the fact that the patients who received aromatherapy treatment reported a decrease in stress, depression, and higher sleep quality means that the treatment has the power to help us perceive our lives in an entirely new way. And this power to shift our perception is exactly what nostalgia has also been proven to do as well. Taken together, these two approaches can truly make us feel more empowered and centered in our lives–even if our physical bodies are not exactly where we would like them to be.

Using Aromatherapy With Nostalgia

So how do you use aromatherapy to trigger positive nostalgia? There are many potential approaches. A great way to utilize aromatherapy and nostalgia therapy is when you are experiencing stress or overwhelmed in your daily life. This can be triggered by a variety of situations–difficulties with your spouse or children, lack of motivation in work, or harmful behaviors or patterns that you are having trouble breaking in order to move forward. Researchers have demonstrated that using aromatherapy can be a powerful way to reduce stress. So far scientists have primarily studied how aromatherapy can be used for individuals facing serious serious health conditions, and the studies often align with the general wisdom around certain oils.

For example, lavender has long been one of the most popular essential oils for providing a sense of comfort, relaxation, and calm to enter the body. Recently, scientists administered lavender oil on patients who were going into major surgery. Those that received the oil were shown to have reduced anxiety and stress levels regarding the medical procedure.19 In another study, geranium oil was shown to reduce anxiety significantly for those with serious cardiac conditions, including acute myocardial infarction.20 This follows the conventional wisdom that dictates that geranium oil is an excellent heart opener and a reliever of tension in the body.

In another study, a variety of essential oil blends were shown to treat the symptoms of cancer patients, including sleep disorders, nausea, anxiety, and depression.21  The abundance of evidence that aromatherapy can be beneficial to those facing serious illness suggests that individuals who are simply looking for ways to reduce anxiety in their everyday lives could also benefit from the approach. Recognizing essential oils or blends that engender a sense of calm or peace within you can have powerful effects on your mood and overall well being.

As referenced earlier, nostalgia research is also demonstrating the powerful ways nostalgia can reduce anxiety and trigger positive memories, making the individual feel more connected to the self, to others, and to a deeper sense of meaning in life. Again, because the effects of aromatherapy and nostalgia are so intertwined, they make a perfect combination of approaches to help manage your mental health and decrease the mental energy required to maintain emotional equilibrium.

So how do you intertwine these therapies in a practical way to reduce anxiety and stress in your life? First, you should begin by a thorough investigation into your personal memory bank. In order to properly harness the benefits of nostalgia in your life, you will need to engage with your memories. This is as simple as closing your eyes and asking to recall positive memories. These memories could be from years ago or recent days. The most important aspect of the reflection is to select memories that you can easily and quite viscerally recall.22 The more potent the memory, the more powerful the effect of nostalgia will be. Sometimes reflecting on material in dreams or re-reading books from your past can help trigger deep-seated memories that you haven’t considered in years. Carve out time in your day to cultivate these memories so that you can begin to experience nostalgia more often in your life.

Nostalgia to Improve Your Life

In order to maximize the effects of blending aromatherapy with nostalgia, you will also need to develop a relationship with essential oils. This process begins with determining which specific oils render the most positive effects for you. You’ll want to be particularly mindful of the ways different oils affect your memory and your emotional state. Make space in your week to simply sit with the various essential oils and pay close attention to how your mood shifts depending on which oil you inhale. It’s vital to remember that despite all of the various recommendations you receive, each person’s composition is different, and so each person will have a specific combination that is most potent for them.23 Be patient and have fun with this process. Consider buying a kit where you’ll have the chance to explore many aromatherapy options at once. This one allows you to select the specific oils that you receive when you order 10.

When you have determined which blends are most powerful for you as well as which memories evoke the deepest emotions, you’re now prepared to use these sensations in combination to powerfully reduce symptoms of stress in your life. When you’re feeling a sense of overwhelming or compounding tension, locate the aroma that had the most powerful effect on you. If you’re using a personal diffuser, as you inhale the oil, bring yourself back to the specific memory or place that always makes you feel joy, peace, or stillness. Every time you inhale that aroma, bring your memory back to the place where you felt that strong sense of peace. Practice this each time a sense of stress or being overwhelmed arises for you. Eventually, you will trigger your brain to associate that smell with that particular experience of positive nostalgia. This will make the emotional experience of the essential oil more potent and increase the effect of lowering your negative reactions. This technique could lead to a truly a magical blend of nostalgia and aromatherapy that maximizes the benefits of both.

After doing the groundwork of establishing a connection between a particular essential oil and a memory of calm and peace, you can then utilize the therapy whenever a particularly stressful or anxiety-inducing event occurs. As studies have shown, this is very powerful in many difficult situations. For example, if you are facing a particularly scary medical procedure or someone close to you is, administering aromatherapy in combination with nostalgia can instantly transport you to a less stressful, more inviting state of mind.

Using a combination of nostalgia therapy and aromatherapy does not need to be reserved only for extremely stressful times, however. It can also be used to simply boost your experience of the present moment. This is one of the most positive, and potentially most surprising, benefits of nostalgia. One might think that spending time thinking about the past can make one feel regretful or unhappy that the past is no longer present. And for some individuals who have a predilection towards depression, this kind of nostalgia can have negative effects. But this is not the case for most people. Of course, nostalgic feelings can be bittersweet, but the research has demonstrated that the act of remembering something, even if it wasn’t entirely positive, still has an overall positive effect. This is because it can prompt the individual to reflect both on the positive aspects of the past and the potential for change in the moment. Individuals who engage with nostalgia have been shown to stimulate their imagination and increase their ability to visualize an attainable future. Basically, the idea is that by thinking about a positive memory from the past, we can remind ourselves that this happiness is possible, and be motivated to consider how we can cultivate it in the present.24

To harness this powerful effect of nostalgia, again utilizing aromatherapy could be a very effective strategy. Instead of waiting for particularly stressful moments to arise, you can simply select oils that bring you back into the memories or moods that you’d like to experience in a given moment.  You can determine which specific nostalgic memory you want to nurture and use the aroma to bring it back into your consciousness. Whether your desired mood is productive, calm, presence, or focus, you can combine the experience of nostalgia–the last time you felt these feelings–with a specific aroma, and jumpstart yourself back into those moods with surprising speed.  

Defining Nostalgia Based on Aromatic Characteristics

As always, the best way to determine which aromas are the most effective for you is by experimenting with them on your own. Each person is different, and the way the oil interacts with your body’s system will be different as well. The more curious and open you are to the various essential oils and how they affect your system, the more likely it is that you’ll find an oil that works best for you.

Once you’ve selected the aromas that trigger powerful positive memories for you, again you’ll want to pair the experience of smelling the aroma with the particular nostalgic moment that you are attempting to cultivate. As you smell the aroma, close your eyes and bring yourself back into the memory. Slowly retrace all the aspects of the memory that you recall, and take time to deeply feel the emotions that arise when you bring yourself back into that memory. The more you practice establishing this connection, the deeper it will be wired into your brain. Remember, aromas and nostalgia both trigger positive feedback pathways in your brain. By connecting your memories with specific scents, you can quickly and efficiently rewire your brain in deeply effective ways. Then, when you desire a shift in mood or an increase in positivity, you can simply inhale your personal aroma diffuser and experience the powerful benefits right away.

Another simple way to integrate aromatherapy and nostalgia is to diffuse a positive aroma from your past into spaces you inhabit, creating a connection between your current environment and the memory of a former place that felt warm and comforting to you. This is because both nostalgia and aromas have a powerful connection to our sense of place. Smells have a remarkable way of connecting us to environments, and can tangibly alter the way we engage with a space. How a place smells plays a crucial role in how optimistic you feel in a space and how likely you are to engage with it in a positive manner.25  Similarly, the emotions that can arise when we connect to memories about our home are very powerful. When we are reminded of the places we felt connected to in our past, we are able to feel more optimistic about the potential of our spaces in the future.26

For these reasons, establishing aromas in the home that remind you of positive, homey places from your past is a very powerful way to begin utilizing and maximizing the effects of aromatherapy and nostalgia therapy. Begin by considering what scents most remind you of places where you felt comforted, safe, and at home in the world. Once you have selected these scents, consider purchasing an in-home diffuser, so the scent can permeate your home or workspace throughout the day. Or, simply use a personal diffuser each time you enter your home, so you create a direct connection between the experience of entering your home and smelling that particular aroma. Right away, you’ll be able to observe the numerous beneficial effects of associating your current home with a powerful memory of being at home.

Can Nostalgia be Negative?

While many have experienced the very positive benefits of nostalgia, as alluded to earlier, there can be some negative effects for those that engage with nostalgia. Primarily, this can occur when individuals bring up a memory from the past that is so negative, they can only remember the most difficult aspects of the memory, and they feel overwhelmed and deeply triggered by that memory. Aromas can play a powerful role in this effect as well.27  For example, an individual who smelled a particular brand of perfume during an attack may become deeply triggered when they smell that perfume again. When these kinds of memories are triggered, nostalgia does not have such positive effects. Truly in these moments, we can feel overwhelmed by the emotional material present in our memories and feel deeply disconnected from the present moment, the people around us, and even to ourselves.

And yet, the potential to harness the positive effects of nostalgia, in combination with aromatherapy, could be the approach that can turn a potential panic attack into a manageable moment of challenge. If you had been cultivating the combination of positive memories and certain aromas when a triggering moment arises, you can implement the strategy to decrease the intensity of a trigger. Again, this is because of the deep and highly potent connection between aromas, memories, and emotions.28  In a sense, we can combat negative nostalgia by harnessing its power in reverse. By training ourselves to conjure deeply positive memories, with the assistance of aromatherapy diffusers, we can then implement that ability in moments when we need it most.

essential oil bottles and a bowl

Finding The Right Oils for Nostalgia Therapy

To dive deeper into the ways that you can use aromatherapy in conjunction with nostalgia, it’s important to consider the specific oils that could be most useful to you. First of all, if you are having trouble remembering things on any level, you’ll have difficulty cultivating nostalgia. So a good place to begin may be using essential oil treatment to help boost your memory. The connection between improving your memory and essential oils begins with the neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transmit information within the brain and throughout the nervous system. The neurotransmitters that affect our mental elasticity and memory most acutely are acetylcholine (ACh), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEl). ACh helps to boost focus and recall, AChE impedes it, and AChEl prevents the AChE from decreasing the effectiveness of the ACh.29

Various essential oils play a role in these neurotransmitters. Black pepper can act as an AChE inhibitor, as well as Spanish sage and camphor. Clove oil has been proven to boost ACh and works as an antioxidant to restore the brain. Rosemary has also been recognized as an oil that can give a major boost to memory in many studies as well as in traditional folk wisdom. It’s been demonstrated to increase levels of a compound called 1,8-cineole, which acts to boost both the ACh and the AChEl neurotransmitters.30  All of these oils have amazing benefits in terms of increasing your memory and recall, and with regular use, can make it easier for you to connect with the benefits of nostalgia.

When exploring oils to assist you with combining aromatherapy with nostalgia, it makes sense to start with oils that have been shown to have a powerful effect on mental health. Why? Because if an oil has a positive effect on our mental health, that means that it has a powerful effect on our emotions, which are the same pathways in the brain we are attempting to stimulate through nostalgia as well. When you utilize oils that stimulate positive emotional responses, you are more likely to heighten these positive effects when you combine the aromatherapy with nostalgia. With regular use, this approach can even establish new pathways in the brain that will make it even more likely that these positive emotions arise in your experience.

A wide variety of essential oils have been demonstrated to have powerful effects on mental health. Valerian and its cousin jatamansi are very popular oils for relieving negative emotions. This is because these plants have been shown to decrease GABA neurotransmitters and MAO receptors. Both of those neurotransmitters can contribute to feelings of lethargy, lack of motivation or low self-worth.31 Lavender is an extremely popular oil for reducing anxiety and achieving a sense of inner calm. Research has shown that this is because lavender works on the limbic system. A study in 2007 demonstrated that regular aromatherapy with lavender decreased cortisol levels, which increase when the body is under stress.

bergamot

Bergamot is another powerful oil that can affect your mood. Bergamot has been known throughout the ages to have a calming and energy boosting effect, alongside many other citrus oils. A study done in Taiwan demonstrated that a weekly inhalation of bergamot aromatherapy resulted in a reduced heart rate and a decrease in blood pressure. One study in a hospice showed that patients given hand massages with an essential oil blend of bergamot, lavender, and frankincense reported less pain and mental anguish.32

Other popular oils that have been used for mental health issues include ylang-ylang, clary sage, and chamomile. Ylang ylang can be used for an instant mood boost and to assist in the release of pent-up emotions like shame, anger, and even jealousy. It can also have mild relaxing effects, which can help you transition from one mood to the next.33  Clary sage and chamomile can also accentuate these effects.

All of these oils have either been proven by research to have positive effects on your emotional well being or are backed by generations of folk wisdom. Truly, the only way to determine whether a particular oil will work well for you is if you experiment with them. Doing your own personal research is an important way to ensure that you explore these oils safely. There is a wealth of information out there to help you discover which oils will have the most powerful effect on your emotional state. And once you’ve identified the oils that are the most useful for your mental health, then you know exactly which oils will be most potent when you combine them with nostalgia.

happy girl smiling and laughing

Hidden Benefits of Aromatherapy and Nostalgia

The vast potential for aromatherapy and nostalgia to improve your mental health is reason enough to be motivated to explore the approach. But in addition to these emotional improvements, there are many hidden physical benefits to the practices.  For one thing, many of the essential oils that boost mood have also been shown to have antioxidant properties. Clove bud oil is one of these, as research has shown that it has an antioxidant activity level comparable to vitamin E.34  Essential oils can also assist with issues of osteoarthritis. Patients in a physical therapy clinic were given aromatherapy treatment and reported a decrease in pain, increased energy and flexibility in the morning, and overall better physical functioning.35  Still, other studies have demonstrated the anti-microbial properties of essential oils. Again, clove and also cinnamon have been demonstrated to have strong antibacterial and antifungal activity.36

Truly, this is just a small sampling of the multitude of research being done on the physiological advantages of using aromatherapy and essential oils. And again, these benefits are simply great side effects when you are focused on utilizing aromatherapy in combination with nostalgia therapy to maximize the mental health benefits of both. But considering the physical symptoms you experience and the oils that have been proven to assist with those conditions, it could very well lead you to the right oils you need for your mental health as well. This is because there is a sometimes underemphasized connection between symptoms of the mind and symptoms of the body, and when one is addressed the other can often be changed.37

The innovative research on both nostalgia and aromatherapy is opening up completely new ways to approach your mental health. Truly, exploring ways to combine the power in both of these practices is on the cutting edge of developing natural and safe methods of managing stress and tension and increasing motivation and productivity. As researchers continue to explore all of the connections between aromas, memory, and emotions, the important thing to remember is that you can take charge of your emotional state. As the studies have shown, both aromatherapy and nostalgia have the ability to transport you into powerful emotional experiences. Of course, not all-powerful, emotional experiences or memories are positive–and both aromatherapy and nostalgia can potentially lead you into uncomfortable feelings. But individuals can also harness the ability nostalgia therapy and aromatherapy have to trigger emotional states in the body in very positive ways. When we empower ourselves to cultivate positive emotional connections through aromas and nostalgia, we can actually create new memories and pathways in the brain for these positive feelings. This makes it easier for these more positive mental states to occur, showing that they can be a very powerful tool when you’re feeling overwhelmed or triggered by your feelings.

Nostalgia: a Conclusion

If you’re ready to start integrating the benefits of nostalgia and aromatherapy into your life, there’s lots of support to lean on. Personal aromatherapy diffusers are an excellent selection for any individual who wants to begin their journey with essential oils, because you do not have to concern yourself with how your essential oils are being delivered into your body. Most of the risks associated with essential oils stem from improper carrier oils or other substances used to transfer the oil onto the body. When this is done incorrectly, there can be some serious consequences. The severity of these risks depends greatly on the quality of the oil and the way that it is administered. That’s why it’s so useful to use personal diffusers, which are already formulated to deliver the benefits of the essential oil in a completely safe way. Monq provides a full selection of oils and blends to help you begin your journey with aromatherapy. The Ocean blend is a particularly potent one to enhance your mood and increase nostalgia, as it includes numerous oils that have traditionally been connected to positive, emotional well being, including bergamot, lavender, and ylang ylang.

So what are you waiting for? The research is in and all the signs are pointing towards utilizing these cutting-edge techniques to take charge of your emotional state and potentially transform your life. The power to deeply remember the past is one of the things that makes human beings so unique, and psychologists are proving that it is a skill with many powerful advantages. Triggering nostalgia through the use of essential oils and aromatherapy diffusions is a natural fit since the link between aromas and memory has already been so clearly defined. To empower yourself and take back your ability to stay balanced, calm, and in a relaxed emotional state, consider the link between nostalgia and aromatherapy and begin your exploration today!

Photo credits: OlenaYakobchuk/shutterstock.com, Gligatron/shutterstock.com, VasilyevAlexandr/shutterstock.com, OleksandrRybitskiy/shutterstock.com, sirastock/shutterstock.com, WAYHOMEstudio/shutterstock.com


Savannah

By Savannah Wilson

Savannah is an aromatherapy enthusiast who takes pride in knowing everything about essential oils, from ylang-ylang to chamomile. When taking a break from learning more about essential oils, Savannah likes to spend her time reading books or working out.

Favorite MONQ blend: Sexy

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The above information relates to studies of specific individual essential oil ingredients, some of which are used in the essential oil blends for various MONQ diffusers. Please note, however, that while individual ingredients may have been shown to exhibit certain independent effects when used alone, the specific blends of ingredients contained in MONQ diffusers have not been tested. No specific claims are being made that use of any MONQ diffusers will lead to any of the effects discussed above.  Additionally, please note that MONQ diffusers have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MONQ diffusers are not intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of any disease or medical condition. If you have a health condition or concern, please consult a physician or your alternative health care provider prior to using MONQ diffusers.

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