Nostalgia is a human sentimentality that individuals feel for the past. Usually, it relates to a period or a place where people have experienced grateful moments. The word nostalgia was invented in the 17th century by a medical student in relation to the anxious behaviours of Swiss mercenaries. Even if the concept has been used in the Early Modern period as a form of medicine, in the romanticism, nostalgia has been a popular trope.
The scientific literature relates the concept of nostalgia to people's life, as well as the effect that this sentimentality has on individuals. Touch and smell are two of the main evokers of nostalgia; however, also music and weathers can raise this sentimentality.
The concept of nostalgia has changed over the years. Traditionally the term was associated with the negative meaning of homesickness. Nevertheless, in modern time nostalgia relates to an independent and positive concept. Indeed, this sentimentality helps humans improving their moods, enhance positive self-regard, provide existential meanings, increase their social connectedness and promote their psychological growth. Furthermore, nostalgia can be seen as a deception, a comfort and a political tool.
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