Monday, December 22, 2008

Nostalgia can be therapeutic

"I'll be home for Christmas -- if only in my dreams."

Long derided as wimpy and a waste of time, nostalgia nonetheless often sweeps in this time of year and settles in for the holidays. In calling up memories of people and celebrations past, it can evoke feelings buried by time and daily life.

Now psychologists are rethinking the purpose of that peculiar sentiment -- and are drawing some surprising conclusions.

Depending on how it's embraced, they say, nostalgia can be a healthy emotion that buffers people from loneliness and eases them through hard times.

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