Last week, I had a nostalgia-fest. It began when we overtook an old bright orange Ford Capri. Mister Grumpy waxed lyrical about his old cars for over an hour. Later that same day, a radio presenter was discussing what we remembered about the 70s and goodness, what a lot we recalled. That night, I danced to some 70s’ music dragged from back of the cupboard, and had a “do you remember” session with Mister Grumpy. It was surprising that after an hour of recalling sweets, television shows, comedians, cars and songs we both smiled. We felt better about life.
Thinking about all the cheesy stuff that made that decade unique – bell bottom jeans, platform shoes, mood rings, pet rocks, lava lamps, shag pile carpets, and Woolworth’s Pick ‘n’ Mix sweets – can still make me smile.
It transpires that reminiscing is not a bad thing – especially if we view the past through rose-colored glasses. Scientists have discovered that those of us who were children in the 70s are the happiest people in society and if you were a child in 1976—you are even more likely to laugh and be happy than those born in other years.
I have yet to work out why the 70s is considered to be such a positive decade but while writing an article about the importance of laughter, I discovered plenty of comedies, humorous acts, family entertainment shows and light-hearted music from that time. Maybe those, along with the bright neon colours that you found in all houses, bathrooms, furnishings, clothing and on cars, all contributed to what now appears to be a brighter time for those of us who dwell on that decade.
Think back to wholesome shows like The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family or The Waltons and you should smile. See how many comedy shows you can recall and you’ll be on the way to feeling cheerful. Add how may songs from the 70s you can still remember and you should feel rejuvenated. (Only sing the cheerful songs. A Whiter Shade of Pale or equivalent will not have the same effect.)
Shout “yes’ if you remember:
Disney’s The Aristocats
Black Jack and Fruit Salad sweets
Happy Days television series
The Flintstones cartoon
Tom and Jerry cartoon
Laverne and Shirley
Space Invaders arcade game
The Monkees television show
Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry
Chest hair and medallions
The Pink Panther cartoon
Alias Smith and Jones
Hope you’re hoarse with shouting.
Various studies have shown that nostalgic memories can help combat loneliness, provide psychological comfort, raise self-esteem, help us deal with adversity, and increase optimism about the future.
Nostalgia helps us feel more connected to others. We often associate past experiences, objects, movies, and music with good friends or fun times with our family.
I’m very much a carpe diem person (as you all know) but the occasional trip down memory lane is not a bad thing. Don’t hang out there too long but dipping in and reminding yourselves of what it was all about is not a bad thing.
So, if you want to feel youthful for a while and indeed lift your spirits, take a wander down memory lane.