No, You Were Not Happier Way Back When

We sometimes get stuck thinking that everything was so much better, and easier, in the past. It’s one of the tricks our minds play on us, especially when we are feeling vulnerable or overwhelmed. However, rarely is it actually the case that things were “objectively” better in the past.

Psychologists refer to this flawed thought pattern as rosy retrospection. It is a well-studied cognitive bias. It happens because when we think about the past, we are more likely to think about people, events, places, and things in the abstract. And, when we think about things in the abstract, we are more likely to focus on positive generalities than the nitty-gritty and sometimes gory details.