Why Do We Have Sentimental Items?


Sydni Bratthauar, Editor

Why do we have items that we just can’t get rid of? Our personal attachments are very strong to these items. For example, books are very important to me and I have a hard time getting rid of them because they’ve really helped me through some tough times. So, what is the psychology behind sentimental items?

When we are children, we start developing attachments to items as early as two years old! Most of the time it’s a favorite blanket or toy. What’s fascinating is that when we were this young, we were obsessed with ownership. We knew what we had was ours. Everyone likes to know that they own something and that attachment can grow with us.

As teens, we have self doubt issues, stress, and personal problems to deal with. A study showed that our sentimental items are acting like a crutch. We lean on them when we feel like we need something to keep us tethered to the ground.

One of the biggest reasons why we have sentimental items is because of people we have lost. I have a necklace of my great grandmother’s that I got years ago. I haven’t let go of it because it reminds of her. When we lose people, our minds automatically think we need something solid to remember lost ones by and not just the memories.

The future is also a cause for sentimental things. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future and that is part of why we hold on to the past. We like to know that there is something we can count on, something that will always be there.

It’s not bad to have sentimental items. These items can really help us grow mentally and when it’s time to say goodbye, it’ll be more of a ‘thank you’.

Source: The Psychologist