FOMO is short for “fear of missing out (on the good stuff),” and this kind of fear spoils the lives of many people to quite a great extent. Most of us feel its twinges, while with some it makes for a strong driving force that shapes our destinies. Below can be found facts from the history of the phenomenon, how it can affect your life, and if you are displeased with the way it prevents you from feeling satisfied, how exactly you can control it.
What Is FOMO?
Now and again people start thinking about places where life must surely be better and brighter. Someplace else there are golden opportunities, money in abundance, happy people without a care in the world.
In these digital days when our smartphones bring up social sites and let us watch other people purporting to enjoy their lives to the hilt, we can keep sliding into the foggy realms of envy and desire to be where they are and do what they do – and that means that FOMO has become a part of our life (and maybe a disrupting part).
Dangers of FOMO
This particular kind of fear interferes with our feeling of satisfaction and gratification, feeds the desire to step out of our roles in life, acquire socially unacceptable manners. Thus, FOMO is known to have been conducive to distracted driving, and this is potentially dangerous.
Do a digital detox
FOMO had been around long before the coming of the Internet, but online social inquisitiveness makes the flame burn even brighter. People end up literally addicted to ceaselessly catching up with others’ life stories. While following friends‘ and strangers‘ events they lose track of their own lives, paying more attention to the information on the screen instead of minding their own commitments.
If you find that you overdo with your curiosity, try limiting yourself in terms of visiting social sites. Wean yourself out of the habit to check social news whenever you have some free time. Install applications that block distracting messages from social media websites. Set your phone so that you don’t get unimportant notifications popping up.
While we don’t often think about it, we are living on a fast lane, whether we need it or not. It’s worth your while to slow down at times, especially when you are eating, talking, making love. Make a point of driving more slowly. See what other everyday activities don’t need rushing over.
If it’s very uncharacteristic of you, hang up reminders to go slow in relevant places to help stick to your resolution. Ask your partners, family members, and friends to assist you in switching over to the new and more sluggish lifestyle.
(Social) media is not reality
Keep in mind that most of what you see on social media networks is generally made up to look attractive. There are so many ways to treat real photos with airbrushes or cook up phoney photos of what never was that many people use it as a kind of game to be played on the Internet.
What’s more, people are apt to share only positive information and only pleasing photos and videos. It’s not that they tend to make a video of themselves blabbering on about the problems they are going through. So what you see is only good days; rainy days are kept out of public consumption.
When you feel riddled with anxiety and envy, try to call up a grateful attitude to your life. Lie back and go in your mind (or in writing) over the things you can feel grateful for; reminding yourself of them each day will help you balance your mind and make way for the feeling of overall satisfaction.
As psychologists assert, gratitude can increase our feeling of general well-being to a considerable extent. So when you feel overtaken by envy of some other person’s situation, make an effort to concentrate on the benefits in your life. Why feel envious if you can get in a better mood?
Keep an offline journal
For those hounded by FOMO, it’s a good idea to keep a journal where you can register all things that bring you satisfaction and happiness, reflecting only your personal feelings and not the public approval of something that actually leaves you indifferent. Naturally, the journal must be an offline one helping you to separate yourself from social media preferences and opinions.
Meditation is a great means of arranging your thoughts, keeping your feelings in balance, and leading a more mindful life. If you allot a quarter of an hour for daily meditation, it can make you think more lucidly and avoid anxious thoughts.
Psychologists tend to characterize FOMO as a variant of cognitive distortion. It means it is regarded as irrational thought patterns based on ungrounded conclusions – for example, when somebody believes that their friends don’t like them if they failed to comment on your posts and photos for some time. Such thinking can result in bouts of depression and developing negative mental conditions.
There are cognitive therapy techniques designed to enable people to recognize when cognitive distortions may occur and control them by steering away from unfounded worries into a positive frame of mind.
One of the significant life skills is the ability to distinguish between really important meaningful things and those that seem – or made to seem – desirable, and FOMO speculates on that. Make sure that you stick to things that matter, make your life better, and bring rewarding experiences.
Run an inner check on whether you say “no” when it is due. Reasonable refusing will help you free time for experiences that are really enriching. Having more in your life could devaluate the quality. Mind that you choose the quality over the quantity when you schedule your meetings and events.
Meet real people
Arrange events with friends instead of following other people’s online – make plans to meet your best pal, round up a group of coworkers or college friends, think of a place to go to with a company, change your life pace; staying in the center of things will wipe any feeling of missing out. On the contrary, you are on the move.
Have just one thing
In a way, it is natural for us to crave many things at once. But we know that we cannot have as many things as we want. Once we have opted for something, there are other options that get closed for us. The best bet is to go only for a few things that we feel we really and truly need.
Since deciding is so much refusing, keep in mind that choosing something gives us a possibility to experience and appreciate it better, so there is no point in minding other things that we have decided not to touch. It’s nice to know that we are receiving what is best for us.
While there are people around who are happy to multitask (or say so), we can stay away from this burdensome practice.
The fact is, the brain responds to one stimulus properly. As tasks compound, concentration dwindles, and chances of successful accomplishment plunge down. A higher level of concentration creates much better opportunities for coming up with a quality result, and, what is more relevant, the satisfaction of seeing our achievement can be far greater than if we have done a handful of lesser things.