How To Overcome The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
The fear of missing out (FOMO) was around long before its catchy acronym caught on. Unfortunately, things have only gotten worse with the advent of social media. People spend hours scrolling through feeds and witnessing others' seemingly perfect lives play out in real time. With this kind of stimuli at our fingertips, it's hard not to fear missing out - but that doesn't mean we can't do something about it.
Develop an Attitude of Gratitude
Turn your focus from what you don't have to what you do have. Look around you and think about what you can be grateful for. Think about the people in your life that support you. Count all of your blessings, big and small.
Take a Social Media Fast
There is a clear correlation between FOMO and time spent on social media. If scrolling through your feeds leaves you feeling down, it may be time for a fast. Try avoiding social media for 48 hours, a week, or even a month to see if you don't find life more fulfilling.
Embrace The "Joy of Missing Out"
Anil Dash coined this term to describe the joy of doing things on your terms. His example was discovering the simple pleasure of staying home to spend time with his newborn son.
Seek Out Real Life Connections
Overcome loneliness by seeking out others. Sometimes, you need face-to-face time with real human beings. These times can be with family and friends or through other interactions. Who knows what new adventures will come your way through reconnecting with people?
What Is Really Important?
Take some time to think about what is really important to you. Which events and activities are worth missing? Remember, more isn't necessarily better. You don't need to worry about missing every single social engagement.
Discern Your FOMO Triggers
Figure out your FOMO triggers, and learn to limit your exposure to them. For example, some people are triggered by scrolling social media, and others by watching travel/food shows.
Accept That You Can't Do It All
You likely won't be able to reach every party, destination, or social event you'd like to - and that is fine! We all need to stop worrying about the times we miss out on and focus on things we can control. Miss a party? Oh well, there will always be another one.
Is Your FOMO Self-Inflicted?
Could you be the cause of your FOMO? Do you always turn down invites from your friends and loved ones? Do you refuse to be spontaneous? If so, that is where your feelings of FOMO may come from. Try saying yes to more invitations; you will be too busy experiencing life to miss out on anything.
You Might Not Be Missing Out...
As hard as this is to think of at the moment, you might not be missing out on anything. Many of the events you see in your social feeds are being shared in their best light. Remember, the lives you see online might not exist.