I think it’s fair to say that we have all experienced FOMO to some degree in our lives. It’s not a nice feeling at all, so here are 3 ways to banish FOMO for good!
So what exactly is FOMO?
Fear of Missing Out or “FOMO” is effectively believing that something more exciting is happening elsewhere – and you’re missing it.
FOMO can creep in when you’re unable to attend a social event or gathering, for whatever reason, and you feel that it will affect your social standing. FOMO can be pretty dangerous for your mental health. In serious cases it can trigger anxiety, depression and feelings of inferiority.
1. Acknowledge the Problem
It’s normal to feel a little bit of anxious FOMO if you can’t attend an event that all of your squad is going to – but letting it take over your life is not healthy. It is not physically possible for you to attend every single social event going. Even if you do somehow manage to arrange your social calendar to perfection, it can put a serious dent in both your wallet and your energy levels. Saying “yes” to everything is expensive and exhausting!
Equally, you cannot stay awake 24 hours per day to catch every single event unravel on social media in real-time. Stop being so hard on yourself!
Acknowledge that you’re experiencing FOMO, put it to one side and enjoy what you ARE doing, instead of focusing on what you’re not.
2. Check Your Happiness
Even though I’m quite an introverted person and would prefer a night in front of the TV instead of a wild night out. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t experience FOMO regularly! I find one of the best ways to combat it is to take a step back and ask myself:
1. Do I REALLY wish I was out right now?
2. Would I be happier if I was out than I am in my pyjamas watching Netflix?
More often than not, the answer to both questions is “no” and sometimes a little reality check is all you need! I recently read this great article by Anil Dash about The Joy of Missing Out and it really puts things in perspective.
3. Remember that Social Media is not real life!
Sitting on social media, constantly refreshing your feed and finding out what others are up to is making the problem worse. The moments that you see shared on Facebook have been cherry-picked by that person and represent a “highlight” in their day/week/month. Most people don’t tell Facebook when they’re feeling anxious, scared or upset.
It’s not just other people’s social media accounts causing problems. If you’re going out just so that you have a photo to prove it on Instagram the next day – FOMO is taking over and it’s time to take action.
Taking some time to unplug and disconnect is crucial for getting over FOMO. This doesn’t mean delete your accounts and never look at them again. You could try deleting Facebook/Instagram from your phone, so that you’re not tempted to check them constantly.
Let me know your tips for combating FOMO in the comments box below – I can’t wait to read them!