Fear of missing out (FOMO) is everywhere and yes it’s a real thing (look it up, it’s in the dictionary). Essentially, it’s defined as the feeling of missing out on something that is happening, that you consider being better than what is happening to you. As we are all more connected than ever, this can cause a real problem throughout the day as FOMO reduces our productivity and focus as well as contributing to depression and negativity, particularly if you are spending all day worrying.
Instead, here are some practical ways to make sure you aren’t missing out on life, worrying about what everyone else is doing.
1. Turn Off Push Notifications
Ding…check your phone, ding…check your phone. A lot of the time, notifications aren’t even useful but they cause us to keep checking our phones and distract us even when we’re on vacation. This hinders you from getting things done and takes your focus away from what is important. Push notifications are fuel to a FOMO fire!
2. Leave Your Phone at Home
Try to do at least 2-3 activities a week where you leave your phone at home and are present with what you are doing. Whether it is going to the gym, a run, a long walk, or a date with friends, either way, ditch the device and you will find that you appreciate things more, and worry about everyone else less. Plus, if you do get tempted to look, your phone isn’t there to indulge you.
3. Avoid Social Media
Fear of missing out is directly related to social media interaction and can play a key role in making you feel inadequate. You start to base things on the engagement you get and if you don’t get the response you want it can trigger FOMO further. It is important to remember not everything is always as it seems on the internet and, chances are, someone else is feeling the same way as you, despite what their social media page says.
4. Get an Alarm Clock
Don’t start your day by looking at social media or your phone. Stop using your phone as an alarm clock, charge it overnight somewhere else and invest in the real thing. Whether you are looking at pictures from last night’s events you didn’t go to, or see someone has already gotten up and posted about their morning run. Either way you let the FOMO in and you haven’t even started your day yet.
5. Call A Friend
If you are afraid of missing out, then start doing something about it. Call a friend or arrange a get-together, have some coffee and give yourself something to do. Spending all day worrying about it isn’t going to do anything.
6. Look Inwards
FOMO stems from people searching outwardly to find happiness and it turns into a never-ending cycle. Instead, be grateful and look inwardly at everything you have in front of you, as well as what you have to offer. You will find the gratitude reminds you that you don’t need anyone else to make you happy.
7. Entertain Yourself
Sometimes you can get a sense of FOMO because you are simply bored and watching others have an adventure which is perfectly normal. However, to avoid yourself from spiraling, do something to amuse yourself whether that’s work, picking up a book or going outside. Have an experience by yourself rather than looking at everyone else’s.
Ultimately it is important to remember that fear of missing out is tied to technology and social media as well as a reliance on others for validation. The way to combat this is to form new habits. Change up your routine, add in some screen-free time and get out and engage with others whenever you feel like it rather than worrying about what other people are thinking and doing! FOMO is your problem to be fixed, so take back your life and use some of these tips.