I recently read an article about FOMO - The fear of missing out - by Sarah Miller at Women's Health. Miller defines FOMO as "an uncontrollable yearning to be two or more places at once, fueled by the fear that missing out on something could put a dent in your happiness, status, or career." In other words, if you've ever decided to opt out of something because you weren't feeling your best, but then later on heard that you missed out on something pretty great, and this gave you feelings of regret and anxiety, then you have experienced FOMO. In fact, Miller states that most people experience this phenomenon at varying levels.
In today's media landscape, we are constantly updated on what people are doing, so we are at even more risk of feeling FOMO. Facebook makes it easy to peer into the windows of other people's lives, and how are you supposed to feel when you see that the guy you graduated high school with is off hiking through Machu Picchu and you're sitting at your desk eating peanut butter and jelly? It's especially hard to gain perspective and feel gratitude for your own place in this world when you are constantly wondering what other people are doing in life instead of living and appreciating your own - and we've all been guilty of this at one point or another.
Time to get Guiltless and conquer FOMO. Many of my friends and I have had the discussion about how hard it is to turn down an invitation or simply say no to a request even when we are completely exhausted or too busy to even consider adding to our schedules. This is part of FOMO, and can often lead to overexertion, putting unnecessary strain on our bodies and stress on our minds. It's time to start putting ourselves first and listening to our bodies. So how do we do this? Well, I'm no FOMO expert, but here's what I think might help:
1. Do what you want. There is no rule in the rule book that says you have to go to that dinner or you must make that trip otherwise you'll be sorry. When an opportunity presents itself, consider it, listen to your inner self, and either accept or decline based only on what you want to do at that very moment. It sounds simple, but truly listening to yourself can be difficult b/c our own volume is often muted by the loudness of external noise.
2. Don't look back. Stop second guessing yourself. You know yourself better than anyone else, so if you can't make that party tonight because you know you are on the verge of a nasty cold, then rest assured that there will be more parties in the future and that the best thing for your life right now is R&R.
3. Appreciate what you've got. Sure, you get sick of the daily grind sometimes. We all do. But you have the choice to live the life you're living. If you don't like something, change it. And if you do like it, or even love it, then acknowledge that every day.
4. Stop obsessively checking Facebook. Enough said.
5. Know what's meaningful to you. Sometimes it will mean more to you to make new friends and other times it will mean more to you to catch up with an old one. What is the most meaningful to you at that very moment? Make a decision, and stick to it!
We would love to hear your tips and tricks for dealing with FOMO! How do you express gratitude for yourself? Please let us know by commenting on the post.
Be well and enjoy the day!