What is FOMO?
FOMO or the fear of missing out is the feeling of anxiety or the thought that people around you are having fun, living better lives or experiencing a better thing than them. This instigates a deep rooted envy and harms one’s self-esteem. The feeling of FOMO is intensified by social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
The word FOMO was added to the Oxford English dictionary in the year 2013.
Generally people suffering from FOMO have a wrong notion that they are ranked low socially, which in turn creates a sense of anxiety, depression and a feeling of inferiority.
Humans have always been concerned and troubled about their social status since ages, but the commencement of social media has aggravated the issue of FOMO. This has become a prime concern for today’s youngsters who are always glued to the social media platforms to check the status updates or different photos and posts posted by their friends online. These youngsters start feeling inferior and let down when they are not able to post updates and photographs from a school dance or from a vacation trip.
According to few psychologists and researchers, it is this FOMO that makes the social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook successful and more popular.
If one is struggling with FOMO, it ideally means that they are completely focused on other’s lives and is forgetting to live their own lives.
Impacts of FOMO
FOMO causes a heavy impact on both your physical and mental health. It practically gives rise to mood swings, depression, anxiety problems, low self-esteem, and high levels of negativity. This ultimately forces people to resort to antidepressant tablets to stay sane and stable.
Another grave impacts of FOMO is it leads to increased stress and pressure levels. This ultimately pushes people especially teenagers and youngsters to seek refuge in alcohol and drugs. Last but not the least, FOMO also initiates distracted learning and distracted driving. People or teenagers who are high on FOMO are more likely to check their social media updates during class hours and also during driving, which is highly dangerous for the obvious reason.
How to Cope with FOMO?
is not an out and out mental illness; it is just an anxiety problem which can be treated by inducing few changes in your thought processing and habits.
Turn your FOMO into JOMO
JOMO or the Joy of Missing Out is referred to living the moment irrespective of the place and the situation. There are several ways you can adopt to turn FOMO into JOMO. They are:
Focus on your Senses– Imagine the sound of the ocean lapping up on the shore or feel of the sun warming your body or indulge in some kind of meditation. This will cool your mind and senses and you will feel a lot more calm and pleasant.
Avoid Multi-tasking– Do not focus on your phone calls or messages when you are involved in any activity. For eg: when you are watering the plants, enjoy that particular moment and give in completely rather than waiting for a call or message on your phone.
Practice controlled Breathing-Practice slow and composed breathing the moment you feel your mind is wandering.
Allot 3 minutes – Practice guided meditation every day and give yourself 3 minutes of silence to calm your mind.
Enjoy your food slowly– Do not gobble your food instead smell and enjoy every morsel. This is one way to focus on your senses which can be a habit as you keep practicing it in different ways. For instance, enjoy the smell of the freshly baked cookies after you take it from the oven, or inhale the tangerine as you peel the oranges etc.
Come down to the earth– Earth yourself by sitting comfortably on your chair, feel the texture of your furniture and enjoy the moment. Conclusively, feel every bit of your action and activity at home.
Do not hurry– slow down your pace of life by talking slow, by looking into the other person’s eyes while having a conversation etc.
Take a walk– when you feel anxious or low, go for a walk and take a look around, enjoy each sight and feel the present moment.
Develop a feeling of gratitude– Thank every moment and please understand that everything happens for a good reason. Drill this thought into your mind and before you realize you will be able to accept every situation with happiness and with a positive mind.
Learn to prioritize– Learn to distinguish between important and unimportant things; Eliminate things that do not contribute to your happiness. Be assertive and focus on things that are more rewarding rather than those things that do not return anything to your life.
“Sometimes you need to sit lonely on the floor in a quiet room in order to hear your own voice and not let it drown in the noise of others.”