Imagine scrolling through social media and finding it filled with posts of people traveling to off-beat holiday destinations, having dinner get-togethers, and working from mountains or beaches. Do you get a strange anxious sting that makes you wonder why aren’t you a part of these exciting things? What you are experiencing is FOMO – the fear of missing out. Let’s dig deep into what causes FOMO, how it impacts your health, and how to overcome FOMO.
Nearly 3 in 4 young adults report feeling FOMO. But FOMO can be felt by anyone of any age.
What is FOMO ?
Fear of missing out is the perception that others are leading a better life, having more fun, or having better experiences than you. It arises from the feeling of envy, can cause stress, and can even impact your self-esteem.
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What Causes FOMO ?
Humans have always compared their lives with others. But with social media, it has become easier to indulge in feelings of comparison. Spending too much time on social media can give rise to feelings of exclusion, unhappiness, sadness, dissatisfaction, frustration, or loneliness which can further trigger FOMO.
Not just social media, even listening about a missed opportunity from a friend can cause FOMO. If you develop overwhelming feelings too often, remember it’s never too late to seek help.
FOMO Affects Your Mental Health
FOMO may seem like a harmless feeling but it can worsen present mental health concerns such as worsening your inferiority complex, reducing self-esteem, and causing loneliness, stress, anxiety, and mood swing. It may also affect focus, and motivation to do things, and can even impact the efficiency of performing day-to-day activities.
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Follow CAPES to Overcome FOMO
1. Cut down on social media
If you feel social media triggers your feelings of FOMO, cut down the time you spend on social media. Assign specific times of the day to browse through your social media to fight the urge.
2. Address the anxiety
Unless you accept that you develop FOMO, you cannot take action against it.
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3. Practice mindfulness
Never forget that social media is not the whole story. Instead of envying someone else’s happiness, be present in your own life and appreciate the moments you have. Immerse yourself in mindfulness: Take any mundane task like walking and feel every step you’re taking, how you move your muscles, etc. Experience every moment you spend doing the task. This helps you appreciate and enjoy your current state.
4. Enjoy JOMO (Joy of missing out)
While desires are unlimited, needs are limited. Practice JOMO by embracing the choices you make and finding joy in the present situation. Instead of feeling sad about what you’re missing, find happiness in what you have. Make yourself aware that millions of events happen every day around the world. It is impossible to be everywhere.
5. Seek real connections
Instead of connecting with more and more people online, try meeting your friends in person. Give time to offline events, meetings with friends, and conversations with colleagues. This helps you feel in action, eradicating FOMO.
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Humans are two times more likely to be affected by losses than by gains. This means FOMO is likely to overwhelm you more because it makes you feel like you’re losing out on something. If it is disrupting your day-to-day tasks, we advise you to seek expert guidance.
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