Imagine you have had the busiest week. You decide to just relax and do nothing this weekend. Your plan is to be in your pajamas and cuddle with a blanket, have a book in your hand, or watch a series on Netflix. The perfect weekend where you have no more activities listed and you get time to just relax. On Saturday you sleep till noon, wake up with finally completing your quota of sleep, you freshen up and sit with a cup of coffee and finally pick up that book which you have been wanting to read for so long when suddenly your phone buzzes. It is a notification that tells you your best friend is on a weekend getaway – off to the beach with a cocktail in her hand it says.
There is a sudden flow of emotion that travels through your body. The blissful happy state that you were in a couple of minutes ago is gone and you have a surge of negative emotions like disappointment, jealousy, sadness, and something unexplained. This is FOMO and we are trying to understand here what triggers it and how to cope with it.
What Is FOMO?
‘Fear of Missing Out’ popularly known as FOMO is a real problem. FOMO diverts you from what you have to what you do not have in a matter of seconds, because someone else has it. So instead of being blissfully happy for the relaxed and free time, you have today, you are unhappy that someone is enjoying a vacation.
FOMO is the anxiety you feel when you see someone achieving something and the inadequacy you feel about your own achievements. It is the disappointment you feel when you look at #couplegoals posts on Instagram and worry that you are missing out on beautiful relationships. FOMO is when you are confused between what you feel you should be doing and what you really want to do.
The Myth About this Fear Of Missing Out is that it’s a recent discovery. Nothing can be farther from the truth. The term may have been coined in recent years but this phenomenon has existed since forever. It is a basic nature of us homo sapiens and hence we can conclusively say that we cannot make it go away. All we can do is understand it better and act such that the fear doesn’t overpower our life. Our Fear Of Missing Out tells us something and we need to be on alert mode and improve our inner listening in order to find what.
What Triggers FOMO?
- Unchecked use of social media is one of the biggest triggers of ‘FOMO’ Fear of missing out’ .
- Lack of self-awareness.We are not able to analyze what we really want.
- We are bad at predicting how the fulfillment of want will actually impact us.
- We want to do it all at once.
- Being excluded from events and social gatherings.
- Negative Self-perception
- Constant comparisons with others. It can be you or someone else in your life making these comparisons.
Once you understand your triggers, coping up with FOMO becomes easier.
Coping up With FOMO
- The first step in coping up with FOMO is to understand that it is not a monster but a messenger. A messenger that is secretly telling you to look into what is wrong. Fear pops up when you suspect something to be wrong and that is what you need to analyze here. Why are you sad that your friend is partying when you absolutely wanted to relax in your pyjamas today. See what this messenger is trying to tell you.
- Stop comparing your life with that of others. Every person has their own journey, their own ups and downs, and their own destination. You cannot compare your life with the cover page of someone else’s book. Remember their story is hidden deep in between the pages.
- Check your use of social media and control it. the biggest hurdle in coping up with FOMO is the extensive usage of social media, and I don’t want to say anything else about it. You already know how it is harming you.
- Stay away from Energy Vampires and people who put you down on making the choices you have made for your life.
- Learn to find your purpose and stick to it no matter what the people around you say. Remember no one else is living your life. You are. and you need to make decisions accordingly.
- You have to accept the fact that everything will not go as you want it to. Life is unpredictable and hence there will be diversions from your plan. Just because someone else got there faster doesn’t mean you’ll not reach there. So be patient.
- Learn to be in the present. Thinking about what has happened in the past and what will happen in the future is out of your control and the sooner you accept this, the better it is for your progress.
- Maintain a facts journal to control your negative thoughts. Most of what we feel in the ‘fear of missing out’ experience is due to negative self-beliefs and hence it is important to find these patterns and replace them with positive self-beliefs.
- Understand that happiness is not dependent on a single variable. It is in fact a complicated combination of so many things that happen simultaneously in your life.
Coping up with FOMO is a very simple task if you just understand the reasons for your FOMO and you get to know yourself better. Every person is important in this world in their own unique way. some will have one experience while others will have some other. There is something good in your life and something in mine. Some factors are not working for me while some might not work for you. (Watch ‘It’s a wonderful life‘ if you have not yet.)
Also Read: Anxiety Of Opportunity Cost (Fear Of Better Opportunities): Symptoms and Solutions