By: Sherry Levine, Regular Contributor
Image from brightfutura.com
OHH FOMO. If you haven’t heard this term yet it stands for “Fear Of Missing Out” and if you haven’t felt this fear before chances are you’re not a human being! FOMO is something that is experienced in every age group, in every city, in every variety.
FOMO is a relatively new term and is becoming more prevalent due to social media and our ability to see what everyone is doing at every moment. The daily FOMO meter for an everyday girl is definitely rising and is no fun. Were things easier back before social media when it was just out of sight out of mind? When you would simply go out with your friends and be happy, not worrying about what everyone else was doing? Probably! Ask your parents.
It seems these days we have a desire to be in 100 places at once. Hopping around from party to party just to be sure “we were there.” Often people are posting an Instagram from a party that wasn’t even fun! But alas, your followers don’t know that. Have you ever arrived somewhere instantly feeling like there must be something better going on somewhere else? I know I have.
This feeling is an anxiety. In fact, FOMO, simply put, is just one overwhelmingly anxious feeling! It is no longer a funny term thrown around; it is real, causing many to feel not good enough, insecure, and unworthy. Like all anxieties, there are ways to lessen the burn. Here are a five ways you can beat this feeling of FOMO.
1. Monitor your expectations and be realistic: I think all too often we are glorifying what is really going on behind these pictures. Our brains tend to always want to think the worst, meaning we will immediately feel like we are missing the greatest party of all time. Let’s be honest, it probably isn’t the greatest party of all time. And of course, there will always be other parties.
2. Quiet your mind: A lot of anxieties occur because we are giving situations way too much thought. I have conditioned myself to literally look the other way. Dwelling on these situations will not only ruin everything about your current activity, but it will drive you crazy. Like I said before, your mind will go to the worst, do not live in there. I tell my friends all the time, get out of your head, IT CAN BE SCARY IN THERE, and often inaccurate or over exaggerated.
3. Appreciate your surroundings: Chances are when you’re experiencing this FOMO you’re either at home or at another event. This feeling that there’s always something better going on is just simply silly! Check yourself when your brain takes you here and realize you’re doing it no matter where you are! For instance, have you ever gone out wishing you stayed home? “Oh how nice my couch would be.” Or stayed home wishing you had gone out? “I’m so bored just sitting on this couch.” These feelings are anxieties; they make no sense! I’ve even experienced FOMO while on an amazing trip with my family in Hawaii! The grass seems like it’s always greener, but guess what, it’s not! Enjoy where you are in that moment, and remind yourself that you chose to be here and you’re happy about it.
4. Take initiative: If you are constantly feeling like you are missing out on good opportunities, whether it is a fun outing, or even a spin class everyone is going to, take it upon yourself to get some friends together and go. Send out some texts, make some calls and make it happen! It seems that a lot of people are sitting around waiting for someone to invite them somewhere. The insecurities in our mind will tend to make us feel like we’re not wanted or that everyone is hanging out without us. But again, your mind is a difficult place to be in for too long, it can distort the truth. Don’t let these insecurities keep you from taking initiative and making plans. I promise, most of the time all it takes is a simple, “Oh sounds fun, I want to come!” Don’t be too passive; things aren’t always going to fall into your lap.
5. REPEAT- It’s o.k. to stay home!: Remind yourself that not only is it impossible to be everywhere at once, but it also sounds very exhausting and is sometimes irresponsible! Keep in mind that there are other things more important than Instagraming you were at the cool event that night. Like, for instance, working on some things you’ve been meaning to get done, going to sleep early and feeling refreshed the next day, cleaning your room or doing laundry, hanging out with your family at home or reading a good book. Take this opportunity to do something productive. Usually, if I feel bad about not being somewhere, I will use that silly anxiety to motivate me to do something I’ve been meaning to do. It’s nice to be able to have some alone time, reflect on your life, and work on yourself and your goals!
About Sherry: I am Sherry Levine. A 26-year-old woman committed to supporting and inspiring woman in any way I can. With my contributions to I AM THAT GIRL and my life-coaching program Generation Teen, designed to provide guidance to everyday teen girls, it is my mission to encourage and empower all woman to create the happiest and most fulfilling life possible.