Hi everybody! I hope you’re well!
So as it’s #Shocktober, I thought it’d be interesting to write my blog about fears! FOMO in fact – Fear of Missing Out!
FOMO is an interesting phenomenon and we can all experience it. Especially those who’ve grown up with the advancements in technology.
Everyday we are bombarded with texts, calls, Facebook messages. The minute our phone pings, we have to check it. See what that message that was or what that Facebook notification was!
And although the phrase ‘FOMO’ has originally stemmed from technology, it can actually be applied to a whole range of situations. For instance, that party that all your friends are going to, that course that sounds really good, that event or gig etc!
Research has described FOMO as …‘‘the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out – that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you’’.
And this is not a good thing. We check social media constantly! We feel like we’re being kept out of the loop.
The sad reality is that research demonstrates that FOMO actually stems from unhappiness. And when we’re unhappy we tend to check things like Facebook to see how everybody else is doing. Research shows that we check our social media first thing when we wake up, during meal times and last thing before bed!
But isn’t this a symptom of modern life? Hmm, rather an addiction!
When we’re unhappy, we turn to social media and it actually makes us feel worse, but we are kept in a very negative cycle!
The thing is guys, often things like Facebook are an illusion. People cherry pick what they put on about their lives and everything seems perfect. But are they really happy? We know they probably aren’t but we still compare. And comparison can make us feel slightly depressed. Social comparison is extremely destructive to our wellbeing.
But when someone puts something up! Some of us will feel compelled to write awesome things too. And it feeds into this whole cycle! This cycle can bring you up and then put you right down again – it needs to stop!
WE NEED TO CALM DOWN PEOPLE AND BREAK THIS CYCLE!
So here’s my AAG formula for 3 ways to manage FOMO:
1. ACCEPT: you’ll always miss out on something in life. But rather than focussing on scarcity, learn to love what you’re doing in the present moment. Really capture that experience for what it is and enjoy it.
2. ATTENTION: Focusing on the outside won’t make you happy but focusing on the inside does. Cliche but true. Here’s an extract from Nobel-Prize winner Daniel Kahneman. He explains the importance of attention in his book, Happiness by Design: Change What You Do, Not How You Think:
“Your happiness is determined by how you allocate your attention. What you attend to drives your behavior and it determines your happiness. Attention is the glue that holds your life together… The scarcity of attentional resources means that you must consider how you can make and facilitate better decisions about what to pay attention to and in what ways. If you are not as happy as you could be, then you must be misallocating your attention… So changing behavior and enhancing happiness is as much about withdrawing attention from the negative as it is about attending to the positive.”
So, limit your use of social media and be in a state of flow. This will increase your attention, make you more focussed and will help you to enjoy the present moment more.
3. GRATITUDE: Our minds are programmed to focus on the negatives. However, gratitude is the antidote to this. In fact, gratitude is arguably the king of happiness. Research demonstrates that those who practice gratitude are less to be depressed, anxious, lonely, envious, or neurotic. It’s correlated with an objectively better life:
Social comparisons make you feel you have less. Contemplating what you are lucky to already possess makes you abundant.
SO TURN YOUR NOTIFICATIONS OFF! Put your phone down and get rid of your FOMO for good!
Until next time,