Have you got #FOMO? Here are 3 ways to break our addiction…The AAG Formula

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.

2ATTENTION: 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,

R

You.

I have written and rewritten this about 20 times. Here goes.

I met my husband for the first time when I was 13. He sat behind me in French class and did everything in his power to get away with learning as little as possible. I was quite the opposite and tried my best to do well and keep my head down when it came to school, I wasn’t very confident you see (….anyone who knows me now may not believe me when I say that). The last thing I could imagine happening would be a BOY noticing me but unbeknownst to me there was one who’s eye I caught. We didn’t really speak to each other until he sat next to me and from there he wound me up constantly for a solid 2 years. He was the boy that would ping my bra strap, hide my pen, scribble in my text book, get me in trouble for talking…the list goes on and it was so very very annoying but he made me laugh! We were 15 when he asked me to be his girlfriend and eventually I agreed to this, it took a lot of asking as I was so nervous and didn’t really think he liked me that way. We spent a lot of time together and he really brought me out my shell, he made me feel pretty and happy. As our high school life came to an end so did we and it was horrid, as all teenage romances coming to an end often are.

After that I spent 8 years in and out of relationships, both long and short, and wondering if I would ever feel quite as many butterflies as I did when that boy from school would look at me and smile. You know the kind of feeling when every single part of you smiles, that smile you can feel in your stomach….the oh no he’s got me smile. Well I can safely say no one ever managed it and I put that down to me hardening over the years after so many horrible relationships had crashed and burned around me. I had the most toxic people come in and out of my life and every time a part of my happy, live and let live attitude disappeared with them. It was really hard to accept that you make your own happiness but I had a fabulous set of friends who helped me on my way.

Then, I had a friend request on Facebook from none other than that boy from school. My. Heart. Jumped. I swear to you all I smiled that smile instantly. I didn’t even think I just messaged him to say hi and then panicked about whether it was weird but luckily it was too late, he messaged back and I was so glad he did.

After that we spoke for a while and then met up. It had been 8 years since I had last seen him and sitting there talking was like we’d never been apart. It was crazy and wonderful and before long we were living together. I had spent the longest time feeling like I had to do it all myself and nobody had ever shown me a reason to let that guard back down until I met him. He was supportive of my life and my choices, he lifted me up when I felt my most down, he’s my ultimate cheerleader and that is just the best. He taught me that you absolutely should be focussed on finding your own happiness, but, when someone comes along who wants to help you find it it’s ok to let them in.

We are now very happily married and we have our tiny human, it’s a long way from perfect but we have a house full of love and laughter. He makes me smile every day and that is so very important. He put me on the path to finding confidence in myself when I was 15 and now he is helping me every day to find out new things about myself. He has loved me in every shape I have been, from a size 6 at 16 to a size 14 at 26, he loved me through the crazy make up fads I went through to the mum bun and mascara basics! I learn to love myself through his love for me, don’t get me wrong I still need to learn to love those bingo wings but I’m getting there.

So I hope you didn’t mind the slightly longer read but this one was important to me. I’ll sign off here I think.

“Keep quiet, nothing comes as easy as you. Can I lay in your bed all day?”

Thank Goodness It’s Friyay! (TGIF)

Hi everybody! Happy Friday!!! How’s your week been?

So I wanted to write this gratitude blog about Friday! We’ve all heard of the phrase ‘Thank God It’s Friday’ (TGIF). And having practiced gratitude this month this phrase actually sits uncomfortably with me (even though I still enjoy Katy Perry’s song!). For me, this phrase demonstrates how we can end up being in dead-end jobs or having mundane routines and the only time we look forward to is Friday afternoons, when we are watching the clock, waiting for the day just to be over so we can get ready and enjoy the weekend. And this actually makes me very sad. I think sometimes we forget how precious life is and if we are preoccupied with getting the week over and done with, then something is wrong.

I’m not saying weekends are not great. Of course they are. But I think we need to turn the TGIF phrase into a more positive one. I’m choosing to say ‘Thank Goodness It’s Friyay!’ – Yay for the Day. And every day should be as much of a ‘yay’ as it can possibly be. Cheesy but something I truly believe. There is beauty to be seen everyday and when we can, we need to step back to notice it.

So how can we do this when life sometimes feels like a struggle? How can we re-phrase these phrases?

Oh no, it’s Monday!
Yay – brand new week to start being productive and taking part in new experiences.

Hate this traffic.
Thank goodness I have access to transport and I can listen to the songs on the radio for a bit longer.

I just wish this building work was over and done with.
The building work is going to be worth it as our house will be beautiful!

My family are really annoying.
I’m so glad I have family around me who love and care about me.

——

These are a few examples of gratitude and if we can list at least three things to be grateful for each day, we will notice more positive things around us.  Each day should have a ‘yay’ in it as life is too beautiful to not notice the good.

If you are feeling quite low about your life at the moment it might be worth seeking the support of a health professional to see how things can be improved. If you are experiencing low job satisfaction and feel like life is getting mundane then maybe it’s time for a change – looking for a new job, seeking a new hobby etc.

I hope this blog has helped. Happy Friyay and enjoy your future days with the ‘yays’ ahead!

Until next time,

R