I am the absolute QUEEN of FOMO. I believe I have made a daily study of it, for the majority of my life thus far, and am now ready to publicly announce I rule the FOMO kingdom. In my days as Queen, I have come to find a few remedies for when FOMO has begun to really get me down. Read on to learn more about FOMO and my best remedy for FOMO.
For anyone who has never heard of FOMO, it is a concept created within the past ten years, to describe an experience we all can relate to. The fear of missing out, is when a person has a heightened level of vigilance, anxiety, and fear, because they perceive there is a fun, adventurous experience, happening somewhere other than where they are. They feel dissatisfaction with being where they currently are, doing what they are doing, or with whom they are with, and would instead prefer to be a part of the idealized fantasy they imagine, connected to the person, place, or thing inspiring this fantasy.
In modern living, the contexts that often inspire FOMO are parties/festivals, living in a city with 1000s of competing cool people, events and contexts, dating apps, and social media. Social media is especially insidious, as it is a constant stream of posts portraying beautiful, enticing fantasies for others to envy. In essence, it is easy for almost anyone living in or close to a city, who has a social life, who is trying online dating, or who is on social media, to at one time or another, experience FOMO. In these contexts, there is ALWAYS something or someone potentially better and more exciting, around the next corner, at that other place or party, on the next dating profile, or on that next date.
These days, due to the wealth of many societies in developed nations, there are technologies and complexities, as well as a faster pace of life, that also support a never-ending experience of FOMO. The real or imagined opportunities to experience an ever greater bliss and enjoyment, never stop coming.
I wouldn’t say I have anything inherently against FOMO, as this state of being has inspired me to be rather adventurous, novelty-seeking, and to end up having a lot of fun. However, I also see the downside of a never-ending experience of FOMO, as at some point, it begins to inhibit one’s ability to allow for rest, commitment and devotion to decisions, plans, and relationships, and it also breeds a feeling of being unworthy, shameful, or pathetic, if one is unable to sustain (or fails at) a successful search for the next best thing, place, or person.
So, given the drawbacks to FOMO, when it becomes too prevalent in my life, and I begin to experience it as an illness, I have had to learn remedies for it. Below I share my best remedy yet, for FOMO.
Read on to find out what this is.
When I have FOMO, and one case leads to another, to another, and another, I decide to cancel everything, and not do anything at all. And I mean, NOTHING. In fact, I forgo it all, and simply sit still. I make it a point to sit still for thirty minutes, and sit through the boredom and my agitation. I sit through the pain. I sit through the discomfort. I sit through the fantasies and the thoughts that occupy my mind.
This act of sitting still and avoiding seeking something (external) to provide pleasure, entertainment, fulfillment, or satisfaction, helps me press the internal reset button. I find myself realizing I am “ok enough” just being me, without having to do or be anything more. With the act of just sitting still and doing nothing, the fear subsides and it shifts to the wisdom and acceptance of the reality of Existentially Missing Out (EMO).
Existentially Missing Out, is connecting to the reality that no matter what, life is constructed in such a way where we are constantly missing out, just by virtue of occupying one body and life, at one time. We are in a state of constant loss, and this is the flow of our very existence as humans. This larger perspective allows us to not have as much attachment to not missing out, in the smaller context of our life plans. So what if we miss that party- we are missing a lot of things, and this is normal and ok.
So, again, the remedy for Fear of Missing Out, is Existentially Missing Out.
I can survive missing out on everything, actually, because this is the nature of living, and in honoring EMO, I am better off.
** If you feel inspired, share in the comments below, what your remedy for FOMO is. This way, we can all learn to overcome FOMO in multiple ways, together!**