Fear of missing out (FOMO) is the experience of worrying that other people are doing more interesting things than you and are generally living a more interesting life. It's not a new phenomenon, but it has become very widespread recently due to social media. FOMO is a first-world problem, but it is still a problem that needs to be dealt with. How to overcome your fear of missing out?
Social media gives you a lot of opportunities to compare your life to other people's lives because nowadays almost everyone wants to tell about the places they visit and experiences they have on Facebook and other social media services.
You're happy that your friends are having a good time, your really are (or maybe not). But at the same time you are jealous because your life seems to be much less fun. It feels like life is passing you by, and that's not a happy feeling. FOMO is a major cause of anxiety, stress, and even depression, so you need to find the strength to overcome it. How to do it?
Accept that things happen without you. Each person their own life and their own experiences, and that's completely normal. It is simply impossible to be everywhere you want to be at the moment, especially if you have responsibilities that are more important than your desires.
Your friends are having fun now, but tomorrow they might have a dull evening like the one you are having right now. They just won't post about it on Facebook (because who does that?), and you won't know. Life cannot be fun all the time, get over it.
Remember that social media isn't an accurate representation of reality. We've already touched upon this issue in the previous paragraph. There are very few people who share everything about their lives on social media.
Most people prefer to post positive things, but keep all the negative things and mundane stuff to themselves. It might seem that their lives are picture perfect, but they are not. You just can't see the dark side of the Moon. Does the thought that you're missing out the bad things upset you? We don't think so.
Enjoy the present. The worst thing about FOMO is that it keeps you from enjoying your life. You're so focused on not experiencing things, that you don't let yourself experience them! Next time when you're tempted to log into Facebook for the tenth time this day, do something pleasant or at least productive instead. And when you're actually experiencing something, enjoy it while it lasts.
Don't overthink. There should be less “what ifs” in your life. No one knows what would have happened if..., there are endless possibilities (if you don't believe us, read some classic time travel novels). So don't blame yourself for the choices that may or may not have kept you from experiencing something. You've experienced something else instead, and it's just as precious.
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