Did you urgently check your smartphone to read this article? You may be suffering from FOMO. Don’t worry, Tyler Jacobson has a cure. Here it is.
Thanks to social media, 24-hour news channels, and round-the-clock communication with friends and family, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that you are missing out on some of the best things life has to offer. Whether you are jealous of your friend’s Facebook updates because her life looks perfect or wistfully scrutinize all the health, beauty, travel and investment articles and videos, you may have FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out. While it’s common for teens to feel overbooked and maxed out in keeping up with friends and activities, many adults are experiencing FOMO and it is even affecting families as a whole.
It’s all too common for people to feel panic about the choices they are making in their lives. Choosing one path in any area of life means that you are forsaking the other path, and that anticipatory regret is something that you need to deal with. For example, if your child is good at both basketball and violin, but your family can’t really do both, you have to decide. If you choose to enroll your child in a basketball program, you will always wonder what you and your child are missing out on by not choosing violin.
FOMO affects everyone at every age. That’s because at each stage of life, these big decisions are made and other paths are not chosen. Some people try to overcome FOMO by doing everything they can, and filling up their lives and the lives of their children to the max. Comparing your activities, vacations, achievements, jobs, homes and children can lead to a dangerous game of one-upmanship that leaves everyone stressed, exhausted and unable to give their best to any one thing.
Here are 3 signs that you may be suffering from FOMO:
1. Overuse of Social Media
If you are constantly checking your accounts, no matter where you are or what you are doing, just to stay informed, you might be worried about missing out on something. An overwhelming need to stay connected at all times can actually jeopardize the interactions and relationships in real life.
2. Endlessly Busy
Those who have a hard time making choices often choose to do it all. In other words, if your schedule and that of your family is packed with activities, social engagements, classes, sports and more, you may be unable to slow down because you or your family may miss something. Of course, life is busy and there is a benefit to being involved in activities and a social life. However, these things should bring pleasure, not stress. Too much becomes a mental and physical burden to your family.
3. High Anxiety
If your mind is constantly spinning about what else is going on or what is next, you may be suffering from FOMO. When you are one place, you stress about what is happening elsewhere, and if you miss something, it sparks anxiety. The facts are that you will always miss out on something, but you have to learn to make the best choice and let the rest go.
The good news is that with a lot of hard work, you can cure yourself of FOMO. Making thoughtful decisions about how you and your family will spend their time is a critical part of living fully in the present and making the most of what you’ve chosen to do.
Cutting back on social media is another good exercise. Checking your accounts just a little but less each day will quickly help you see how dependent you were and what wonderful things and experiences are right in front of you. In extreme cases, you may need to see a therapist to work through some mental health issues. Learning how to deal with regrets and choices in a healthy way will lead you to a more enriching and rewarding life and your family will thank you.