Imagine its December 31st and everyone is excited and happy for the new year’s party. Your friends are discussing their exciting plans. But you can’t go because your mother is and needs you. The entire night you wonder about where your friends are and what they are upto. You feel sad, a little anxious and you wished you could join them. The next morning you see new status updates, posts and pictures on your social media feed. All your friends are talking about it. You feel extremely sad and jealous. You feel dejected because you missed out on so much fun.
This is exactly what is called ‘fear of missing out’ or FOMO. It is fear or anxiety of missing out on an exciting social event, especially when you are unable to attend it. And FOMO is a direct cause of social media. When we see people posting beautiful pictures of them having a good time, lots of fun, good food and dancing, it immediately makes you feel left out.
Here are some common symptoms of FOMO-
• Pervasive anxiety
• Increased social media use
• Personal dissatisfaction
• Wanting to do everything and be everywhere
• Experiencing excessive negative emotions
FOMO is an epidemic today. What is so perilous about it is that it causes tremendous stress for minuscule things such as missing a friend’s party and in certain cases it could lead to depression. It hampers the general mental health of a person, makes the person more self-critical and as a result the person experiences more of negative emotions. FOMO acts as a roadblock to our emotional well-being.
The good news is that FOMO is absolutely treatable with just a few lifestyle tweaks !
- Prioritize – prioritizing tasks in most important to least important gives a certain sense of clarity. Knowing what is most important and checking it off the list also feels empowering
- Turn the noise down – it is a good idea to every now and then get away from all the hustle-bustle and just relax.
- Slow down – one needs to understand that it is okay to not ‘ do everything and be everywhere’
- Be present at the moment – being in the moment and cherishing every second of it is something we ought to incorporate in our life.
- Visit a therapist – visiting a therapist can be extremely helpful because the insights and experiences offered by a trained professional is always valuable
- So next time when your friend asks you ‘Hey do you watch FRIENDS?’ just know it’s okay if you don’t watch it.
- Let’s reconnect with ourselves and what truly makes us happy. Hop off the bandwagon and does something that gives you joy.
- Let’s not waste our lives with the burden of social obligations and trying to fit in.
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