The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
FOMO stands for ‘fear of missing out’ and is the perception of other people around you experiencing a better life, where you feel you could be doing better things and feeling you are missing out on something crucial others are experiencing at that moment in time. This can ultimately create envy and generally, a lack of self-esteem. It is not something I’ve ever particularly understood but I do know it is an extremely unhealthy practice, which can lead to stress. People should elevate more to living in the moment as to not experience FOMO. These are my top tips to simply living your best life.
#1 Stop comparing yourself on social media
With the birth of social media, many people compare their lives to people who share the best part of their lives on screen for everyone to see. If you experience FOMO, you may think you are doing something ‘less’ than them where you may wonder why you aren’t doing more. Practice good social media habits.
I use social media to see what people are up to, but I don’t compare my lives to theirs. I feel satisfied with where my life is and what I am doing, and you should too! You must remember everyone on social media tends to show the best parts of their lives and not the regularity, so it’s impossible to compare fairly when you are in bed having just woken from a nap to them having a cocktail the night before. So don’t compare your insides to their outside shell. Don’t overuse social media platforms that give you the chance to swipe through the highlights of peoples’ lives. Go through your following and unfollow anyone that doesn’t bring you happiness or makes you feel worse about yourself.
#2 Realise you probably aren’t missing out
When you experience FOMO, you will struggle to live in the moment. Yes, you might not be ice skating with your friends right now, but if you live in the moment, you can savour the present in what you are currently doing, rather than going to something for the temporary thrill, the idea of an amazing time. Realise everything you do is part of your story, go do something you enjoy and not what you think you will enjoy!
#3 Figure out who’s worth spending time with
In a previous article, I wrote about the ‘Spoon Theory’, which in sum is a metaphor for the number of spoons that represent your energy levels. Think about who is worth giving a ‘spoon’ to, who’s worth your time and energy? Who do you enjoy spending time with, where that happiness lingers even after leaving them? Invest in relationships that make you feel good and drop the ones that don’t. This will decrease FOMO and ultimately, real connections are healthier. Arrange to meet with people who have created meaning within your life, as at the end of the day, it’s the people that are worthwhile, not the experience.
#4 Take things one by one
I am a multitasker. I like doing several things at once, and even whilst I write this article, I am simultaneously watching the Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich Netflix documentary. But really, humans are wired to respond to one thing at a time and perform less efficiently when doing tasks simultaneously. Realise you can’t be in two places at once and there is a reason why you aren’t meeting your friends for lunch because you must work. Think about the benefits of what you must do instead because it is important to prioritise. Focusing on the moment will give you more time to acknowledge things that enhance the quality of life as well as more respect for yourself because you know what will create the best experience for you. Understand in the long run, missing out on one night out to work on your thesis will not change the entire world around you, but will be more rewarding as you’ve accomplished something that will improve your life, not enhance the ‘symbol’ of a good time.
#5 Practice healthy mind habits
Mindfulness and gratitude can be extremely important to stimulate the mind. Understand the deeper satisfaction of the current moment rather than chasing an illusion of happiness. Don’t just understand but acknowledge things to be grateful for, not what could have been. It makes it harder to feel FOMO if you shift your perspective to what you already have in your life, including your past experiences, your support network and the existing moment. It will do wonders for both your mental and emotional health through gratitude-enhancing activities, such as journaling or mindfulness.
#6 Be Kind to Yourself
The last and most important one is to be kind to yourself. There are never enough hours in the day to complete a long extensive list of things you want to achieve. Living in the moment will allow you to be okay with not being able to do everything, be okay with where you are at this current moment in time and don’t compare your life to others. Being able to let yourself go, be kind to yourself through less comparison will help overcome FOMO because it will help you realise how important you are without anyone else sharing the light. There is a reason why you are doing what you are currently doing, and it does not make you any less than for doing so. Remember that!
I have always believed everyone has stories to tell, where some chapters may be shared with others and others you may venture alone. It is okay if you miss that event, it says nothing about you as a person. You may be ‘missing out’ on an experience, but it does not take away from the one you are currently having. Remember, you have your entire life to have experiences! Each person has their own goals, their own journey and how they get there. Your life is not significantly less if you are not doing the same or more than someone (or everyone) else. Each experience is unique to you, and that, in itself is worth acknowledging.