We’ve all been there. You have the flu. You’re studying for an exam. You’re working or home for the weekend. Sometimes, the invite gets lost in the mail. Suddenly, it seems like everyone you’ve ever known is having the absolute time of their lives.
The distinct feeling of missing out, or FOMO, is a prominent phenomenon in our generation. It’s practically a rite of passage, but there are ways to avoid the negative feelings.
#1: Log out or turn it off
Easier said than done, but the best thing you can do is remove yourself from the source of it. What you don’t know can’t hurt you. The idea that social media is a highlight reel is not new, but it’s easy to forget as you scroll from your bedroom. If you’re able to put the phone down, you’ll likely feel much better for it.
#2: Practice being present
When it’s all at the click of the button, it’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is up to. This makes it harder to appreciate what you do have going on in your life. As much as possible, it’s important to be grateful for the moment you are in and the people you are with. Activities like journaling and meditation can be helpful, but so can just taking a moment to practice gratitude.
#3: Plan things to look forward to
For me, having things to look forward to changes my whole outlook. While yes, you may not be having a great time at this exact moment, knowing that you have exciting things coming up can help block feelings of inadequacy. Even if it’s watching “The Bachelorette” the next night or a new book coming in the mail, I think having things to look forward to is good for the soul.
#4: Examine your feeling
Sometimes when experiencing FOMO, it feels like the only thing we can focus on is that it doesn’t feel good. It can be helpful to allow yourself to sit with that feeling. Ask yourself, what do you really feel you’re missing out on? This can help you realize what you need in that moment. Human connection? Time outside or with a person you care about? A good meal or a good time? I think you’ll often find that there’s more than one way to get what you need without the function you’re seeing on your screen.
#5: Hear me out, try to be productive
It’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of refreshing your feed, and the negative feelings can make you want to lie down and do nothing. However, focusing on homework or a project can allow you to get in the zone and make you forget all about FOMO. It will also feel so good to have gotten something tangible done instead of wallowing.
FOMO is a common feeling that often feels inevitable. Try to remember that everyone has felt this way at some point or another, and trust that what’s meant for you won’t miss you.