Do you feel anxious and left-out if you miss a party or a brunch? Do the constant Instagram feeds and stories make you feel like a loser? If yes, you are suffering from FOMO or fear of missing out which a huge group of individuals around us go through but are unaware of the condition.
According to research, there are 69 percent millennials who experience FOMO regularly. This feeling keeps intensifying with the continuous use of social media and the urge to keep yourself updated. The solutions are simple but need to be followed regularly.
Digital detox: A digital detox is one of the best therapies for the social anxiety of FOMO as technology is an addiction. The constant use of social media, too much dependence on smartphones and high-screen time have adverse effects on one’s emotional and mental health. A digital detox will help limit the usage of technology and social media which will reset our psychological system, including the body and mind.
Putting your phone away after your work hours, taking off Instagram, Facebook and other social media apps for some time will help curtail the digital usage. While on detox, pay close attention to how you feel, address the difficulties and what’s it like to put away your technology crutch.
Social comparison theory: With social media, people are able to focus on key facets of their lives, highlighting the positive and putting a shutter over everything and anything one wants to hide. We are busy scrolling nonstop. Inquisitive about what we are missing out on and what others are doing or looking like, we often neglect ourselves. The reason we struggle with self-doubt is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with others’ highlights. Instead of trying to be as good as or better than others, it’s important we focus on our energy and thoughts.
One of the best ways to deal with the epidemic is the way we approach it. Though social comparison is difficult to avoid, one can focus on being the best version of themselves rather than the best version of someone else.
Seek out real connections: Social media engagement is not the only way to connect with people. Rather than trying to connect with more people on social media platforms, meet up or connect with your friends in person even if it’s for a small duration. Planning a group outing, hanging out with a close friend or doing any activity that gets you out with your friends can be a good change.
This will help you get over the feeling of missing out and put you in the centre of action. If you are too busy to make a plan, a direct message to your friend can foster a better connection than posting stories or posts all the time and hoping for likes and comments.
Practise gratitude: Getting engaged in gratitude enhancing activities is as simple as appreciating others. Gratitude journaling will not only uplift your spirits but also those of everyone around you. You are focused on the abundance you have, rather than counting the things you lack. You likely will not feel the urge to go down the black hole of social networking and the fear of missing out when you realise how much you already have. This can work well for your emotional and mental health.
Even though FOMO is strongly linked to social media usage, it is important to understand that it is a common and real feeling among individuals of all ages. Every person feels a certain level of FOMO at different times in their lives.
If you have that feeling, reach out to a friend or spend some time reflecting on the things you are grateful and thankful for in your life. Activities like these help us put in a viewpoint as we gather a greater sense of belonging and release the worry and anxiety of “missing out” on anything.
(The writer is a Mental & Emotional Wellbeing Coach, Founder – Let Us Talk)
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