FOMO (fear of missing out) is an anxiety-based feeling that others are experiencing something exciting or fulfilling, and we are missing out on it. This can have a significant impact on our mental health. FOMO elevates stress levels and contributes to anxiety disorders. This unhealthy drive can contribute to feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, and dissatisfaction with one’s own life.

The first step towards overcoming FOMO is acknowledging that what we see is often an illusion. Social media presents a curated highlight reel of people’s lives, showcasing only the best and most exciting moments. Remind yourself that reality is far more nuanced, and everyone experiences both highs and lows.

Further methods include:

1. Practice Mindful Engagement. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds, set aside dedicated time for social media use and focus on meaningful interactions rather than simply consuming information. Be selective about the content you engage with and be aware of how it affects your emotions and mood not only during the use of it, but after you stop. Is it leaving you happier or stressed?

2. Focus on What You Are Getting. Take time each day to reflect on the experiences in your own life. Recognize the value and uniqueness of your own journey that everyone else is missing out on! By shifting your perspective inwards, you can focus on what is important for you and hopefully find joy and contentment in the present moment.

3. Set Clear Priorities. Define your values, interests and goals, and align your choices accordingly. By consciously choosing activities and experiences which align with your priorities, you will feel more fulfilled and less likely to be swayed by FOMO.

4. Embrace The Joy of Missing Out (JOMO). It is okay to say “no” to certain events or opportunities, or even miss them without knowing, and focus on what you are getting instead. Recognize that by declining or missing one thing, you are making space for something else. JOMO allows you to focus on quality over quantity and find satisfaction in your choices.

5. Practice Self-Care. Engage in activities which nurture your well-being and recharge your energy–take breaks from technology, spend time in nature, pursue hobbies, etc. By investing in yourself, you build resilience against FOMO and cultivate a stronger sense of self-worth. Self-care activities are a sustainable way of feel good and dopamine instead of the burst we get from social media.

6. Foster Meaningful Connections. Instead of trying to be present at every social gathering or every social media thread, focus on building meaningful connections with a few close friends or loved ones. Nurture those relationships and invest time and energy in creating meaningful experiences together.

Digital tech is here to stay, but the way we are using it right now is presenting real challenges for a wide audience. FOMO may be a persistent challenge in our modern lives, but with awareness and conscious choices, it can be overcome.

For additional information on similar topics, check out the new book Tech-Life Balance: 101 Ways to Thrive in a Digital World.

The author Taíno Bendz of the new book  is the founder of Phone Free Day and his own consulting business, and his message on mindful and intentional technology usage has reached and inspired hundreds of thousands of people around the world. He is a public speaker, workshop facilitator, and conducts research on digital technology usage. Taíno holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering and Management and has spent the last 10 years working in technology sectors such as renewable energy, healthcare IT, and software automation. He currently lives in Sweden with his partner and two young sons.

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: