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Got a Fear of Missing Out?

Are you afraid of missing out? You just might be.

When it comes to anxiety, I thought I’d heard it all. But I recently ran across an article published on the ADAA website that got my wheels spinning on a subject I’d never even considered.

Before I continue, I want you to think about something for a minute.

Do you scroll through Facebook posts and feel left out?

Do you secretly envy your friend’s travel pics and wish you were in on the action?

And do you find that Instagram makes you feel a little boring?

I know I do. And I bet you do too.

Apparently, there’s a term for this concept. And that term is FOMO (fear of missing out). It’s even listed in the Oxford Dictionary.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, FOMO is defined as:

“Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website: ‘I realized I was a lifelong sufferer of FOMO.'”

While this fear has always been in existence, technology has made it into a daily occurrence. After all, it’s pretty hard not to notice the amazing things your friends are doing when you’re sitting at home in your PJ’s surfing Facebook.

And this makes our lives seem really uneventful and lonely.

In short, we feel like we must be missing out on something big. It seems like our lives are somehow dull or unimportant. And this is a real bummer.

So what can you do to combat this reality?

According to article author Dr. Aarti Gupta, getting over the fear of missing out starts with coming to terms with the problem at hand. If you scroll through Facebook and you actually feel distressed, you may have an issue. In truth, admitting this can lift a huge weight off your shoulders.

Though this sounds comedic, Gupta says that you can use a little self-talk to make yourself feel more at peace. She says to recite the following phrase: “I cannot be everywhere at all times and always be doing the coolest thing ever. And that’s OK.”

I tried it. And I’ve gotta admit, it made me feel better.

Next, she says to call it quits with the “chatter.” In other words, don’t spend your days attached to Facebook.  Set time limits on when and how long you’ll surf social media sites. For example, you may want to schedule Facebook surfing into your day if it truly disrupts your productivity level.

Finally, make mindfulness a part of your routine. (You see? Mindfulness is everywhere-Facebook surfing included.)

To do this, Gupta suggests calling it quits with the multitasking and focusing on what you’re doing in the present moment. If you’re scrolling Facebook, don’t do it haphazardly. Give it your full attention. HOWEVER, this also means refraining from surfing Facebook when you’re doing something else.

If you’re on the phone, focus on your call without secretly delving into Instagram posts. (I tried this too. It’s tough!) And if you’re having dinner with a friend, leave the cell surfing out of the mix.

This will help you to see just how amazing your own experiences are. Sure, you might not be zip lining in Zimbabwe, but dinner with friends and family can exciting too. You just need to take your expectations down a notch.

References:

http://www.adaa.org/blog/tips-get-over-fomo

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/fomo

Photo Copyright:

<a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_dizanna’>dizanna / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

 

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