How to cope with fear of missing out

It’s never fun to feel left out. When you hear about a party that you didn’t get an invite to, or when two of your friends discuss the fun they had without you, it’s normal to feel a little lousy, awkward, or even jealous. Unfortunately, these uncomfortable situations can’t be avoided. We all miss out on fun plans every once in a while. 

But sometimes we fall into the habit of worrying prematurely about being excluded from an experience or activity. Why do we waste time and energy wondering about the things that we might be missing out on? This phenomenon is called the fear of missing out, or FOMO.   

In this blog we’ll take a closer look at what FOMO really is, and we’ll discuss some helpful practices to cope with feelings of FOMO in a healthy, mindful way, so that we can all keep our mental and social well-being in check. 

fear of missing out

Don’t forget me, guys 

The fear of missing out isn’t just about having no plans. FOMO means actively worrying that other people are having great experiences that you are not a part of. Thanks to frequent use in popular culture, more and more people find themselves identifying with the idea of FOMO. But what are the consequences of this fear of missing out for our mental health? 

Researchers have found that experiencing feelings of FOMO can have negative effects on our mental health. College students that had FOMO were likely to report increased fatigue, feelings of regret, and lessened ability to focus. Fear of missing out has also been linked to poor sleep habits. When we experience FOMO, not only do we feel sad and anxious in the moment, but we can also feel badly in the long term.

Fear of missing out is a common phenomenon, but it’s certainly not a good feeling. Are there certain things that put us more at risk for feeling this way?  

Tech connection

The tech connection 

Imagine that you’re sitting on your sofa innocently scrolling through your social media feeds. All of a sudden, you notice a new post from a friend of yours. As you look closer at the photo they’ve posted, you realize that three of your closest friends are together without you. Ouch. It’s a Friday night and – based on the photos filling up your feeds – it seems that you’re the only person without any plans. 

You’ll probably go to bed feeling pretty crummy and disappointed. As you fall asleep you’ll likely find yourself wondering: how many great things am I missing out on right now?

Researchers have found strong correlations between social media use and FOMO. In a study linking the two, it was shown that symptoms of loneliness and depression may be worsened by the overuse of social media and the fear of missing out that comes with it. It turns out that having constant access to our friend’s lives can be both a blessing and a curse. 

So what can we do to stop these negative feelings and be happier with our own plans?

Be in the moment

Being mindful and keeping our thoughts focused on the present moment are great ways to avoid FOMO. The temptation to check our phones for notifications is nearly constant. All of us are guilty of thinking that we can multitask throughout the day. But multitasking is typically a recipe for distraction. The more often we find ourselves multitasking with our social media feeds, the more chances we give our brain to wander from the present moment and feel a fear of missing out. 

Practicing mindfulness through meditation, consciously monitoring your technology use, and avoiding too much multitasking are all great ways to avoid FOMO. When it comes to our fear of missing out, we should all try to have some perspective, and remember that it is impossible to have grand plans all of the time. 

Don’t miss out

Feeling a fear of missing out is entirely normal and human. It would be impossible to not feel this way at some point in your life. We can all benefit, however, from remembering that our current era of constant technology use is perhaps doing us more harm than good if we aren’t careful to stay mindful and in the moment. 

So the next time that you find yourself feeling badly about the plans you could be missing out on, remember that some habits can help you to feel FOMO less keenly. Take some deep breaths, be mindful, and focus your attention on the moment. Why spend too much time worrying about other people’s lives when you have so much going for you in your own wonderful life? 

  • Dehaan, C., Gladwell, V., Murayama, K., Przybylski, A., (2013). Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2013.02.014
  • Hope, N., Milyavskaya, M., Saffran, M., et al, (2018). Fear of missing out: prevalence, dynamics, and consequences of experiencing FOMO. Motiv Emot, 42, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-018-9683-5
  • Scott, H., Woods, H., (2018). Fear of missing out: Cognitive behavioral factors in adolescents’ nighttime social media use. Journal of Adolescence, 68, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2018.07.009
  • Reer, F., Tang, W., Quant, T., (2019). Psychosocial well-being and social media engagement: the mediating roles of social comparison orientation and fear of missing out. New Media and Society, 21(7), https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444818823719

 

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How to cope with fear of missing out

It’s never fun to feel left out. When you hear about a party that you didn’t get an invite to, or when two of your friends discuss the fun they had without you, it’s normal to feel a little lousy, awkward, or even jealous. Unfortunately, these uncomfortable situations can’t be avoided. We all miss out on fun plans every once in a while. 

But sometimes we fall into the habit of worrying prematurely about being excluded from an experience or activity. Why do we waste time and energy wondering about the things that we might be missing out on? This phenomenon is called the fear of missing out, or FOMO.   

In this blog we’ll take a closer look at what FOMO really is, and we’ll discuss some helpful practices to cope with feelings of FOMO in a healthy, mindful way, so that we can all keep our mental and social well-being in check. 

fear of missing out

Don’t forget me, guys 

The fear of missing out isn’t just about having no plans. FOMO means actively worrying that other people are having great experiences that you are not a part of. Thanks to frequent use in popular culture, more and more people find themselves identifying with the idea of FOMO. But what are the consequences of this fear of missing out for our mental health? 

Researchers have found that experiencing feelings of FOMO can have negative effects on our mental health. College students that had FOMO were likely to report increased fatigue, feelings of regret, and lessened ability to focus. Fear of missing out has also been linked to poor sleep habits. When we experience FOMO, not only do we feel sad and anxious in the moment, but we can also feel badly in the long term.

Fear of missing out is a common phenomenon, but it’s certainly not a good feeling. Are there certain things that put us more at risk for feeling this way?  

Tech connection

The tech connection 

Imagine that you’re sitting on your sofa innocently scrolling through your social media feeds. All of a sudden, you notice a new post from a friend of yours. As you look closer at the photo they’ve posted, you realize that three of your closest friends are together without you. Ouch. It’s a Friday night and – based on the photos filling up your feeds – it seems that you’re the only person without any plans. 

You’ll probably go to bed feeling pretty crummy and disappointed. As you fall asleep you’ll likely find yourself wondering: how many great things am I missing out on right now?

Researchers have found strong correlations between social media use and FOMO. In a study linking the two, it was shown that symptoms of loneliness and depression may be worsened by the overuse of social media and the fear of missing out that comes with it. It turns out that having constant access to our friend’s lives can be both a blessing and a curse. 

So what can we do to stop these negative feelings and be happier with our own plans?

Be in the moment

Being mindful and keeping our thoughts focused on the present moment are great ways to avoid FOMO. The temptation to check our phones for notifications is nearly constant. All of us are guilty of thinking that we can multitask throughout the day. But multitasking is typically a recipe for distraction. The more often we find ourselves multitasking with our social media feeds, the more chances we give our brain to wander from the present moment and feel a fear of missing out. 

Practicing mindfulness through meditation, consciously monitoring your technology use, and avoiding too much multitasking are all great ways to avoid FOMO. When it comes to our fear of missing out, we should all try to have some perspective, and remember that it is impossible to have grand plans all of the time. 

Don’t miss out

Feeling a fear of missing out is entirely normal and human. It would be impossible to not feel this way at some point in your life. We can all benefit, however, from remembering that our current era of constant technology use is perhaps doing us more harm than good if we aren’t careful to stay mindful and in the moment. 

So the next time that you find yourself feeling badly about the plans you could be missing out on, remember that some habits can help you to feel FOMO less keenly. Take some deep breaths, be mindful, and focus your attention on the moment. Why spend too much time worrying about other people’s lives when you have so much going for you in your own wonderful life? 

  • Dehaan, C., Gladwell, V., Murayama, K., Przybylski, A., (2013). Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2013.02.014
  • Hope, N., Milyavskaya, M., Saffran, M., et al, (2018). Fear of missing out: prevalence, dynamics, and consequences of experiencing FOMO. Motiv Emot, 42, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-018-9683-5
  • Scott, H., Woods, H., (2018). Fear of missing out: Cognitive behavioral factors in adolescents’ nighttime social media use. Journal of Adolescence, 68, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2018.07.009
  • Reer, F., Tang, W., Quant, T., (2019). Psychosocial well-being and social media engagement: the mediating roles of social comparison orientation and fear of missing out. New Media and Society, 21(7), https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444818823719

 

More from wellyou

  • fear of missing out

How to cope with fear of missing out

We’ll take a closer look at what FOMO really is, and we’ll discuss some helpful practices to cope with feelings of FOMO in a healthy, mindful way, so that we can all keep our mental and social well-being in check.

  • Work-life balance

How to create a healthy work-life balance

We hear the term work-life balance increasingly in our daily lives, so why is it so important? Today, we will cover this topic, hopefully inspiring you to make small changes to your life, to live fully in the present moment and achieve a balanced approach to work.

  • Trust

to trust or not to trust

Imagine a time you received good or bad news. Who was the first person you turned to and shared the news with?

Get to know us

Wanna chat? Contact us at
info@well-you.com

Get to know us

Wanna chat? Contact us at
info@well-you.com

Get to know us

Wanna chat? Contact us at
info@well-you.com