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Are you a prisoner of FOMO? You’re not alone. We’ve all been a hostage of the Fear of Missing Out.
Whether it’s the fear of missing a party, a text, or the latest status update on social media, FOMO is a very real problem in today’s “always on” world.
Short of moving to some isolated, off-the-grid locale, there’s virtually no escaping modern media. It might be the 24-hour news cycle on cable TV, work emails, or perhaps it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat that consumes most people’s day.
The constant updates have led society to a frenzy of posting, tagging and tweeting that’s difficult to ignore.
As a result, some individuals find themselves in a state of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). It’s the feeling that everyone else is somehow living a richer, fuller, more interesting life than you, which can lead to social anxiety.
There is, however, an antidote to FOMO. Enter JOMO – the Joy of Missing Out – a lifestyle choice that has shown to bring about better mental health and increased happiness.
A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that only 34 percent of adults in the United States consider themselves happy.
While there are no doubt a vast number of reasons for this, practicing a few principles of JOMO might just sweeten day-to-day living.
What Are 5 Ways to Embrace the Joy of Missing Out?
1. Radio Silence
Though it might seem unbelievable to millennials, there was a time before the internet and smartphones. Obviously, turning the computer and smartphone off is a challenge. After all, it’s how we communicate with each other and the world at large.
That said, shutting down our devices for small periods of time, anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours, is enough to remind us there is a calm in interacting with the world right in front of us instead of the one behind the screen.
One of the best ways to slow down the always on world is to practice the art of meditation. It’s sometimes referred to as “sitting” because it can be as easy as that.
Meditation involves a comfortable position and a focus on breathing. As thoughts float across your consciousness, you acknowledge them, but bring the focus back to the body.
Meditation has been linked to decreased levels of depression and anxiety, reduced physical pain and relapse prevention for those recovering from drug or alcohol dependencies.
3. Say No
This is often the hardest thing for many individuals to do, saying No to invites for events, parties, happy hour meetings or any number of different activities.
In an interview for the Huffington Post, Happiness Activist Susie Pearl, says, “People do feel a stronger sense of contentment when they can say ‘no’ as easily as ‘yes.’ …then your ‘yes’ is read much more honestly by those around you.”
Though it’s impossible to always say no, paying attention to your priorities, what really matters to you, will narrow the field of what you say yes to.
Take an honest look at what matters to you most in your day-to-day life. It might be spending more time with your family, getting back to reading, exercising regularly or even the desire to get a full night’s rest.
Once it’s clear what the most important elements of your day are, JOMO is much easier to experience.
It’s suddenly more satisfying to have great workout than spending too much money eating out, or enjoying a few extra hours of quality time with your children rather than saying yes to the new work project that means working longer hours.
5. Practice Mindfulness
At the simplest level, mindfulness is the act of being fully present in the current moment, or being in the here and now.
Whatever it is you’re doing, focus all of your attention on it. And don’t let your mind wander to other things like worrying about whether the car insurance was paid, or when you’ll find time to do laundry.
If you’re eating a great meal, focus on how good it smells and tastes and use all of your senses.
While you’re at it, enjoy the company you’re with and set your phone to Do Not Disturb. The phone will still be there when you’re finished eating and you’ll be more satisfied with your meal.
Don’t Stress About the Fear of Missing Out
Instead of stressing about the Fear of Missing Out, embrace the Joy of Missing Out and realize that you can be happy with whatever you are doing in the present moment if you take the time to be mindful of it.
Some people might think that practicing JOMO requires going against the grain of societal norms.
In reality, every individual sets their own personal norms. Setting our smartphones to silent, prioritizing our lives, saying no and focusing on the here and now can help everybody enjoy the simple joy of missing out.
Even a weekend digital detox once a month can have a profound effect on happiness.
If you get stuck and feel FOMO creeping in, take a deep breath and remind yourself, there is no place I’d rather be than where I am right now.