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Why is FOMO Such a Stressor (and How Do I Kick it to the Curb)?

Why is FOMO Such a Stressor (and How Do I Kick it to the Curb)?

It can be stressful to feeling like you are not in on what everyone else is in on. It is kind of like being on the outside of a joke people are telling that you did not get. FOMO, or ‘fear of missing out,’ is quickly taking a toll on millennials and others who struggle to figure out how to experience life without worrying about what else they are missing on the other side. Find some tips for how to kick your stress and anxiety over FOMO to the curb for good.

What is FOMO

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a term that started by millennials to describe the fear of missing out on anything fun, interesting, exciting, or the next ‘big thing.’ It is largely driven by social media now with instant access to people’s everyday lives where they cultivate, share, and even curate lives people will be envious of and try to emulate. If you are a person who panics at not being able to live the life you think your virtual or real world should be like, you may be missing out on more than just the next ‘big thing.’

What it Does

When people fear missing out by watching others, critiquing, and applauding their lives, it becomes a measure against which we see ourselves. It is like holding up a mirror to a life we can never fulfill. It turns into a ‘gimme more,’ ‘i want it, now’ type of attitude mostly seen in toddlers who have little to no emotional regulation. This has detrimental effects both physically and mentally. FOMO is linked to:

  • High levels of chronic dissatisfaction with life
  • Looking outward for apprecation rather than inward
  • Turning to things outside yourself to make you feel better
  • Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and other mental health issues
  • General feeling of malaise about your life

FOMO instills a feeling of anxiety and depression, but we can push back against the fear of missing out if we focus on positive emotions, instead.

Try to Re-Frame Instead

One of the best ways to combat FOMO is to re-frame your experiences. Building your arsenal against negative thought patterns is key. Next time you feel stressed out about a friend who is travelling the world while you’re stuck at work, you can try the following:

  • Track negative thoughts in a journal
  • Write down and analyze why you thought your beliefs and thoughts limited you
  • Replace negative thoughts with better ones
  • Focus on the idea of wonder about life rather than worry
  • Let go of limiting beliefs about your own life and focus on achieving your goals

If you think you may really be struggling with social anxiety or true depression and mental health issues driving your fear of missing out, it would help to speak with a counselor or therapist. Often these thoughts can run for so long that it helps to talk to someone who can provide medication, therapy, or both, in support of your healing process.

If you are ready to release yourself of the need to keep up with everyone lse, we are here to support your journey. Addiction recovery is not for the faint of heart but if you are ready to tackle it head on, we are here to partner with you. Let us help you recover from addiction and seek the resources you need to keep you clean and sober. Call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401