Millennials are all about instant gratification. Or at least that’s the bad rap we’ve been given. So when we’re worrying about FOMO (AKA Fear of Missing Out), the unofficial official emotion of our generation, abstract tips on how to avoid the feeling — like “practice discernment” or “enjoy the process” (yes, we actually found this advice online) — are just not going to cut it. So that’s why we’re here: to provide you with tangible, legitimate ways to tackle FOMO. Try out these four tricks the next time you catch yourself fearing you’re missing out.
1. Recognize the reality of social media. Bear with us; this sounds more abstract than it really is. A good way to catalyze this much-needed epiphany is by considering what you post on your own social media feeds. You’d post a picture of you and your S.O. out to dinner for your anniversary, but you sure as hell wouldn’t post a picture of you waking up on your couch after a colossal fight. Basically, social media usually only shows us one (the most positive) side of someone’s life. FOMO is entirely grounded in the misguided comparison of our failures to others’ successes. Once you understand and accept this, FOMO will find its way out the door. Remind yourself of this fact every time it returns, and eventually, it’ll stay gone.
2. Shut it off. There’s a reason the word FOMO was added to the dictionary as recently as 2013: The advent of social media and our consequent ability to keep tabs on one another’s lives has completely exacerbated the phenomenon. Simple solution: Go tech-free for the day, weekend, week, or however long you need. Many jobs won’t allow this entirely, so at least eliminate social media by — gasp! — deleting the apps from your phone or just practicing some serious self-restraint. This will probably be much more difficult than you expect at first (and a serious wake-up call to your reliance on social media as a time killer). But soon enough, your thumb won’t be gravitating to your social media app folder as soon as you unlock your phone, and it’ll make all the difference.
3. Don’t let yourself miss out. Not everything you’re envious of on your feed is going to be attainable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make some sort of effort. You may not be able to take a trek to Thailand à la your fave travel blogger, but you can get outdoors, immerse yourself in nature’s accessible beauty, and forget, if even for a minute, why you felt like you needed to fly halfway across the globe to have a good time. The ways to fill your time are endless, so don’t opt for lying on your couch and thumbing through your Instagram.
4. Embrace gratitude. Keeping a gratitude journal might seem like nothing short of a chore to some of us, but taking note — even if it’s just figuratively — of all the things we have to feel grateful for in our lives each day is important, especially when trying to squash FOMO. Believe it or not, there are probably some things you’ve got going on that have prompted your followers, friends, etc. to feel their own FOMO at some point or another. (Not that that’s the goal, but you get the point.) Reminding yourself of life’s blessings, both big and small, will instantly make you realize you’re really not missing out on anything at all.
How do you ditch FOMO? Let us know on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)