You’ve had a LONG week. But tonight you’ve got a date with the couch. Yep. It’s going to be you, the couch, vintage episodes of Keeping up with the Kardashians, a few glasses of wine and some sweet potato fries. All. Night. Long.
Yep. You know its going to make you feel good. You know its exactly what your body needs right now.
So you’ve just changed into your Snuggie and while you’re waiting for the fries to get crispy, you decide to have a quick flick through your Instagram Feed.
First off a shot of some friends out to dinner. They are all smiling, having fun. And there’s the guy you have been Facebook stalking for ages. The one that, in your head, whisks you off Bali and falls stupidly in love with you. HE IS THERE.
Then there’s someone (who you’ve never even met before) at a dusk yoga workshop. Captioned – “Mastering a Headstand in One Night. Namaste Bitches!”
Next is a snap of the most decadent Mexican platter you have ever laid eyes on. #feastyoureyes
And just before you can take it any longer you spota group of your mates diving off a 60-ft Yacht out into the Adriadic Sea. #nofilterneeded.
Suddenly your cosy night in doesn’t seem all that much fun. Those sweet potato fries don’t look appetising. And episodes of Keeping up the Kardashians just seem lame.
Fear of Missing Out
As human beings we crave a sense of belonging. We posses an innate desire to connect & be accepted by others.
So when we see other people hanging out, having fun, doing cool “shit” together without us… we freak the fuck out!
We fear that they may experience something together. Something so amazingly-out-of-this-world that it will cement an unbreakable bond between them. A bond that we will not be able to break. A bond that we will not be apart of.
We fear we will be forever out of the loop.
Yes. It’s the fact we don’t want to be left out. But F.O.M.O stems even deeper than this. It stems from the same premise as “the grass is always greener on the other side” & “you always want what you can’t have”. It stems from the belief that there is something better out there than what we have right here.
Yes. At its core, F.O.M.O is deeply rooted in our aversion of the present moment.
We find ourselves feeling this way, jealous of other people’s circumstances, because we our unable to sink down into our current moment and enjoy it for what it is.
We see something exciting happening elsewhere and instantly believe that this means the moment before us holds no potential. Instantly it is written off as lacking. And so we sit in our moment, that we think has absolutely piddly-squat to offer us, and wish we were in someone’s else’s. Never. Fun.
But in some weird and wacky way, experiencing F.O.M.O also gives us hope. Hope that, if only we changed our circumstances, if only we were at THAT dinner or THAT party, life would get better. But for those that suffer severe F.O.M.O, you will know this isn’t the case. You will know that even when you ditch your original plans so you don’t miss THAT dinner or THAT night out, you end up still wishing you were somewhere else. You are still struggling to be in the moment!
Yep. In essence F.O.M.O is a resistance of the Now.
We have the ability to compare our lives to others in every single second.
We have FOMO fuel on tap – Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. Snapchat.
No matter where we are, what we are doing or who we are with – there always seems to be someone in a better place, doing cooler things, with hipper people.
Cue: Shitty, shitty, shitty feelings.
So what do we do?
We retaliate. We artfully plate up our sweet potato fries, snap a beautiful still-life shot, filter the shit out of the image and throw on the caption – “A gorgeous night in. Just what I needed!”.
“Take that bitches!!!”, we silently shout to all 300 of our instagram followers. And for a moment we feel sweet relief.
But this kind of tactical retaliation doesn’t cure F.O.M.O. Yes, it may illicit the same shitty feelings you had, in someone else. But it does nothing to take away your own or bring your any deeper into your moment.
How to combat F.O.M.O
So we know that F.O.M.O retaliation isn’t the answer. Then how the hell do we kick these feelings to the curb and sink down into our own moment instead of getting anxious about missing someone else’s? Woah.
Well, I’ve compiled a few tricks for ya.
1. Acknowledge the feeling
It’s okay to feel F.O.M.O. Heck, it’s natural. We all want to feel connected and loved. Noone wants to miss out. Noone wants to be left out of the loop.
So don’t try and smother these feelings. Acknowledge them. Be aware of them. Embrace them.
Then acknowledge these truths….
- You can’t be doing amazing shit in every single moment!!!!
- Missing one night out will not destroy your social life
- If your friends are your friends they won’t give you shit for missing something
- If you friends are your friends they won’t make out feel out of the loop for missing something
- Sometimes life calls for trasy TV and a night in.
2. Get Offline
FOMO feeds on social media.
Sick of feeling it? Cut off its food supply!
The more you check social media the more you are going to feel F.O.M.O. So simply set boundaries. Limit your use. Breathe in the ease. And….
3. Enjoy YOUR moment
Practice mindfulness. Focus all your attention on your moment, on whatever you are experiecning in the Now.
This doesn’t leave any space for you to contemplate what could have been if you would have been at THAT dinner or THAT party. And a whole lot a time to lap up whatever you are actually experiencing.
When we concentrate all our efforts in the present moment we are able to sink down completely into it and soak up all its goodness. And the present is where all the magic happens, Baby!
4. Do stuff just cause it feels good.
You’re tired from a big week at work but you drag your ass out with friends cause you’re feeling a case of FOMO brewing. God forbid, they have fun without you!
But you don’t have fun. The whole time you are wishing you were on the couch with your sweet potato fries and wine, watching Kourtney Kardashian pull Mason right out of her own vagina in vintage episodes of KUWTK!
Life is all about feeling good. Don’t allow your decisions to be dictated by fear. Do what feels good in each and every moment. It’s as simple as that.
5. Keep this in mind
“I forgot to take a photo. Must have been in the moment.” – Susana Frioni.
When we are actually enjoying ourselves, when we are actually immersed 100% in our experience we don’t give a second thought to other people outside of that experience. We don’t care about showing the world what we are experiencing. We don’t need everyone to see how much fun we are having. Because the feeling we are experiencing right then and there is enough.
So next time a photo catches your eye on Instagram and you feel a nasty case of F.O.M.O coming on. Think of this.
Maybe that photo isn’t as candid as it looks. Maybe those smiles aren’t as natural as they seem. Maybe that snap is a perfect example of F.O.M.O retaliation. Don’t get sucked into thinking that photos are a good indicator of reality. Don’t get sucked into thinking that there exists a whole lot more fun & excitement behind that camera lens than right before you.
Be in your moment.
Don’t revolve your days around capturing the perfect Insta. And don’t allow your actions to be dictated by a fear of missing out.
Be driven by whatever feels good. Whatever makes your body come alive.
And now it’s your turn.
How do you deal with F.O.M.O., my Sweet?
Share it with us.
Images via Jo from the Luminous Kitchen