The Truth About FOMO. (And 5 Ways to Combat!)

My week in pics… saying goodbye to Mexico City, transition day with 78 other Remotes, and first five days in Bogota, Columbia! (and yes, learned how to make dumplings for Chinese New Year… very Colombian! However totally fun.)

The Truth About FOMO.

Happy Friday! And greetings from Bogota!

 

FO·MO

ˈfōmō/

noun informal

noun: FOMO

Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.

 

Yes, it’s a real term (it was actually added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013!) and a real phenomenon.  

 

And I’ll admit it, I’ve suffered from FOMO on occasion before. And I more than likely will again.

(especially being on Remote Year, with 78 other like-minded folks always game for doing something fun, there are overlapping events and happenings taking place every single day! It’s impossible to be everywhere at any given time!)

I like to think it’s because I’m a yes girl. I want to be able to say yes to everything and everybody. Which of course, is simply not possible. I also like to maximize, well, life. And so I want to do it all, and sometimes am overly optimistic about all I can fit in.

 

Here’s the truth.

There will always be a party you’re missing out on, a delish dish you’d wished you’d ordered, a hairstyle you totally would’ve rocked and is now out of fashion.

 

And here’s the good news.

So long as you are fully present where you are, enjoying where you are, experiencing where you are, you won’t actually be able to experience any FOMO at all!

 

You see, all too often we assume more fun is happening elsewhere. But if you focus on the fun you’re having right here right now, you’ll realize you’re already where the biggest party’s at!

 

And, just in case that may seem easier said than done, here are five ways to combat feelings of FOMO.

 

Say thank you.

There was a study that suggested taking the time to start your day writing just one thank you email significantly increases your happiness factor. And research also showed that the happier you are, the less likely you are to experience FOMO.

 

Give more hugs.

Did you know that a simple hug releases a neurotransmitter and the hormone oxytocin, which in turn can make you happier? It’s true.

When you increase social interaction, and especially physical touch, you become happier with where you are. And when that’s the case, you’re less likely to want to be somewhere else.

 

Practice Gratitude.

Did you also know that Prozac boosts the neurotransmitter serotonin? So does gratitude. Create a list of things you are grateful for in your life right now. This simple act allows you to notice all of the positives you have exactly where you are.

 

Avoid getting caught in the Facebook Vortex.

As I’ve talked about before, social media can be dangerous. And it’s been shown those who spend a lot of time on the plethora of platforms that exist (ie it’s the first thing they do when they wake up, and the last thing they check before going to bed) are unhappier than those who don’t.

Remember, when you’re comparing your life to those you see on social media, you’re simply comparing your behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel. And it’s NOT real! Don’t tune into the false world if it means tuning out the real world.

 

Love where you’re at.

It’s true you can’t always choose what happens to you in life, but you can choose your attitude. Choose optimism. Studies show those who are optimistic are far less likely to experience any negative feelings, unhappiness, comparison, FOMO, etc.

Wherever you are, be all there. Look around you, smile, and choose something to be excited about in this moment.

 

So next time you feel a bout of FOMO coming on, do one of these things: find someone to thank, give someone a hug, identify a few things you’re grateful for, do a digital detox, and fall in love with where you’re at.

When you experience FOMO, it may appear as though you’re missing out on something, when in fact it’s only your own life you’re missing out on.

 Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 

 

Have you ever experienced FOMO? What idea are you going to try on this week? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Carol Schulte

Carol is a published author, has been featured in numerous magazines and podcasts, and is a returning guest expert on Rogers TV. Having lived and worked in 16 countries including Ashrams in India and vans in New Zealand, rocked dreadlocks in Thailand and shaved her head for breast cancer, she certainly walks her talk and brings a global perspective to all she does. When she’s not traveling or speaking on stage, you can find her volunteering as a bereavement facilitator, training for her next triathlon, or practicing her serious carpool karaoke game.

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