How to Deal With FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Author: August Clarke

We all remember that one party where it felt as though every person in the world was invited to it except us or that time you missed that concert with your friends because you promised you would go to your younger cousin’s birthday party already. Times like these are often spent scrolling through Instagram, half-heartedly liking photos of other people smiling and having an a-m-a-z-i-n-g time all while wishing that you were the one posting those photos rather than scrolling through them on your feed.

Fear of missing out – commonly known as “FOMO” – is something that affects most of us at some time or other. I’ve experienced it, you’ve experienced it, and – in short – it totally sucks. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that there are a million better ways that you could be spending your time than by doing whatever you happen to be doing at that moment, especially when you hear from your friends and other acquaintances how much fun a party was or how “you should have been there”. If you find yourself experiencing FOMO often, it’s important to keep some of the following tips in mind to help you handle it.

Fear of missing out – commonly known as “FOMO” – is something that affects most of us at some time or other. I’ve experienced it, you’ve experienced it, and – in short – it totally sucks.

1. Focus on what YOU’RE doing, not what other people are doing

This is the first and, possibly, the most important tip for dealing with FOMO. If you spend all of your time stalking other people on social media and trying to find out what’s happening in places you’re not, there’s no way that you can possibly focus on yourself and have a good time doing whatever you’re doing.

While many people like to believe that they are capable of multi-tasking, for most of us, that’s just not the case. People are sometimes so afraid of missing out on what other people are doing that they inadvertently miss out on their own experiences. Take a break from social media, put your phone away, and try to appreciate what’s happening around you rather than elsewhere.

2. Keep yourself busy

Chances are, if you’re busy getting things done or participating in a hobby or working out at the gym, you’ll be too preoccupied to worry about what anyone else is doing without you. By making plans in advance and constantly keeping yourself busy and active, it will be easier to focus on yourself rather than others and keep that FOMO at bay.

3. Ask yourself why you are experiencing FOMO

Almost everyone runs into trouble with FOMO every once in a while, but if you find that it is something you are feeling almost constantly, there might be an underlying problem that is triggering it. Constant fear of missing out is often linked to a lack of satisfaction with some aspect of our lives and – if you can pinpoint what it is – that could help you deal with it.

For example, if you have been having some issues with one of your close friends and feel as though you are drifting away from that person, that might explain why you feel so crappy and envious every time you see them hanging out with someone else on their Snapchat story. By talking to that person and tackling your problem, you might be able to reduce or eliminate the FOMO you are experiencing.

“Fun” is not some finite quantity that you must compete with other people to attain before it runs out.

It’s easy to compare yourselves to others and find yourself constantly trying to put your life against theirs to see if yours measures up, but – at the end of the day – that doesn’t help anyone.  It’s important to remember that there will be other good times you will get to experience too and, in the meantime – as cheesy as it may sound – the best thing you can do for yourself is to focus inwards and try to live in the moment.