The Fear of Missing Out

It’s been a long day at work, you just get the kids tucked into bed and you sit down with your phone just to check social media and see what is happening. You want to wind down, turn your brain off for a bit and relax. But after 20 minutes, you feel discontent, jealous, insecure and overwhelmed. You see everyone’s perfect houses, families, and the fun party they went to and suddenly you are stuck in a mental state of FOMO, the fear of missing out. Research suggests that FOMO can take a dangerous toll on your psychological health. We have become so consumed with the need to check on social media platforms to be “connected”, we have found that it is actually disconnecting us from the real world.

Psychologists say FOMO (the fear of missing out) may be a type of depression, causing irrational thoughts and insecurities about oneself or about where they are in life. For people prone to such thoughts, modern technology can possibly increase their fears about missing out. We don’t want to be enslaved to these things, God created us to be free, to be content right where we are, and to be confident in who He created us to be. In this article, I have 5 ways to free yourself from the fear of missing out. These are five practices to add to your lifestyle weekly or daily, so that you know you are not missing out, that you are right where you need to be, and that you are not dictated by your phone.


5 Ways To Overcome the Fear of Missing Out

1. Have a Healthy Perspective

It is always so important to remember that what you are seeing is someone’s highlights from there day. They are sharing the perfect moment, the best hair day, the cutest moments with their kids, and it is in an awesome filter to make sure every good spot is highlighted. There is nothing wrong with that, but just remember, we can’t compare ourselves. It leaves you to a place of discontentment and jealousy. Many people go on social media to feel better, but they end up feeling worse. Coming to a place of being fully content with who you are and where you are is the key and remembering before you scroll to keep your perspective in check.

2. Be Present

We often struggle with making decisions. Saying “No” to an invite to a party or a dinner will leave us feeling like we are going to miss out, then worse, we see pictures of that said party and the negative thoughts and feelings rush in. “They had more fun without me”. “They didn’t realize I wasn’t there.” But the truth is whenever you say “no” to something, you say “Yes”, to something else. So if you say no to your friends party, you say yes to your spouse and children. Growing in your confidence of your decisions is key, and remembering what you say yes to will always make the no make sense.

3. You Can’t Have it All

And you don’t need it all. Our needs are limited and our desires are endless, we have to be able to separate those things. Asking yourself is this a want or a need? Prioritizing what are the biggest needs and desires and making goals to accomplish those will keep us from getting lost in seeing what others have. The fear of missing out and not having it all overcomes us, but having those priorities for your your family, your marriage and yourself will strengthen your mindset. God knows what we want and what we need, and sometimes what we need is to not get what we want. [1]

4. Slow Down

The world is moving at a fast pace. Our culture is pushing us to be here, reach this goal, go after our dreams, multitask, move, and make decisions. Get it done because YOLO. But the ability to be still, to go slow, to “stop and smell the roses” will change your life. Learning to be intentional about going slow can bring peace and joy in the every day tasks and moments. Taking your time when eating your food, stopping your task and make eye contact with your children, turn off the TV and have a conversation with your spouse, these are things that matter, these are the moments that last. The ability to slow down is something we must practice because it is so countercultural. Make it a goal everyday to take one action, or one hour of the day to slow down.

5. Practice Thankfulness

Social media was created to connect and for us to share moments and celebrate each other. But along the way we have lost the ability to celebrate each other or ourselves. Begin to have thankfulness, count your blessings, your gifts. Write them down, share them around the dinner table. Have an attitude of gratitude will change your perspective. When you see someone else’s home be happy for them, then remember what you have, how long it took to get here, remember where you came from and be grateful for all you have now. Thankfulness is also they key to connecting to the Lord. Coming to Him with our gratefulness and thankfulness will change your heart and mind. When you are thankful, worry and anxiety begin to fade away. And so will the fear of missing out.


TAKE ACTION

Choose a day or a time of the day to slow down. Go outside in the sun, take deep breaths, or go on a bike ride.
Start writing down the things you are thankful for.
Unplug from social media for day, enjoy the quiet, day dream again.

 

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