If you’ve never felt sad because you feel left out, or kind of down because it seems like everyone else is having more fun – then stop reading now! This blog is not for you! It’s for those of us who may feel FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) – an insidious and invidious malaise caused by the constant comparison that’s available online.
When you’re feeling FOMO’d – unhappy with your life or with yourself because everyone else seems to be doing more/doing better – it can be hard to shake. As you compare your insides with others’ outsides, feeling inadequate can simply become part of your mental landscape. But here’s some good news! Mindfulness – simply being present in the moment in a gentle, nonjudgmental way – offers techniques to address FOMO. Here are some simple tips that will help you let go of FOMO – one moment at a time!
#1 – Recognize That it’s All About Stories!
When our Facebook friends are telling stories of technicolor lives with their posts and photos, we need to recognize that we’re also telling ourselves a story. Only our story is about feeling inadequate… less than… left out… living a life that feels grey by comparison.
#2 – Why Tell This Story if it’s Making You Miserable?
Because without Mindfulness, you don’t realize it’s only a story… an interpretation that you have created!
#3 — Return to Your Senses – Mindfully, Right Now!
Since FOMO stories are mental constructions, clearing the mind of thought and centering within is a powerful antidote. Here’s how to do it: As soon as you become aware of a catch-in-your-throat… a sinking sensation… a flood of sadness…Stop what you’re doing! Get offline and take a few minutes to be mindful as you focus awareness on three full, slow, gentle breaths. Feel the air flowing in… feel your belly rise and fall…Allow the physical sensations of Breathing Innnn and Breathing Ouuut to calm you and bring you back to your center, as you let FOMO thoughts go. Now do it again! Three more breaths.
As you breathe, feel the spaciousness of simply being present with yourself – without thoughts, without judgment and in this moment, allow this remarkable spaciousness to expand… to fill your heart… Allow Yourself to be “enough.”
#4 – From FOMO to “TO-MO!” (Time Out – Mindfulness Opportunity!)
Mindfulness is an opportunity to be gentle with yourself. Don’t criticize yourself as you work with this process. Simply be aware of what’s happening. Watch the stories that your mind creates. Be interested in gaining insight. With compassion and calmness, recognize that in each moment, you have a choice about the story you tell!
About the Author: After graduate school at Princeton University—Nina’s life changed when she discovered mindfulness meditation! Co-author of The Three Minute Meditator, Nina’s work has been seen in O, The Oprah magazine, Shape, Real Simple, and Marie Claire. In her work as Director of Mindfulness Programs at Mohonk Mountain House (www.mindfulnessatmohonk.com ) a Victorian castle resort only 90 miles north of New York City, Nina leads programs and teaches private classes on mindfulness, weight loss, and wellness.