In a world dominated by social media apps and constant connectivity, FOMO (the fear of missing out) has become an all-too-familiar emotion for many.
Whether it's seeing friends' exotic vacations, attending glamorous events, or even witnessing the achievements of others, FOMO can creep into our own lives and cast a shadow on our sense of contentment.
There are, however, practical strategies to help you navigate the feelings of FOMO and embrace the present moment.
We will explore more together in this guide, including the origins of FOMO, its impact on mental well-being, and effective ways to overcome it, inspired by what we stand for at OYNB.
Understanding the Roots of FOMO
FOMO is a psychological phenomenon driven by the fear that others are experiencing more enjoyable or fulfilling events than you are. It often arises from social comparison, exacerbated by the curated highlight reels presented on social networking sites.
In regards to alcohol consumption, whether you have begun your journey into a more controlled relationship with alcohol, that may be by limiting your intake substantially, abstaining from alcohol altogether, or perhaps you are considering your journey with more alcohol control.
This step towards a more mindful lifestyle can become corrupted by FOMO unwantedly making its way into your life. It can hinder your progress and rob you of the joy found in the present.
FOMO in regards to alcohol can make it seem like those who showcase themselves splurging on alcohol often at various events are having the time of their lives, therefore causing them to feel left out or that they wish to be behaving in the same way and having as much fun.
What is easy to forget and what we tend to overlook is that what we see online or hear about from the people we know is the good parts of an event or occasion, failing to miss out on some not-so-great details. It is important to remember that you can have just as fulfilling a time by not drinking or attending every single event that requires drinking to access.
Impact on Mental Well-Being
The relentless pursuit of comparison and the desire to be part of every social gathering can take a toll on mental health.
FOMO may lead to anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, and even depression. It is crucial to recognise the impact of FOMO and develop strategies to counteract its negative effects.
Be mindful of the emotions you are experiencing when FOMO strikes, and trying to look at the bigger picture can help include your long-term goals of a more healthy, happy, fulfilled you and being content without the need for alcohol to create your fun.
Practical Steps to Deal and Overcome FOMO
Take note of some of the mindful things you can do to overcome your feelings of FOMO.
Mindful Social Media Use
Start by being mindful of your social media consumption. Pay attention to how you feel when consuming content there. If you start to feel a negative way, choose to stop strolling and do something else.
Limit the time spent scrolling through feeds, and remember that what others choose to share on a social networking site is often a curated snapshot of their lives. It is natural human behaviour, but constantly comparing your daily life to what seems like the better lives of others will not bring you great life satisfaction.
Consider taking breaks from social media to refocus on your own journey and accomplishments.
Cultivate gratitude by keeping a journal to record the positive aspects of your life. This private appreciation practice can help shift your focus from what you may be missing out on to what you have achieved and appreciate in the present and bring a deep sense of positive feelings.
Acknowledging your progress with your alcohol journey, whatever that may look like, is powerful and can help you regain your focus and counteract the feelings of FOMO.
Set Realistic Expectations
Understand that no one's life is a constant stream of excitement and success. Everyone faces challenges. Witnessing and hearing about only the glamorous parts of someone is not a true representation of their entire life.
Everyone has ups and downs, just like you will. Embrace these waves as you make your way through life on your own journey. Growth of all kinds is a continuous process, including your relationship with alcohol.
Treat yourself with kindness and understanding. Instead of comparing your journey to others, celebrate your uniqueness and the progress you've made. Self-compassion is a powerful tool in combating feelings of inadequacy associated with FOMO.
Create Meaningful Experiences
Focus on creating meaningful experiences in your own life if you are experiencing FOMO. Plan activities that align with your values and contribute to your personal growth. This includes many activities that are free from the clutches of alcohol.
If you can organise things to do with friends or family, you can form enlightening new activities for you to do together without relying on drinking alcohol.
This not only enriches your life but also provides a sense of fulfilment that transcends the fleeting moments showcased on social media.
Practice Mindfulness for Mental Health
Incorporate mindfulness practices into your daily routine. Mindfulness helps anchor you in the present moment. Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or mindful walks can enhance your awareness and appreciation of the here and now.
Connect with the OYNB Community
Engage with the supportive OYNB community. Share your achievements, challenges, and aspirations with like-minded individuals who understand the journey you're on. Connecting with others who share similar goals can foster a sense of belonging, bring positive social media engagement, and diminish the isolating effects of FOMO.
At OYNB, we are here for those who wish to take a break from alcohol, overcome fear, replace old habits with new ones, and go about it at their own pace with their own challenge, which can be deeply rewarding.
If you struggle with feelings of FOMO, do not worry, as we have an entire private online global community that completely understands! It is not easy in today's society, and therefore we are here to support you as you partake in your journey to a better you.
If you want to learn more about how to be part of our private Facebook community, please do not hesitate to contact [email protected]
Navigating the feelings of FOMO is an ongoing process; there is no quick fix. However, after so long, you will come to realise that you have already had a fulfilling life and that you have chosen to partake in activities that are right for you.
An entrepreneur and former senior oil broker, Ruari gave up drinking after excessive consumption almost cost him his marriage, and worse, his life. Going alcohol-free improved his relationships, career and energy levels, leading to him founding OYNB to provide a support network for others.