Why FOMO is the Root of All Your Problems
FOMO — or the fear of missing out — is a constant source of anxiety for many people. It often manifests as an intense feeling that you’re missing out on something, usually because your friends are attending an event, traveling somewhere cool, or dating someone you find attractive. But what’s so bad about feeling like you’re missing out? Isn’t it natural to want to go places that are fun and exciting? Well, yes…and no. FOMO is actually a toxic habit that can seriously impact your life if left unchecked.
Much of the fear of missing out is rooted in the fact that social media has conditioned us to believe that everyone is always having the best time ever. This, coupled with the fact that most people tend to post only their highlights, means that we can get a heavily skewed view of what other people’s lives are actually like. You may start to believe that your life is somehow lacking — that there’s something wrong with you. This, in turn, can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression.
FOMO Can Lead to Anxiety and Depression
There are many reasons why FOMO can lead to anxiety and depression. When you’re constantly comparing yourself to other people, you’re setting incredibly high expectations for yourself. And, when you fail to meet these expectations, you’ll likely feel like a failure. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. When you feel stressed out, you produce cortisol — a hormone that can leave you feeling anxious, depressed, and even emotionally detached.
FOMO Can Lead to Poor Decision Making
If you’re always looking towards the future, you’re likely to miss out on opportunities in the present. This is especially true when it comes to relationships, travel, and career choices. When you’re always looking towards what “might” happen, you could miss out on something great that’s happening right now. If you’re constantly looking for a relationship with the “perfect” person, you could miss out on the relationship right in front of you. If you’re constantly thinking about what type of career you want to have, you could miss out on the career you could have right now. When you’re always looking toward the future, you’re likely to miss out on many great things in the present. This is especially true when you have FOMO.
There are many reasons why FOMO is a problematic habit. It can dull your senses, making you miss out on the experiences happening right now. To overcome FOMO, you need to let go of the need to compare yourself to others and realize that there’s no such thing as the “perfect” life.