Yes … the fear of missing out (or FOMO as it’s commonly referred to) is not just something you hear about in a humorous way but, believe it or not, it’s actually a genuine fear and anxiety!
FOMO is one of our newer phobias. That said it was actually first identified back in 1996 but only recently made popular in respect of the new and increasing addiction to social media.
It’s all about the perception that others (friends and family) are having more fun than you, are invited to places that you aren’t and generally the belief that you’re not being included. As we said, social media takes much of the responsibility for this fear. Everyone’s lifes seem to be open to public viewing 24hours a day, 7 days a week. And they all seem so much better and more exciting than ours!
Fear of missing out may sound, when you put it like that, pretty trivial but to an increasing number of people it really is a problem.
Everyone else’s life sounds so exciting and so much better than yours. Especially as in today’s linked up world it’s so easy to see exactly what people are doing, almost in real time, via social media. Monitoring friends and family can become an addictive obsession to the point where this alone can really impact on life. You can see exactly what their doing, where they are, who they’re with and in real time too. Everything is visible! To some this can be really positive and fun but to others the opposite may be true. They feel left out and as though they’re missing out.
Many will discover that so called friends are out enjoying themselves at an event that you have not been invited to. Perhaps they’re all in private conversation on social media. Maybe you’ll find out about parties etc but not know if you’ve been invited. You realise that everyone else is having an amazing time at an invite you turned down thinking it sounded boring. These are just a few examples of FOMO.
For that reason anyone suffering from a fear of missing out wants to be at all the social activities they are absent from. By “activities” we’re not just talking about physical events but even those online conversations.
Because of this fear anyone affected by FOMO will accept all invitations. They simply must be part of everything and that really can create so many problems.
I think most of us are affected by a fear of missing out these days but to most of us it’s not an issue but to some it really is. When this fear takes over your time and emotional space it can’t help but affect happiness. You’ll find it hard to live in and enjoy the present as you’re too occupied with what others are doing right now. Instead you’ll feel jealous of others and, over time, you’ll start to feel insecure and that there’s something wrong with you and, as a result, your self-esteem will become very low and depression will set in.
So, fear of missing out in itself may not be too serious. However, for some it marks the onset of social anxiety disorder which could be life changing. This especially applies to younger generations. That’s why if you feel that your fear of missing out is becoming an issue you really should take action.
You weren’t born with particular fears or anxiety – instead you have developed them along your life journey so far. In very simple terms Hypnotherapy works by re-setting the mind to produce the rational response to a specific situation or environment that you had before the phobia was initially triggered off. Find Out More >
Neuro-linguistic programming or NLP combines neurology and linguistics and creates a sort of programming that helps people change their thinking habits, help them deal with anxiety, stress, depression and overcome particular fears. In short, this means taking a specific fear or phobia and disassociating and reframing the experience to prevent the irrational response. Find Out More >
In simple terms Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT as it’s more commonly referrred to, is a talking therapy which takes your specific issue, fear or specific phobia and focusses on your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes and how they affect your behaviour and emotions in respect of this issue. It takes on the notion that your thoughts (cognition) creates emotions which, in turn, controls our reactions (behaviour). Find Out More >
If you suffer from FOMO and constantly have a fear of missing out then take a look at one of our recommended, self-help treatment programs that are all guaranteed, proven and effective.