jomo: the antidote for fomo

Courtney Takabayashi
March 27, 2019

If you’ve ever felt a twinge of envy while scrolling through your social media feed, marveling at fancy brunches, cute OOTD (outfits of the day), or vaycay pics worthy of Condé Nast Traveler, you may be experiencing FOMO, the fear of missing out. But studies show that FOMO can cause anxiety and make us feel overwhelmed or unfulfilled. So how do we stop fixating on what others are doing? It’s called JOMO.

JOMO Explained
The antidote to FOMO could be JOMO, the joy of missing out. Instead of fixating ON what other people are doing or feeling obligated to live life to the fullest, focus on what really matters.  “Statistically, we can’t do everything,” says James Westphal, M.D., medical director at Beacon Health Partners. “So why not accept that and enjoy missing out?” With JOMO, you’re letting go of what could be and investing your energy in what makes you happy.

Embrace JOMO
Dr. Westphal shared these tips to help reduce FOMO and increase JOMO:

Say no. If you don’t want to pau hana with your friends or take part in other social activities, it’s OK to say no. Saying yes all the time doesn’t make you a better person, so don’t feel guilty. Just say no.

Nourish your soul. Do something that makes you happy. You could try something new, revisit  a neglected hobby, rewatch a favorite movie, or take a walk.

Cut back on screen time. If you find yourself constantly checking emails, texts, and social media feeds, maybe it’s time to cut back. Check your phone for features to help you monitor and limit the time you spend on apps and programs. Or you can turn off your notifications during a certain time or read a book instead of using your phone before bed.    

The concept of JOMO isn’t new. In fact, Dr. Westphal says there’s another word for JOMO: mindfulness. When we’re mindful, we’re living in the moment. We’re subjectively aware of our thoughts and feelings. The best we can do to live with purpose is to stop worrying about the future, quit dwelling on the past, and instead, find joy in the present.

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