Going from FOMO to JOMO
Fear Of Missing Out: FOMO, is the feeling of having to be constantly available, mentally or in person, wanting to do everything, be everywhere; eventually achieving nothing significant long-term. It can cause anxiety, fatigue, stress, and problems with sleep. Social media worsens FOMO by constant comparison of our lives to others which can lead us to believe we (or our lives) are inadequate.
Joy Of Missing Out an antidote for FOMO-fuelled culture.
Svend Brinkmann, Professor of Psychology at Aalborg University, suggests missing out can be joyful, help develop stronger relationships, provide meaning and existential depth in our lives. JOMO doesn’t mean declining every social opportunity but knowing when to say yes and when to say no. JOMO is living an intentional life – picking out and committing to the select places, events and people that mean the most to you, to efficiently re-allocate personal resources – time, money, energy, attention. It's missing out consciously, to make time for important things that truly matter in our lives.
Practicing JOMO
“Stop paying so much attention to what others are doing” is easy advice to give, but hard to follow. Just like bringing mindfulness, journaling, or daily gratitude lists into our lives, JOMO needs to be practiced regularly. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Relish the downtime that you put aside for yourself.
Digital detox (disconnecting from all devices) allows you to reset, rest and recalibrate.
Kick off your shoes and enjoy nature, let your bare feet come in contact with the natural Earth grass, sand, and dirt. This phenomenon, known as grounding or Earthing, allows your body to reconnect to the electrons on the surface of the Earth.
Walk on the beach, by the river, in the forest or wherever that connects you with nature.
Meditate by committing 10 minutes a day to stay present in your uninterrupted physical and mental space. Early morning meditation or prayer will stabilise your nervous system and provide increased resilience throughout the day.
Walking on the beach
JOMO is simply Letting Go!
JOMO, and FOMO are good examples of “letting go”, vs. “attachment”, which are core concepts to understand in Buddhism or Yogic philosophy as they impact our happiness. Studies have found that attachment is linked to psychological needs, which are correlated with FOMO. We pin our happiness to people, circumstances, and things, and hold onto them for dear life. We stress about the possibility of losing them when something seems amiss. ‘Letting Go’ is so important— it is letting happiness in. As Dalai Lama said, “Most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities”.
Let’s regularly take time for ourselves – to relax, contemplate, and stay in the current moment. Embracing JOMO will improve our emotional, physical and mental well-being. An ode to JOMO by Michael Leunig:
Oh the joy of missing out.
When the world begins to shout
And rush towards that shining thing;
The latest bit of mental bling
Trying to have it, see it, do it,
You simply know you won’t go through it;
The anxious clamouring and need
This restless hungry thing to feed.
Instead, you feel the loveliness;
The pleasure of your emptiness.
You spurn the treasure on the shelf
In favour of your peaceful self;
Without regret, without a doubt.
Oh the joy of missing out.