The emotional state called FOMO or Fear of Missing Out took a center stage as the age of social media came to fruition. Looking at pictures and updates showing fancy trips, friends beaming during moments of accomplishment and individual’s pastimes that look alluring may leave us yearning for similar experiences. We may work to keep up with others and fill our schedules to ensure it looks like we have overflowing substantive pursuits. There is something more important than reacting to these stimuli with FOMO. Moving into JOMO or Joy of Missing Out, may feel like a needed relief and reprieve.
JOMO invites us to lessen our fixating on what is going on in the outside world and to hold a level of consciousness about our inner world and what truly pleases us. It requires being present in the moment, stepping away from incessant queues in social media and practicing exploratory work to identify true joys.
My personal experience with FOMO and JOMO allowed me to synthesize this lesson leading to a personal gift. A nagging feeling towards the later part of the season here in Coachella Valley led me to feel as if I was one of the last to see the new Aquisure Arena here in the desert. This was part of the impetus to purchase concert tickets and see a performer that I had already seen before and enjoyed elsewhere outside of the valley. The evening confirmed we have a beautiful new arena in the desert, yet I arrived home depleted and playing catch up to recharge my battery on subsequent worknights to make up for my late-night concert. The second time seeing the same performer fell short of my expectation, and I caught myself longing for a restful night at home. My home is my happy place, yet I allowed other people’s queues to put my heels on.
Sometimes FOMO in small doses is a catalyst to move out of one’s comfort zone and connect with others yet true satisfaction in the moment is a noble utopian goal. Life is too short to not have mindful fulfillment. The only true way to know where, when why and who we decide to be with is to find the answers within ourselves. We can build our own unique blueprint for JOMO.
The following habits allow us to increase the experience of JOMO.
- Lessen multi-tasking and the urge to be distracted by external stimuli such as scrolling social media, news feeds, phone calls and external luring that pulls in disjointed direction. Feel true intention coming from within.
- Ground in Nature. On a morning walk or hike, take a moment to stop and note subtle experiences of nature and your grounded nature to earth. The most subtle experiences hold nuance and awe. When we are reminded that everything in life does not have to be a stage performance, we become more tempted to return to nature or simplicity and the feeling of our body in the moment.
- Decision paralysis is prevalent and should be minimized by committing to a pastime and deciding to be grateful and “all in” to the experience. Sometimes my daughter experiences a simple FOMO moment when she cannot make up her mind what to choose when eating out. She wishes she had made another decision. Reminding oneself that sometimes having choices leads to an unsettled nature and a shift to FOMO. Lean into decisions to do the one precious thing you decided to do with no regrets. Practice gratitude and in moments where FOMO might settle in be thankful you are embracing the moment with awareness.
Life is a series of trade-offs, and we cannot be immersed in over the top, embellished or even desirable experiences all the time. Sometimes the true Joy of life is taking the road less traveled and knowing it made all the difference.