May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and one of the many things therapists want to spread the word about during this month of advocacy is the fact that therapy is about more than just dealing with traumatic events or working through a crisis. Instead, therapy can be beneficial in a multitude of situations, including working on personal goals, improving relationships, and navigating life transitions. This month, we’re going to take a look at something many people don’t think about as being related to therapy – FOMO. If you find yourself worried your friends are always having fun without you, therapy can help you develop good coping skills for these feelings and create more stable friendships. In this blog, we’ll talk about what FOMO is and three questions to ask yourself when you are experiencing FOMO.
What Exactly Is FOMO?
FOMO is an acronym that stands for Fear Of Missing Out. Essentially, it’s the idea that our friends and loved ones are all getting together to have fun without us. For some, FOMO can also be linked to a feeling you have missed out on some rite of passage that everyone else has experienced. These feelings stem from a range of underlying concerns. There are many methods for coping with the feelings associated with FOMO, but one way you can start managing these emotions is confronting the underlying thoughts related to FOMO as they arise. There are three simple questions you should ask yourself anytime you experience FOMO.
1 – Are You Really Missing Out?
First and foremost, when you notice yourself worrying that you’re missing out on something, ask a very simple question: are you really missing out? Is there really anything you’re missing? Do you know for sure that your friends are all getting together without you? Does the event or activity support some goal, give you something you want or need? If so, why aren’t you participating? Did you not get invited? Were you told not to attend? Is it possible for you to ask if you can attend? Really dive deep into the thought that you’re missing out. Where is it coming from? What exactly are you missing out on, and why can’t you be part of the experience?
2 – Would You Be Better if You Were There?
If the answer to the first question is that you’re missing out, consider how you would be better off if you were there. What’s the reality of the situation? Are there upcoming events or activities you can attend that would help you meet the same need or goal? Many times the worries associated with FOMO are less about missing out on the actual event and more about feeling that you are not valued by others or connected with those who are participating in the activity you’re missing out on. Missing one event (or even many) doesn’t mean you’re not a valued person. Talk to the people involved to see if you can participate next time.
3 – Even if You Do Miss Out, Are You Still Doing Okay?
Finally, if you still feel like you’re missing out on something meaningful, ask yourself what the consequences are. Will you still be okay and have other opportunities in the future? Does not attending this activity or event impact your life only right now, or will missing this event impact your future in some ways? Many times, considering the long-term effects of missing out can help alleviate difficult feelings associated with FOMO because you know it’s only a short term concern. Really take time to consider how long missing this event is going to impact you. If you feel you’re missing out all the time, maybe you should look into talking with your friends, finding new people to socialize with, or taking steps to have a desired experience on your own.
Interested in Talking to a Therapist About FOMO?
Therapy is one thing you don’t have to worry about missing out on. If you’re ready to make a change and start confronting difficult thought patterns, the Lotus Psychology Group team is here to support you. You can reach out to us by calling (248) 957-8973, emailing our admin team at info@lotuspsychgroup. com, or by completing our online scheduling form. We look forward to hearing from you soon!