It’s Time to Say Goodbye to FOMO

Does the fear of missing out (FOMO) dictate a lot of your decisions? Do you have trouble saying no to things based on this fear? Nothing is wrong with you. The world we live in today makes it easier for us to see what everyone else is doing and then question why we aren’t doing the same.

FOMO can be defined as an emotional response to the belief that other people are living better lives or that we’re missing important opportunities. This fear can lead to low self-esteem, depression, and stress. Fortunately, like any fear, we can face it head-on and learn how to overcome it.

In this blog, we’ll outline ways in which FOMO can pop up and how to stay in the present moment.

Does Social Media Fuel FOMO?

Social media is a great way to connect and interact with people, but it also has a negative underbelly. It can be misleading and unrealistic, leaving us feeling like everyone is leading an exciting life – except us.

According to Made in Canada Statistics, Canadians spend an average of 6 hours on the internet a day, with around 2 hours spent on social media. With all this time spent viewing, interacting, and absorbing content, it’s no wonder feelings of FOMO along with anxiety and depression come up. Feelings of jealousy and inadequacy may come up as we naturally compare our lives with what we see. “How can they afford to go on a trip? I wish I could go on a trip.” or “Their life is perfect”. Remember, we only see what people want us to see.

man on social media feeling FOMO

When you’re feeling like this, it can be good to take a break from social media to reconnect with the present. Unplugging can help us discover our own goals, wants, and desires. We stop looking and comparing our lives to others and ask ourselves, “What do I want?”

FOMO and Sobriety

Whether you’re sober curious or well into your sobriety journey, the feeling of missing out can be strong. Alcohol is presented as fun! It’s desirable, attractive, and delicious – it’s running around and having fun with your friends. But the thing is, it’s not. The way many people consume alcohol usually means hangovers, lost memories, embarrassment, shame, etc. It’s lost cell phones, regrettable decisions, wasted money, and for what? Because we don’t want to miss out?

What are we actually missing out on when we choose not to take part in an evening of drinking? Nothing of substance, really. Sure, it can be fun. But there are so many other connections, experiences, and hobbies we can fill our time with. Ones that will make our lives feel meaningful as opposed to numbing ourselves with substances.


Steps to Take to Say Goodbye to FOMO

FOMO can be especially hard during the summer months. With the warm weather enticing us outside and to events, it can be difficult to say no to invites. What we must remember is that our time is in fact ours, and we get to decide how to spend it – without the fear of missing out fueling our decisions.

Here are a few helpful questions and reminders to keep in mind next time FOMO comes up:

1. Ask yourself what you’re really craving. Are you wanting a social interaction? An evening to relax? Any fears that may be coming up? Identifying how you’re feeling in the moment can be difficult to pinpoint, but asking yourself these questions can help change your perception.

2. Remind yourself that social media isn’t reality. Step away and really ask yourself if the glorified experiences people present on their social media are experiences you actually want. Sure, sitting beachside in Italy looks fantastic. But behind that trip are long travel times, expenses, and low days that most people aren’t sharing.

3. Connect with loved ones. Sometimes we need a little grounding and social connection to remind us of who we are. Speaking with family, friends, or even a therapist can help us stay in the present moment and lessen the fear of missing out.


All of us will experience the fear of missing out from time to time. However, constant FOMO can lead to mental health issues such as feelings of anxiety and low self-esteem. Try to preserve your mental and physical health by staying mindful and in the present moment, speaking with loved ones or a therapist, and taking a break from social media. There’s no need to compare, we are all on individual journeys deserving of happiness and joy.

At Sunshine Coast Health Centre, we help motivated individuals address concerns with mental health and/or addiction. Our team of professionals helps clients rediscover what is personally meaningful to them through counselling, workshops, and group therapy. If you or someone you know is struggling, visit our website or contact us today to learn more about our programs and services.


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