Nothing haunts us like the things we didn’t buy > In an age of toilet roll wars we have had to learn a new acronym – FOMO*. If you have been buying irrationally because everyone else is doing so, then you should self-diagnose as having a Fear Of Missing Out.
This is a social anxiety described as ‘a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent’. Not sure panic buying loo rolls and hand sanitisers is a rewarding experience, but you get the point.
It is as though during this national emergency the more familiar ‘Keeping Up With the Jones‘ human trait has morphed into something more serious. It is fuelled by the ‘hurry while stocks last’ sense of fear fed to us by the Media.
Not so much a pandemic, as a PanicDemic!
If you are caught up in all this madness and you want to reclaim our sanity, you need to learn how to fight back. To resist becoming a lemming hoarder with some JOMO therapy. The Joy of Missing Out means enjoying the peace of allowing others to fight over the last unsold luxury on the shelf. ‘I didn’t want it anyway‘.
How to break a FOMO addiction
Stage One for NOMO FOMO is to admit you have an insecurity problem resulting in unhealthy behaviour. Mindfulness is an excellent first step to enjoying the here and now, rather than chasing rainbows. It enables you to change your focus, from what you lack to what you have.
It also helps to focus on gratitude. Studies show that engaging in gratitude-enhancing activities can lift your spirits, as well as of those around you.
This is partially because it is harder to feel as if you lack the things you need in life, when you are focused on the abundance of what you have already accumulated. It also holds true because making others feel good makes you feel good.
But ultimately these ideas are empty platitudes without the willpower to make the necessary lifestyle changes. “Gaining the guidance of a qualified complementary therapist is an investment well-made **,” says a Tonic hypnotherapist. “Changing the way you think takes effort, but if in this pandemic it gives you the confidence to give spare loo rolls and sanitisers to those in need, then you really will feel good about yourself“.
Footnote > * The idea that you might be missing out is not new – you can even see evidence of it in ancient texts. However, the FOMO phenomenon has only been studied during the past few decades, beginning with a 1996 research paper by marketing strategist, Dr. Dan Herman. Since the advent of social media, FOMO has become more obvious and thus studied in greater depth.
** Use this Link to find a therapist in your area.