I listen to a 10 minute daily meditation app called 'Calm'. I love this app, not only because it is short in duration but it actually does quiet the mind. I feel clearer, more energised and calmer after I listen to it.
The narrator, Tamara Levitt, shares a different theme or insight with every meditation and it often reflects on how I am feeling that day. Last Monday, Tamara spoke about 'FOMO', the fear of missing out, and she quotes from my mum's favourite spiritual book 'Awareness' by Anthony De Mello. After doing this particular meditation, I felt the urge to write about 'FOMO'.
'There is only one reason why we are not experiencing bliss at this present moment, and it is because we are focused and thinking about what we don't have in our lives'.
Anthony De Mello
Back in the day when there was no such thing as social media, we were not so aware or caught up in the lives of other people, but now, every time we pick up our phone, we are bombarded with photos of happy smiley faces having the most fabulous time, we see the endless feed of perfect bodies, outfits, holidays, dinners, loving partners, adorable families and our own lives can seem boring or dull in contrast. As a result we feel the fear of missing out, in other words, FOMO.
This can often be followed by unpleasant emotions such as envy, comparisons, shame, resentment, loneliness and anxiety. These feelings can pull us away from our present reality and can often make us feel inadequate and even depressed.
There are ways to avoid FOMO, firstly, we must realise that we are making up our own stories in our head about what we see on social media or what we hear from other people. The truth is that we have no idea what is really going on in anyones life. To be truly honest, and vulnerable is hard and scary, so nobody is inclined to share that side of their life, but we are all human, and at times, we all go through dreadful experiences and don't feel good. So first up, be aware of what you see, hear or read, it can always appear like a prettier story than it actually is and it is often far from reality.
I work daily on appreciating and accepting the ordinary moments, because most of my moments are just that, completely ordinary. I am so much more aware of this and the simple things that I used to take for granted like hopping out of bed in the morning, stretching, walking, talking (dancing!) and moving about throughout the day have a whole new meaning.
We don't often talk about the positive aspects to growing older, but as I do, this new found appreciation for the ordinary moments makes me feel very positive and often only comes with experiencing life, a time when we can finally let go of FOMO.
When I look at social media and take it with a pinch of salt, I try to avoid people in real life who make me feel bad and instead, I choose to hang out with the 'good vibes' people. I realise the urgency to have fun and enjoy life more than ever. I don't take myself or anything for that matter too seriously. I make a point of choosing to do and say things without the approval of others. Today, I feel much happier than I used to be in my own skin.
"In the absence of wanting, we find peace" Anthony De Mello