In our previous blog, we addressed the concept of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and the dangers of being possessed by this insidious condition. We are offering ten valuable practices to help to free you from the grip of FOMO and to enhance the quality of your relationships as well as the overall quality of well-being.
Slow down. Most of us move at a faster velocity in our lives than is necessary. Practice taking your time when eating, driving, talking, making love, and in engaging the tasks of everyday living. Post reminders of this intention in prominent places in order to support yourself in fulfilling this intention. Enlist the support of others.
Practice discernment to distinguish what is truly important from what is merely desirable. Choose to eliminate things that don’t contribute to the quality of your life. Be willing to say “no” to more things to provide you with time to give to those experiences that are deeply rewarding. Remember that more isn’t necessarily better. Focus on the kinds of things that enhance the quality not the quantity of your experiences.
Go for the experience, not the symbol. There are always going to be people who we admire and perhaps envy. Envy easily becomes resentment if we fail to recognize the opportunities that are available to create experiences that are life-enhancing. Focusing on the experience (accomplishment, adventure, connection, fun, self-respect, freedom) that underlies the symbol (wealth, marriage, a sports car, luxurious home) helps us to distinguish what is truly fulfilling from that which can only provide a temporary feeling of pleasure. Pleasure is a wonderful thing, but a preoccupation with it can diminish our ability to experience deeper fulfillment.
Be willing to NOT have it all. Needs are limited; desires are endless. Accepting the futility of trying to fulfill every desire is a much wiser policy than indulging all of our impulses for gratification. Decide what your highest priorities are and focus on them. The word “decide” comes from the Latin decidere, which means “to cut off.” Deciding what to prioritize requires us to cut off other options but makes it possible to give greater attention to those who have meaning for us.
One thing at a time. Even though those around us are multitasking, we don’t have to. Since the 1990s, psychologists have been conducting experiments on the limits of multitasking, and the studies are conclusive. Subjects in these experiments exhibited severe interference when asked to perform even very simple tasks simultaneously. They have found that the human brain can only respond to one action request at a time. Psychiatrist Edward M. Hallowell describes multitasking as a “mythical activity in which people believe they can perform two or more tasks simultaneously as effectively as one.” When people attempt to apply themselves to too many tasks at a time, they are usually not successful. When they are focused on a single task, not only are they more likely to be successful in producing a high-quality result, but their level of satisfaction while performing the task is much higher.
Practice Mindfulness. Rather than chasing after an illusion of happiness, we can gently strive for the deep satisfaction that comes with the cultivation of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being present and giving non-judging awareness to our moment to moment experience. We can cultivate the art of mastery of enjoying mundane pleasures.
Prioritize relationships over acquisitions. Investing time and energy in relationships and cultivating the skills that great relationships require may be one of the best things that we can do to acquire higher levels of fulfillment.
Savor the moment. Take time to linger over pleasurable experiences rather than rushing through them in quest of the next thrill. Take the time to thoroughly take pleasure in the sensory delights that enter into your field of awareness and cultivate the fine art of savoring the tastes, sights, and other sensations that you encounter in your daily life.
Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. This practice allows us to more deeply appreciate what we have rather than focusing on what we lack or desire. FOMO is fear about not having something that is necessary for our well-being. Gratitude allows us to count the blessings that are in our life right now, in this moment, where life is going on.
Enjoy the process. Integrating these practices into your life can be a labor of love and can be experienced as a blessing rather than a series of obligations. Take pleasure in the heightened level of ease as you gift yourself with these experiences. It’s not just you, but it’s everyone in your life that benefits from losing FOMO!
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