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How to stop and deal with FOMO, the fear of missing out

Fighting FOMO - 10 tips to combat the fear of missing out

Want to know how to combat FOMO? Then you've come to the right place! We humans are social beings who strive for recognition, affirmation and belonging, among other things. Up to a certain point, the fear of missing out (FOMO) is therefore a harmless, human feeling.

But at the latest when you feel a kind of addiction and compulsion to constantly check messages on your favorite social media, even though your smartphone hasn't even made a sound, you have a serious psychological problem that can have a worryingly strong impact on your private and professional life. Not least because apps such as Instagram present us with the seemingly perfect and fulfilled world of friends and celebrities, which, although far removed from reality, is still capable of making us sad. Stress, fatigue, concentration and sleep disorders, self-doubt and depression, for example, can also result from the constant fear of missing out.₁

So what can you do about feeling down and worrying about not being up to date? In this article, I would like to give you some tips on how to successfully overcome FOMO. Let's go!

You can find a brief overview here in advance:

  1. Protect yourself from distraction
  2. Do not compare yourself with others
  3. Limit your screen time
  4. Look at things realistically and soberly
  5. Enjoy the moment
  6. Be honest with yourself
  7. Do a digital detox
  8. Be grateful for the things you have and experience
  9. Enjoy missing out on something
  10. Seek psychological help

1. protect yourself from distraction

Thinking minimalist and overcoming "fear of missing out

You're not alone in feeling like you want to be everywhere all the time - the phenomenon affects people of all ages.₂ A typical cause of FOMO is constant distraction and the triggering of new, "interesting" stimuli. An example? Light up and vibrate push messages on your phone! They increase the desire for the next new stimulus. Instead, simply turn off the vibration and push notifications in your device settings or in the relevant app. This way, you will automatically reach for your smartphone less often, as you will simply no longer be notified when something new happens.

Also: Think and live more minimalistput your cell phone in your pocket or at least not in the immediate vicinity, so as not to be constantly temptedto reach for it. Otherwise you'll hardly find a moment's peace, increase your stress levels and intensify your fear of missing out.

Notice: Of course, this tip also applies to your smartwatch, if you have one!

2. do not compare yourself with others

Thinking about other people is a positive human trait worth emulating. However, constantly comparing yourself with other people, who you often don't even know personally, is just a bad idea and a fundamental trigger for FOMO.

Why do others experience much more amazing and extraordinary things than I do and have fun all the time? When other people share their seemingly perfect lives with the world and you in the form of small, filtered and often staged images that only represent a fraction of everyday life, it can put a strain on the mind and also increase the urge to be there, as your own life seems so boring in comparison.

My tip: realize that - and for what reasons - you have made a conscious decision to do something different.

FOMO is ultimately a Feeling of regretbecause you often compare your own reality with the reality of another person, at least as it is presented. Stop doing this and internalize it: Your reality is not boring, it's just real.

3. limit your screen time

Whether it's your work laptop, smart TV, e-book reader or smartphone - you've become accustomed to spending a lot of time in front of screens. For many people, social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, WhatsApp and the like account for a mammoth proportion of digital usage time. Short stories, flashing push messages, funny memes and other Fast stimuli shorten your attention spanmake you more impatient and make you feel like you have to reach for your cell phone all the time.

But the Time spent on screens can be reducedso that the fear of missing something also decreases. Here are a few ideas: Create areas in your home that are free of any screens. Delete the apps in particularthat tie you to your cell phone but are honestly superfluous when you take a serious look at them. And use the pre-installed, helpful apps "Digital Wellbeing" (for Android) and "Screen Time" (for Apple)to monitor and improve your usage behavior.

4. look at things realistically and soberly

As I said, the "fear of missing out" is closely linked to the feeling of regret. It arises because you take other people's apparent reality seriously and compare your own, genuine reality with it. This feeling becomes even stronger the easier it is for youThe aim is to put you in the other person's everyday life, which is full of experiences but only partially portrayed.

You see a cool photo of a Bali vacationers on a swinging swing above a dreamlike rainforest? Certainly a beautiful, captured moment that you want to experience. However, the photo does not show the long queue at the ticket office, the annoying mosquitoes and the high ticket price that had to be paid for a few seconds on the swing.

What I want to say: nothing is as perfect as it seems. You are aware of this in your own reality, so why not in the portrayed reality of others? Remind yourself of this and stop your FOMO in this way.

5. enjoy the moment

Fight FOMO - Enjoy the moment

The coolest things in my life have happened offline and not on the screen. I can well imagine that you feel the same way, don't you? Digitalization has incredible benefits for our global society - but it also harbours dangers, such as psychological problems like the fear of missing out.

If you want to work on this effectively, then you should rather consciously spend more time in nature. Get on your bike, go for a jog, take a walk, read a book by the water or swim in the lake.

Bottom line: start there, to become more mindful and you again to be happy about the little things in life. Enjoy the moment. That is certainly something that we learn from young children to defeat FOMO.

6. be honest with yourself

Do you feel like you can't keep up? Then, as I said, you are simply comparing yourself too much with others. FOMO may not yet be a recognized mental disorder. But it is a serious mental health problem and can be confidently classified as a "Social media disease" because social media make it so much easier to participate in the lives of others and be present everywhere. But it's not a must to be there everywhere!

On the contrary! Independence and self-determination are sexy and special. Imitating others in the hope that this will make you feel better about yourself is rather uncool - and if everyone does it that way, it will eventually become boring mainstream. So direct the focus to the Things you REALLY want for yourself! The also boosts your self-confidence. And makes a significant contribution to stopping the fear of missing out.

7. do a digital detox

Do you constantly feel like you're already waiting for the next push notification or feed entry - are you restless and waiting for the next stimulus? Then you should definitely "Digital Detox" to make you aware again that social interactions are also possible in the offline world. 😉

Such a digital detox, by definition, means that at certain times of the day or completely (e.g. for one month) refrain from using digital media. In this way, you counteract constant distraction and ensure that you become aware of what really matters in life.

Tip: I have also written a detailed article about how you can create a possible Fighting cell phone addiction can. Feel free to check it out to benefit from more tips.

8. be grateful for the things you have and experience

Do you want to fight your FOMO? Then gratitude is definitely the key! A lot of social media content sadly suggests that your life could be even more fulfilling, even better and even more eventful. This "Higher-further-faster" can trigger extreme stress in you - and create the feeling that you can no longer keep up.

The The experiences of others can of course be an inspiration for you - but as soon as they trigger a feeling of regret in you, they become a problem. So just be grateful for the things you have and experience in your life. They don't become any less exciting and interesting just because someone else is experiencing something that you weren't there for or that you haven't done yet.

9. enjoy missing out on something

Enjoy missing out - JOMO instead of FOMO

If you want FOMO or just the feel that you are always available and need to respond quicklyit puts you under extreme pressure. You want something again become more relaxed and successfully combat the fear of missing out on something? Then definitely try the opposite, the joy of missing out.

Because you are not the only person who wants to do something about the FOMO phenomenon, there is even a name for it: the so-called "joy of missing out", JOMO for short..

It is extremely liberating when you let go of wanting to be informed about everything and everyone at all times. Just enjoy not being exposed to new stimuli every secondbut to be really relaxed.

10. seek psychological help

Up to this point, the tips have helped you to get a grip on your own fear of missing out. But that doesn't always work - especially as Those affected often do not know themselves that they suffer from FOMO. Whether you realize and know it yourself or not, if you can't overcome your urges on your own or with the help of family and friends, you should definitely seek therapeutic help.

As a rule, talking to a psychologist is a sure way out of the "fear of missing out". It helps you to reflect soberly on your own behavior and, for example To make aware that the content posted is not relevant and that there is no danger of missing out on something that could be decisive in life.

FOMO is a new modern psychological phenomenon that can be defeated!

Isn't it scary that the constant fear of missing out can even become so great that you can't even see the lose the ability to enjoy things as they really are? And that you stop enjoying your own life?

Fortunately, there are ways and means to stop FOMO and focus on the essential and important things in life again. I hope that I have been able to give you the tips you need in this article.

Do you have any questions or suggestions? Or have you been able to combat your FOMO and have helpful tips for other sufferers? Then I look forward to your comment!

Stay healthy,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: If you avoid social media, let's face it, you're not missing out. But there are some Things that dying people regret at the end of their lives - Things that are really important and that you shouldn't miss. Be sure to check out this inspiring post next.

₁ M. Milyavskaya, M. Saffran, N. Hope; et al. (2018): Fear of missing out: prevalence, dynamics, and consequences of experiencing FOMO, available at [08.09.2022].

₂ Deutschlandradio: Fomo - Why the fear of missing out is now putting us under so much pressure (as at: 31.05.2021), available at [08.09.2022].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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