You can almost sense when it will strike.
You’re headed out of town for the weekend when your friends plan a huge party at the beach. Or you opt-out of dinner with coworkers to go to the gym, and then the social media posts start rolling in. You may have thought you were excited about your own plans, but there it is again, the “fear of missing out.”
It wasn’t long ago that the term, “FOMO,” took hold and spread like wildfire. More than just a passing fad, it’s enduring popularity owes to the fact that it perfectly captures one of the great anxieties of our time. With social media giving us a constant, rose-colored play-by-play of everyone else’s lives, all it takes is a quick scroll through Instagram to see that somebody somewhere is having a better time than you.
At first, calling out our FOMO actually gave us some relief. Rather than giving in to crippling feelings of envy, we could take our power back by admitting the truth. Not only did a little humor seem to break the spell, we now felt confident that our friends would understand. FOMO, it seemed, was just a normal part of living. Eventually, it would pass, or perhaps our luck would turn and we’d find ourselves on the other end.
But upon deeper inspection, FOMO isn’t so innocent. While it may be part of our collective psyche, at the root of it, it represents a nagging feeling that we should be somewhere—or even someone—else. It thrives when we’re not happy with ourselves, and if it had its way, we’d be chasing someone else’s dreams forever. Without the fear that we’re not good enough, or that we’ll be excluded in some way, FOMO couldn’t exist. And therein lies its Achilles heel.
It turns out, the antidote to this thoroughly modern phenomenon is a very ancient practice. Yoga and meditation can render FOMO powerless by teaching us that the moment our mind is elsewhere, we ARE missing out on something—exactly where we are. Through practice, we learn to come back to the here and now again and again, because otherwise, we’re trapped in the “coulda, shoulda, woulda…” of the past and future. Over time, we gain confidence that no one else’s photoshopped feed is as good as our own reality; we are where we are for a reason. Our practice is to find that reason, own it, and make it shine.
So, the next time you find yourself wishing you were somewhere you are not, take your power back. Come back to the present moment and start creating what speaks to you. Pour your passion into it and, soon enough, people will start wondering what you’re up to and whether they are the ones who are missing out.
You are exactly where you’re meant to be. And in case you forget, here are a few classes to bring you back to the beauty of your own reality.