How I Overcame My FOMO: A Journey to Finding Peace and Contentment

By: Angel Molekunnel, Manning School of Business Well-being Leader 

I remember those nights…I’d be lying in bed, phone in hand, scrolling through my socials like it was my job. Every post showing off some epic adventure or wild party from my friends just hit differently. FOMO? FOMO or ‘Fear of Missing Out’ refers to the feeling or perception that others are having more fun, living better lives, or experiencing better things than you are. It felt as if I was falling behind and couldn’t measure up to the excitement I saw online. But I wasn’t about to let that hold me back. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands—a journey, if you will. And through some trial and error, I managed to break free from FOMO’s grip. And you know what? I found a new sense of peace and fulfillment that I never knew was possible.

5 Steps to Overcoming FOMO

  1. I’m taking steps to limit my social media use since it often amplifies my FOMO by showcasing others’ seemingly perfect lives. I use social media only 2-3 hours a day.  By cutting down my time on these platforms and unfollowing accounts that trigger negative feelings, I’m reclaiming control over my emotions. 
  1. Every night, I spent time practicing gratitude. Shifting my focus from what I lack to what I have helps me maintain a positive perspective. Keeping a gratitude journal and regularly noting down the things I’m thankful for grounds me in the present and counteracts feelings of inadequacy. 
  1. Living in the present is key to overcoming FOMO. Instead of fixating on what others are doing, I prioritize enjoying the moment and engaging in activities that bring me joy, regardless of their popularity. 
  1. Setting boundaries is essential for my well-being. Learning to decline invitations or activities that don’t genuinely interest me allows me to prioritize my needs over the fear of missing out on something. It’s empowering to take control of my time and energy. 
  1. Overcoming FOMO involved a significant shift in my mindset. Rather than constantly wishing I was participating in every activity my peers were, I learned to celebrate their successes and happiness genuinely. I came to a crucial realization: satisfaction cannot be attained through constant comparison and competition with others. Instead, I redirected my focus inward, embracing my authentic self, which gradually diminished my feelings of jealousy. 

Nowadays, I find contentment in both staying home and going out. I’ve established a new routine for after-school and weekends, prioritizing self-care and quality time with my family, such as watching movies together. Additionally, I’ve rekindled my appreciation for simple pleasures, like listening to music and enjoying the comfort of my own space. 

Though I may still experience occasional pangs of FOMO, I no longer feel compelled to meet unrealistic social expectations that once consumed my thoughts.