Readers reply: how do you conquer your fear of missing out?

I find that I have the perfect antidote. Whenever I might fleetingly feel any envious Fomo propelling me towards taking some new action or other, it’s immediately and decisively nullified by my constitutional Itoba (inability to be arsed). ThereisnoOwl

The world is big, and full of many wonderful things. You WILL miss out on many of them. Once I accepted that, I was free to start enjoying the wonderful things right in front of me. Therapy helps a lot. PumezaAbroad

I have poor self-control with my phone, failing to impose/abide by any limits I set. To combat this, I have trialled, for over two years, deleting all social media accounts. I still spend far too much time on my phone (mainly reading the Guardian), but a small positive outcome is that I have no idea what everyone else is up to, so I never fear missing out. nogoodboyo89

Ditch Facebook. Unamika (and Pennyfeather)

Avoid social media if it makes you feel worse. Organise the stuff you want to do. Text your friends to go to the pub, book the gig tickets, etc. Appreciate what you have. You have to be a Zen master not to feel sad if you’ve been left out of someone’s plans. I think everyone feels like that sometimes; it’s only human. Figaro2

The answer is to not sit around waiting for people to invite you to stuff. Get your validation from pursuing the things you enjoy to the extent that you don’t have time to worry about what other people are up to. Eventually, you will reach a point where you don’t care what other people are doing and are just happy that they are having fun, too. doowenday

Build a nourishing life. For me, that includes time in nature, playing with my dog, cribbage with someone dear, reading printed books, drawing, playing musical instruments, small amounts of volunteering, and giving my co-workers specific, regular, positive feedback or thanks.

It also means that I plan and relish my meals, even though they are simple sweet potatoes and beans, or oatmeal, or just a great coffee or tea. Take the time to journal a bit, to better treasure your life. Even cataloguing the books you’ve read – or movies you’ve watched, or walks you’ve taken – with little notes about what birds and plants you observed. Journaling is transformative and healing.

Be sure to move your body each day. Maybe choose a new skill to learn. I’m learning country line dancing at home, so I can dance with or without a partner when the pandemic abates. quiettess

Live your life, not what you are told to live. That way, you don’t miss out on your life by living someone else’s idea of the perfect life. Do what makes you happy and healthy. DewinDwl

Once you master the art of enjoying time by yourself and being alone, then you will probably never get Fomo again. Remember, nobody is invited to everything, and often people’s memories, recollections, descriptions, videos or photographs of events make them look and sound a lot more fun than they actually were. The chances are that, during whatever you missed out on, the people present were secretly just waiting to go home. spat321

Miss out deliberately. Stay home. The next day, ask people how the evening went. (Spoiler: average.) Then be happy that you stayed home. DerDeutsche

When I was a teenager (many years ago), I longed to go to the cool youth club that the really popular girls used to go to. They used to talk about it all week and, to 14-year-old me, it sounded wonderful. One week, I was invited, too. It meant two buses there and back and an agonising time choosing what to wear beforehand. Actually, it was quite boring. DoraMarr

I find misanthropy does the trick. TheGoodThief

Honestly? I’m too tired now, and everyone I know in real life is too tired. The toll of the past few years has made its mark, in that it is hard to look ahead or from side to side, and Fomo has been burned away. But it has also made me appreciate simple things like tea and cake with a friend. I look forward to those things now in the way I would have looked forward to travelling or a concert before. Forestdream

You should read Oliver Burkeman’s book Four Thousand Weeks. He suggests that once you accept that, because you have limited time on this earth, you’ll miss out on most things, it becomes easier to enjoy the relatively few things you are experiencing right now. Don’t rush the current activity, and so ruin the enjoyment of it, just so you can satiate your Fomo by getting on to the next experience. Enjoy the ride while it lasts. TopGyre

I grew older. Fear of missing out turned into relief at situations avoided. Live your own life, not your (often imaginary) view of someone else’s. BitBoringPeter

Oh yes. The older I get, the more Fobi (fear of being involved) I have. NottyImp

As a subsequent question, how do I stop myself from doomscrollingmusicforpleasure

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