How to Have Less FOMO &
more Happiness Using CBT Skills
Key Components of happiness: Thinking styles, perceptions, self-talk & external support (sense of belonging). Most individuals find that their happiness is drained through negative thinking, such as:
What if I miss out? What if I fall behind? Am I letting my life pass me by?
That’s why it’s important to put thinking styles in check, have less FOMO and focus more on our own unique happiness. Fear of missing out, or “FOMO”, is a common feeling that most of us have experienced before, but it’s actually what keeps us from being present! Even more-so, there are correlations between social media, FOMO-mentality & depression and anxiety. All this to say– FOMO is a thinking trap that keeps us in a cycle of worry instead of in the present.
Untangle Thoughts & Perceptions (CBT part)
Instead of focusing on the things that bring us happiness, we get caught up in what we “should do” or how we “should be”. This leads to self-comparison, low-self esteem and general feelings of inadequacy.
So how do we quiet the FOMO part of our brain and focus on building our happiness?
1. BULLY BACK THE BULLY BRAIN
If your brain is saying stuff to you that is putting you under pressure, making you feel wrong or less than- bully that b*$#h back, but *make it therapeutic*
Your Brain: You’re missing out on the best parts of your life because you just stay home and watch netflix
You: I’m giving back to my body and my needs, and when I’m ready to socialize I will make social plans that suit me.
2. EXTERNALIZE YOUR THOUGHTS
It can be really hard to differentiate between our own beliefs from the intrusive, pessimistic or shaming thoughts that pop in. So let’s separate you from those ‘not-so-you’ thoughts.
- Step 1: Acknowledge & Identify: Is this a demanding thought, punitive thought, self-sabotaging thought?
- Step 2: Evaluate It: What impact does this thought have on you? Does it make you feel worried, does it make you feel inadequate?
- Step 3: Challenge It: Is this something you truly believe? Is this thought accurate or based on evidence? Is this thought aligned with your beliefs, values and wants?
- Step 4: Put it in it’s place: If this thought is not an accurate one, it doesn’t belong taking up space in your mind. Some clients characterize their negative thoughts to help differentiate but giving the “negative voice” a name or an identity.
- Step 5: Decide to Leave It Behind: This is to help maintain that sacred headspace. Once we recognize that thought is unhelpful, negative or a distorted way of thinking, it is important to move past it instead of ruminating on it. Some clients will even say aloud “Since this thought isn’t helpful, I’m choosing to refocus my attention now”. Intentional focus helps to avoid over-thinking.
CBT- Tip to decrease FOMO & Increase Happiness 💡
To help differentiate, you can give these negative thoughts a name, character, and personality. Some clients will draw and create this “thought monster” to help separate self from thoughts.
3. LEAN INTO YOUR VALUES
Yes, you actually have your own values, not just the ones you were raised with, but the ones that YOU developed and honor. Most 20-30 year olds aren’t keenly aware of their values, BUT you totally have them. Let’s figure this out….
Write out things that are important to you; these are things that, if not fulfilled, would leave you feeling some type of way.
For example, if someone values connection to others, a way to be aligned with this would be to spend time building strong relationships.
Your Happiness is Shaped by how you honor your values
If you’re unsure about your list, check out the table below for inspiration
Action Step Towards Happiness
- Fulfill a promise you made to someone
- Show acceptance of others, write a letter of gratitude
- Challenge limiting thoughts & negative thinking patterns
- Volunteer, give back to your community
Need Help Applying CBT skills? Contact Us Today!
If you’re interested in doing a deep dive into life satisfaction, reach out to us or read more about living your personal values to increase your happiness. Let our experienced therapists help you overcome FOMO, increase happiness using simple CBT techniques & talk therapy today!