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From Jackie with Love: Life goes by fast—why waste it on FOMO?

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By Jackie Rainford Corcoran EBS Health Columnist

Are you ready to usher in the “joy of missing out?” When Anil Dash coined the acronym JOMO, in his blog that focuses on making the tech world more humane and ethical, he was responding to a blog his friend Caterina Fake wrote in 2011, when she coined the acronym FOMO, or the “fear of missing out.” FOMO leaves us feeling like we’re never in the right place and the right time because there is always something or someone more interesting elsewhere.

Social media has brought keeping up with the Joneses to a whole new level. According to data published in 2017 by the analytics firm Flurry, the average adult spends five hours a day on mobile devices and teens even more. And much of that time is spent on social media apps. Constantly comparing our lives to those portrayed online can cause feelings of envy, loneliness and unworthiness. So why not consider putting JOMO into effect instead?

JOMO isn’t about isolating yourself and becoming an anti-social hermit; instead, it invites you to unplug, say no to invitations you don’t have time for or sincere interest in, and then celebrate your choices.

Practicing JOMO is simple—it starts in the mind. Summer is full of exciting activities and at times, you might wish you could be in two places at once, but you can’t. Instead, accept that fact and find peace and joy in your decision. This is beneficial to your mental well-being.

JOMO also requires you to notice when you’re overdoing it and then stop that behavior pattern. When you’re spread too thin, stress can set in which releases hormones like cortisol that signal to the body and mind that you’re in danger. If you’re chronically stressed, your immune system can become compromised and nasty illnesses can more easily inhabit your body—which can lead to a mandatory time out when you’re sick in bed—not an ideal way to spend precious summer days.

Also consider practicing JOMO by making time to disconnect from social media, nightly news, emails and phone calls and do nothing. This can be so hard—the thought of doing nothing seems so anti-American. But even if it’s just for 10 minutes or a mere 60 seconds, doing nothing but focusing on the breath and letting your nervous system know that everything is fine helps liberate the body and mind from stress mode.

Lastly, notice when FOMO creeps in. You’ll recognize it by the stories you tell yourself and others like when you’re lamenting about what you’re missing out on, or when you’re wishing you could live the life of someone else, or when you’re complaining that you’re exhausted by your busy schedule. Stop this demoralizing thought pattern in its tracks by bringing awareness to it, letting it go and moving on to a conversation that uplifts your spirit.

Life goes by quickly. Why waste it on FOMO? We can find comfort in this chaotic world knowing that we always have this precious moment, right here, right now. If you’re looking for greater contentment, clarity and creativity, try embracing JOMO. Have a healthy and happy summer!

Jackie Rainford Corcoran is an IIN Certified Holistic Health Coach. Check out her website where you can schedule a free 30-minute health coaching session.

The Outlaw Partners is a creative marketing, media and events company based in Big Sky, Montana.

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