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I wonder how many of you found this article by simply picking up your phone for a 5 minute guilt free scroll through your socials. In this short space of time you will no doubt be met by the photos of a friend’s holiday, their latest night out or a family get together.

How many of you got a bit of a pang of wanting to get involved, make sure you are a part of the next get together?

I get that! It happens to all of us. Well, picture this: instead of frantically scrolling through social media feeds, chasing every party invite, and constantly striving to keep up, what if we embraced the bliss of occasionally saying, “No thanks, I’m good.” The essence of JOMO lies not in what you’re missing, but in relishing what you gain from saying no.

This article will encourage you to explore JOMO as essential self-care in our fast-paced digital culture.

What is JOMO?

In a hyperconnected world where FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) seems to govern our decisions, the concept of JOMO—the Joy of Missing Out—serves as a refreshing antidote. It’s not about opting out but about consciously choosing what helps our well-being.

In a society that values constant connectivity, taking the time to be alone can feel like a rebellious act.

However, research consistently supports the idea that solitude is essential for personal growth and mental well-being. Psychologist Erik Erikson, renowned for his psychosocial development theory, highlights the importance of solitude in helping us to grow. Solitude provides the space for self-reflection, helping individuals understand their values, desires, and goals without external influence.

The benefits of embracing solitude extend beyond psychology. A study published in the journal “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin” found that spending time alone can enhance creativity. It allows the mind to wander, fostering innovative thinking and problem-solving skills. So, contrary to the misconception that solitude equates to loneliness, JOMO encourages us to appreciate the richness that comes with spending quality time with ourselves.

Prioritising Personal Well-Being Over Social Validation

In the age of social media, the pursuit of external validation can be all-consuming.

However, the joy lies in prioritising personal well-being over the relentless quest for likes and approval. A study conducted by psychologists at the University of Missouri and published in the journal “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin” revealed that seeking social approval can negatively impact mental health. Choosing JOMO means acknowledging that true happiness comes from within, not from external validation.

Moreover, prioritising personal well-being involves setting boundaries and learning to say no without guilt. A study in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” found that people who have difficulty saying no experience higher levels of stress. JOMO empowers individuals to prioritise their mental and emotional health by recognising the value of selective participation.

Disconnecting from Digital Distractions

Our digital devices have become constant companions, often blurring the lines between work and personal life. JOMO advocates for a conscious disconnection from these digital distractions to reclaim control over our time and attention. The American Psychological Association highlights the detrimental effects of constant digital connectivity, including increased stress levels and decreased well-being.

Why embrace the Joy of Missing Out

Why should you dive headfirst into the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO)? Let’s explore the empowering reasons behind adopting this mindset shift.

First and foremost, imagine JOMO as personal, ‘you time’ where you can slow down. While it might go against the grain of our fast paced, busy lives, taking time to deliberately slow down and take time away from pressures and expectations can act as a refreshing opportunity for us to press the pause button and help charge our batteries.

How many of you enjoy saying no to an invitation? I do every now and again. This small act to some might be seen as being anti social, to me and Sophie it is a chance for us to change how we think about our friendships.  By choosing activities that resonate with your values, you’re not just participating—you’re crafting space for meaningful relationships. It’s about valuing quality over quantity, celebrating connections that genuinely touch your soul and help you feel like you. Rather than making yourself available to every activity on the calendar, you are giving time and energy to the ones that mean the most to you.

The times of going out every night are in the past. And while they might have served you at the time for what you wanted to achieve, you are not necessarily that person anymore. It is ok to change, In fact, it is empowering to change.

Going from a Fear of missing out to a joy of missing out

Curiosity drives our FOMO. So to embrace a different way of living it is important to consider what is important to us and worthy of our attention.

Is it important to you to be at the centre of the friendship or family WhatsApp group?

Or

Would you prefer to mute it or leave it all together and spend quality time together when you meet?

Do you need to hear the news as it breaks?

Or

Can you catch up at the end of the day?

Do you have to be available 24/7?

Or

Can you step away from your laptop or phone when you leave work?

You see, these things might feel important to us and have a place in our lives, but rather than just feeling like we should be stopping outright and going from FOMO to JOMO we can consider why it is important to us, what is it giving us emotionally, and how is it serving us. This can be a step that helps us to see another side of the coin. Remember, just because you have always done something a certain way, it doesn’t mean it is the only way.

5 tips to finding Joy in Missing out

So now we have looked at the why let’s look at the how. Here are 5 tips to help you find more Joy in Missing Out:

  1. Take time to Reflect

Awareness is a big things for us at Balanced Coaching because everything starts from having the awareness that things might need to change. Taking time to reflect on how you are doing things and how it is making you feel physically, emotionally and mentally. This is the time to be honest with yourself and take time to understand what truly matters to you, both personally and professionally.

2.  Learn the art of saying no

Learn to say no without guilt. This can be a work in progress but becomes so much easier when you really take time to reflect on what makes you, you. It is a way to prioritise your well-being and invest your time in activities that bring you genuine joy. Remember, you aren’t missing out because every “no” is a “yes” to something more aligned to you.

3. Be Grateful

Gratitude seems to be the buzzword of 2023 and beyond but there is a reason for it, that is because we is a powerful mindset to have. Develop a gratitude practice to appreciate what you have rather than focusing on what you might be missing out on. Try ending your day with 5 things that you are grateful for and really connect to them.

4. Do a Digital Detox

Finding the joy of missing out is not about cutting yourself off from civilisation and living off grid, while that might sound like heaven to some, me included, it is not practical in our day to day lives. A lot of FOMO is generated by scrolling through social media and the resulting social comparisons that inevitably happen. Whether it’s a daily break from social media or a technology-free weekend, carving out time away from digital distractions allows you to be present.

5. Turn off Autopilot

This one might sound a bit woo woo but we spend so much time just living from day to day, doing things automatically without really thinking about how we got there or even how long it took. To prove my point, how many times have you driven somewhere and turned the engine off and for a split second wondered ‘how did I get here’ with no memory of the journey or what happened, other cars on the road or even the traffic lights you went through. Well guess what, we spend most of our days like this. We get out of bed and have a certain thing we do first whether it is going to the bathroom, or whether it is going in to the kitchen and putting the kettle on. By becoming aware and intentional with our time we can begin to really enjoy the little things and welcome more joy in missing out rather than living from day to day.

Remember it is not about making a change outright but to have the awareness of what it means to you, just because you have always done something a certain way, it doesn’t mean it is the only way. Moving from the fear of missing out to the joy of missing out is not about saying no to something but is more about saying yes to you.

I’m curious about your take on the Joy of Missing Out – How could you take more time for you and find the positives in saying no?

Share your reflections in the comments below.