Understanding FOMO, The Syndrome Of The Millennials

Understanding FOMO, The Syndrome Of The Millennials

When did busyness become a badge of honor?
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Hundreds of college kids are walking around undiagnosed, unaware that the affliction they are suffering from has a name. FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out syndrome. FOMO is that unsettling anxiety that creeps up when you are alone following a hectic week or a large social gathering. In the quietness of reflecting on these busy situations, there is something nagging inside of you, urging you to go out and do more, insisting that because you are taking a break you are missing out.

Now, FOMO may sound like a silly idea fabricated by the way-too-busy millennial generation. And while the diagnosis might not be legit, the anxiety of FOMO is 100 percent real. This is due to several factors of modern society. By this, I am not implying that past generations did not suffer from this form of social anxiety, but rather, FOMO has intensified with social media and other elements of today.

Social media has played a huge part in changing communication and increasing FOMO. At no other time in history have people from all around the world been so easily connected at the touch of a finger. This means that people are constantly able to post status updates and pictures of the latest and greatest news happening in their lives. Social media has become a breeding ground for bragging rights. "Look at all I am doing and how much fun I am having" is essentially the message we write when we post photo after photo onto social media; its almost become a competition to see who is winning at life.

Don't get me wrong, I am as guilty as any of posting and constantly checking in to social media. This is an enjoyable way you can keep in touch with distant friends and family members. But because of the rise of dependency and the underlying competitive drive, these sites have become a place to compare a person's best experiences with your whole life. You go onto Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and see old high school mates having the time of their lives, and FOMO whispers to you "Oh, her life is so great. Why can't I be doing all that awesome stuff?" And now you are sad because you are just sitting in your bed eating a whole bowl of popcorn scrolling through these awesome photos; that's FOMO at its most powerful.

Another aspect of FOMO is the choice overload. Today, there is a club for everything. Along with that, there is a belief that if you don't have something going on at every minute of the day then you are wasting time and missing out on opportunities. This may be true if you spend all of your free time watching Netflix. But people think it is better to jam pack your life and exhaust yourself than to allow yourself downtime. You need to be overwhelmingly busy in order to be successful, and don't forget to post a picture or else did it even happen? This idea is creating a generation of people too busy to slow down, and if you do slow down then you have failed. All of this is encouraged and fueled by FOMO.

It's good to try new things and find your niche. It's not good to try everything just so you don't feel left out and then end up hating it all. FOMO sounds silly, but think about it. Are you overwhelmed with a hectic schedule? Do you browse social media looking at other people's experiences and feeling sad about your own? When your friends go out, do you have to go with them, or can you sometimes sit back and enjoy personal time? The millennials have produced some incredibly intelligent people and amazing inventions, but they have also produced a strain of high-stress, ubiquitous pressure. It's important to lead an actively productive life, but it is equally important to know your boundaries. It's OK to not be busy. Experience downtime, quit something you aren't crazy about, take the time to treat yourself. If you find value in your own personal experiences and make the most of both the busy and laid back moments, then you can overcome the misery of FOMO.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiD3duNneXKAhWBVSYKHZqnAmIQjB0IBg&url=http%3A%2F%2Frodminor.com%2F2014%2F04%2F09%2Fthe-busyness-trap%2F&psig=AFQjCNGn7KuEc5bUhK3uzSWxd2r0m4vPrw&ust=1454919843600306

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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I Joined WW Freestyle And Here Are 10 Ways It's Positively Affected My Life

Healthy Habits = Happy Tummy

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I know its a stereotypical New Years resolution, but this year I took myself seriously and decided to join WW Freestyle. It is a great program and 100% worth the price, which ranges from $3-$15/month. My parents and older sister have been doing it for a few years now so I decided to hop on the weight loss train.

It's probably the best decision I have made this year. It's not even the end of January but I feel more confident than ever, but that's not all!

Here are ten things WW Freestyle has done for me...

1. I eat MORE than I did before!

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And not just fruits and veggies!

Before WW, I was eating two meals a day, sometimes one. I thought that would help me lose weight, but if anything I gained. It was hard and I tried every "one special trick" in the book, but nothing worked.

Now I get X amount of daily points and I find someday's I'm looking for more food to use up all my points (which is very important). Not only do I get daily points, I get BONUS/weekly points that have to be used by the end of the week, so if I want to indulge or splurge, I can! Sweet treats here I come!

2. I look in the mirror with confidence!

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I only joined two weeks ago and I already feel more confident and beautiful, and I haven't even lost much weight yet! Just the idea that I am on my way to a healthier body inside and out gives me a boast of much needed self-confidence.

3. Its teaching me healthy habits.

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Before choosing to just swing by Starbucks or McDonalds I now think, "do I have points for that?" and since I can't check my phone while driving, I then decide it'd be better to just go home and eat a hearty and healthy dinner.

And hey! If I do have the points you can best bet I'll be indulging in some chicken nuggets and fries!

4. I've become part of a new, amazing community

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With the 6-month package I purchased, I get to attend weekly meetings! They are such a great support group and the leader of the group is amazing! It's a no judgement zone and even if you gained weight, its okay to share because its a learning and growing experience.

The environment of the meetings is so welcoming. And even if you just get the digital package, there is an online community as well that you can be a part of.

Everyone there is on the same or similar journey as you and the success stories keep you going because that could be you!

5. It's inspired me to exercise more!

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I used to barely ever exercise. I sat around all day on my computer procrastinating exercise. But now! I'm back in the pool swimming laps and attending a free water aerobics class up at Eastern!

I swam for 6 years of my life and its great to be back in the water! It's bringing back my lung capacity which has significantly dropped over the years of no exercise and I can feel the difference in my breathing.

You should never diet alone! Always, always get some sort of exercise at least 3 times a week. The weight comes off faster and you feel so much better.

(My article about being on the swim team)

6. I walk a little taller

And its not just the new confidence! Losing weight makes for a better posture as well! As a girl with a weak lower back, WW Freestyle has helped me so much already.

7. I feel healthier

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I can breathe easier, I'm lighter on my feet, and that's just for a start! I used to have really bad stomach/digestive issues but they haven't bothered me in the two weeks I've been a part of WW Freestyle.

Knock on wood, but I hope that they'll stop for good. Healthy habits = Happy Tummy.

8. I've started being more open to dating again

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Four years of low self-esteem and not liking who I see in the mirror is rough. With this new confidence, I joined a few dating websites to get myself out there again and it's going great!

Look out world! Here I come!

9. I'm discovering new foods I've never had before!

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Another great resource that comes with the WW Freestyle app is unlimited healthy recipes! I'm trying new foods for low points and feeling healthy and satisfied.

10. Its given me so much more energy!

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If only two weeks with the program has given me this much energy I can't wait to reach my goal!

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