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The Pandemic Response (Part. 3): People Helping People

In the past month the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the news 24/7. It’s very interesting to see the human response to this crisis.

Breaking Apart and Coming Together

Regardless of what background you’re from, humanity is breaking apart and at the same time coming together. 

Some people push others out of the way at the grocery store, however there are people helping others in need and work together with them to achieve a common goal. 

I’ll be discussing how people are helping other people in the COVID-19 crisis.

What Are The Benefits of People Helping People?

It’s interesting that there are many benefits derived from helping other people. It’s not only a benefit to the people you are helping, but it can benefit you as well.

Volunteering your time to help other people has been linked to improved happiness, health and sense of well being.

Health benefits derived from volunteering include reduction in chronic pain, lowered blood pressure and a mental boost from connecting with your community while social distancing.

People Are Helping By:

Helping Neighbors Under Quarantine: It’s easy to fall back into old habits when you hang out with people who are perpetually negative and bring you down every time they’re around. I’ve learned to associate less with people who bring me down and associate with people that are upbeat and build me up.

Volunteers Donating Blood: All over the world there’s a blood shortage being made worse by the COVID-19 lockdown, blood drives being cancelled and people being afraid to make donations due to the fear of catching the virus. Despite everything that’s been going on many COVID-19 survivors are donating blood plasma to help seriously ill patients fight the virus.

Donating To Local Food Banks: The massive lockdown put in place to fight COVID-19 has caused mass layoffs and led to a high demand for food aid. I saw a news story about a food bank in Texas that served 10,000 families in a single day, which put a huge strain on their food supplies due to huge demand. Food banks across not only the United States, but across the world are under a lot of stress, so a lot of people including myself are making donations to local food banks. 

Engineers Offering Aid To Hospitals: When the pandemic began in March Italy was hit hard by COVID-19. Hospitals were experiencing shortages of not only PPE, but also important disposable ventilator parts such as venturi valves. An Italian start-up called Isinnova figured out how to reverse engineer venturi valves and then manufacture them using a 3-D Printer. 

Volunteers Making PPE For Medical Staff: The global demand for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) due to the ongoing pandemic has caused a severe shortage of items such as face masks for medical staff. Volunteers have gotten together under the guidance of the  CDC (Centers For Disease Control & Prevention) to sew masks.

Have You Ever Volunteered Your Time?

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Source:

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/03/18/good-and-beautiful-things-ive-seen-amid-coronavirus-pandemic

https://www.asme.org/topics-resources/content/coronavirus-update-engineers-to-the-rescue

https://www.upworthy.com/san-antonio-food-bank-swamped

http://www.forthoodsentinel.com/living/covid-19-pandemic-causes-blood-donation-shortage/article_a66dda02-7364-11ea-9921-1be5db86de13.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-survivors-keep-up-the-fight-donate-blood-plasma-to-others-11585733401

https://www.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/patient-education/sewing-masks.html

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Keeping Mind and Body Healthy: Coping with COVID-19 Anxiety (Part.2)

I mentioned in Part.1 how the COVID-19 pandemic is a difficult time for everyone, particularly those who have issues with anxiety and anxiety disorders. I’ve been living with chronic anxiety long before this crisis started, but I’ve learned how to manage it in a holistic way. I’ll be sharing with you how I’ve been coping with COVID-19 anxiety.

I don’t have the luxury of working from home and I’m an essential worker, so it’s important for me to stay healthy and take a proactive approach toward my health by not only protecting my physical health, but my mental health as well.

I mentioned in my previous post about the mind-body connection; our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes can have an effect on our overall health. How you cope with anxiety is very important.

Ways of Coping Include:

Attempt To Maintain a Routine: This pandemic has thrown my normal routine off and it’s difficult to stay focused. I’ve been using block scheduling to maintain a routine for not only work, but also for exercising and for writing this blog.

Focusing on Breathing: Just simple breathing works its magic on anxiety. Taking deep breaths while meditating calms your brain down while you’re focusing on the present moment.

Exercise: An excellent way to maintain a good mind-body connection is to get moving and exercise. Since the gym is closed and I don’t want to risk getting bit by ticks by walking in the woods, so I’ve been taking time after work to take long walks while social distancing.

Watching What I Eat: I mentioned in a post about how there’s a negative connection between processed foods and mental health, and that it’s really important to watch what you eat.

Recommended Foods To Reduce Anxiety Include:

  • Turmeric
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Green Tea
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Almonds
  • Blueberries
  • Turkey Meat

Food To Avoid include:

  • Fried Foods
  • Artificial and Refined Sugars
  • Caffeine
  • Soda
  • Foods High in Sodium

Getting Enough Sleep: Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep is important, pandemic or no pandemic, because when you don’t sleep well you not only have worsening anxiety, but also a weakened immune system.

Putting Limits On How Much Media I Consume: The 24/7 news coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic will take a toll on my mental health and at the same time I need to stay informed about what’s happening, so it’s beneficial to limit how much news media I consume.

Limit alcohol consumption: In the short term having a drink or two is relaxing, however overtime excessive drinking can interfere with the chemicals in your brain that regulate mental health and cause worsening anxiety, depression and stress becomes harder to handle.

Connect with Friends Remotely: One of the most difficult aspects of this pandemic has been lockdowns and social distancing. Once a week I like to get together with friends to go hiking; I get my exercise and I socialize. However, due to social distancing I haven’t been able to go, so I connect with friends remotely through texting, social media and phone calls.

This is a tough regiment to live by to keep chronic anxiety under control and this challenging time we’re living in is making it even tougher.

How Are You Coping With This Tough Time?

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If you’re struggling with anxiety please click on the button below to download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-cope-with-coronavirus-covid-19-anxiety-psychologist-2020-2#use-the-time-to-reach-out-to-loved-ones-and-reconnect-with-old-friends-10

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/mental-health/alcohol-and-mental-health/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-foods-that-reduce-anxiety#section7

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Becoming Mindful of Success, Part.1 (Factors That Lead To Overall Success)

This will be the first of a two part post about success.

What is Success?


Success is defined as the accomplishment of a goal or purpose. It can also refer to a person or thing that achieves a desired goal or attains prosperity. It’s important for boosting confidence, security, a sense of well-being, hope and leadership. 

Examples of Success?

Success means different things to different people. It’s the achievement of something desired; whether it’s weath, happiness or well-being.


Examples of Success include:

  • Having a great job
  • Having a happy marriage
  • Having a lot of money
  • Finally being able to finish a puzzle
  • Successfully overcoming an anxiety disorder
  • Successfully losing 50 pounds

What Factors Lead To Success?

We live in a world where success is measured mainly through money; this is the first thing that comes to mind when we think of success and for a lot of people it’s the only way success is measured. Material success is important; it drives creativity along with economic and social advancement. 

However, it’s important to be aware that when money becomes the only criterion to measure success other factors are overlooked such as your happiness, well-being and wisdom that contribute to an overall successful life.


Some factors that are overlooked include:


Courage During Adversity: Adversity is discouraging and exhausting. It can leave us overwhelmed by fear and unable to move forward. Courage is the ability to do something you fear and by having the courage to face adversity you’re on your way to success.

Self-Control: Success can be due to the amount of self-control you have. Have you ever tried losing weight and changing your diet, but at the same time struggling with compulsive eating? If you have enough self-control you can successfully change your habits and lose weight.


Level of Learning and Knowledge: Successful people are always learning new things and they are knowledgeable in a wide array of disciplines. It’s a myth that learning stops when you finish school and the more you learn the more successful you become.


Life Satisfaction and Good Health: Increasing your life satisfaction and feeling fulfilled leads to a happy and successful life. This can be achieved by focusing on the positive, relieving stress and not being afraid to take out for yourself. There is nothing more important for achieving success than good health; whether it’s good physical health or good mental health where anxiety is at a minimum.


Spiritual Success: Spiritual success means being in touch with who you truly are and it can refer to our character and integrity. It can also refer to the qualities of our success such as discipline, honesty, loyalty and love.


Where Have You Found Success in Your Life?

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Sources:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/importance-of-success_b_837924

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2013-12/25/content_17194820.htm

https://fac.ksu.edu.sa/adalayed/publication/66617

https://www.australianacademicpress.com.au/aap_blog/post/courage-in-adversity

https://lifehacker.com/success-is-controlling-how-you-spend-your-time-1682657639

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-be-successful-in-life-4165743

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Gaining Courage in the Face of Fear

What is Courage?


Courage is the ability to do something that frightens you. It is the strength you need to face pain or grief and the strength in the face of a tornado, an earthquake or the global coronavirus pandemic.

The word courage originated from the Old French word “corage”, from the Latin word “cor”, which means ”heart”.

Why is Courage Important?


Courage is important if you want to begin something that you want to do or when you have to face a crisis. It allows you to act despite being fearful.

Courage is important for putting aside your fear of failure; especially if you have to venture off into the unknown or if you want to go for what you want. It’s important for overcoming anxiety characterized by the fear of rejection or self doubt caused by negative self talk.

Courage is more important than confidence. Confidence is very important; it comes from believing you can do something, but courage on the other hand is doing something despite being fearful.

Courage and Confidence are like yin and yang, because they depend on one another. Without courage we never develop confidence and a confident person can be brought down when facing a crisis if it weren’t for courage.

Examples of Courage?


Courage can come in all shapes and forms. It could come from you standing up for someone who’s being bullied, asking your crush on a date, racing into a burning building to save someone’s life or being courageous in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

We’ve been seeing 24/7 news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. There’s been more of an emphasis on the negative things that many people have been doing in reaction to this crisis including attacking other people for their toilet paper or bottled water or the spreading of misinformation. 

How about the awesome people who’ve been courageous since this crisis started? 

There hasn’t been enough said about the moral courage from the doctors, nurses and other medical staff in the face of the intense challenges they’ve been facing and the one’s they’re facing right now. 

Dr Helen Chu?

It was reported that in Seattle, Washington of epidemiologist Dr. Helen Chu demonstrated great moral courage by reporting critical data to health officials despite being told by federal authorities not to. There was a group of study participants she wanted to test for coronavirus to determine if it had arrived in Washington state, however she was denied authorization. 

Despite being denied Dr. Chu still had an ethical obligation and went ahead with the testing anyway and found a teenager had tested positive for the virus despite not traveling abroad or contact history, demonstrating community spread. This information was sent to a public health official just before this teen was sent back to school. Even after all that the federal government served her with a cease and desist order. 

Volunteers Rescuing Pets?

Here is a more lighthearted example of courage.  There was a news story from Spain that I saw about pets that were left behind due to their owners getting sick with the coronavirus. A group of volunteers from the kindness of their hearts looked after these abandoned pets. If and when their owners recover and are released from the hospital they will be reunited with their pets.

How To Become More Courageous?


The examples written above show why courage is a universally admired quality that’s very important to have. 

Ways To Become More Courageous Include:

  • Face The Fear of the Unknown: Becoming more courageous can be as simple as finding the cause of your fear, questioning what the cause of it is, accepting it, riding the wave of fear and learning to embrace change.
  • Use Relaxation Techniques: Fear can be paradoxal; a little bit of fear can amp you up and transform you into your best self and at the same time too much fear can shut you down and leave you stuck. It’s important to keep your physiological responses in check and this can be achieved by using relaxation techniques such as tactical breathing and mindful meditation.
  • Learn New Skills: There are many scenarios that involve risk and danger, it pays to develop a wide range of skills such as self-defense and first aid, to automotive repair and the ability to speak a foreign language. The more knowledge of what to do when trouble arises the braver a person you will be.
  • Think of Yourself Less: The more egocentric you are, the more scared you’re going to get about taking action. Egocentrism can lead to someone becoming more self-conscious about what other people think of them when and if they make a decision. This way of thinking leads to fear and anxiety that leads to decision paralysis and inaction.
  • Form Closer Relationships: Being from a culture that’s individualized and atomized (fragmented) we’re taught that drawing strength from being part of a group is something that’s negative. In reality it can be the opposite, because having close friends and family can cause you to act in a more positive and courageous way when a crisis occurs.
  • Do Something New Once a Week: At least once a week engage in something that will make a little nervous or scared in order to keep you outside your comfort zone. This can include something simple as eating out at a restaurant that is unfamiliar, hiking on an unfamiliar trail, traveling to an unfamiliar place or studying something that is challenging.
  • Lean Into Your Role: An effective way to become less self-conscious is to start thinking about the actions you need to take to transition into your more courageous self. Overtime when you lean into the role that you need to be to help others it’s no longer just about you.

How Courageous Are You?

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If you’re struggling with fear please click on the button below:

Sources:

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/courage-a-matter-of-the-heart/

https://medium.com/better-humans/why-courage-is-more-important-than-confidence-f97865efc930

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Curious About CBD Oil?

What is CBD oil?

What is CBD oil? CBD or cannabidiol is one of many chemical compounds found in cannabis sativa or (industrial hemp) called cannabinoids. 

It is found along with 113 other cannabinoids including THC. Cannabinoids act on receptors found in the endocannabinoid system.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid system or ECS is a system of cell receptors that bond with cannabinoids to regulate homeostasis or the balancing of your body’s physiology. 

The endocannabinoid system is described as being a lock and key mechanism. The receptors are the lock and the cannabinoids are the key. This triggers a reaction that affects the brain and body.

The ECS consists of two types of cell receptors:

Cannabinoid Receptor Type 1(CB1): Expressed in the peripheral nervous system and central nervous system which includes the brain. 

Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2(CB2): Expressed in the immune system along with the digestive system and many of the body’s organs. Mainly found in white blood cells, in the tonsils and the spleen. CB2 is very important in the regulation of the release of cytokine. What is cytokine? Signaling molecules that mediate and regulate immunity and inflammation.

What are the Benefits of CBD oil?

Benefits include:

  • Manage Stress and Anxiety: CBD oil has been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety including reducing rapid heart rates.
  • Improve Sleep: Since CBD oil reduces anxiety that interferes with sleep and helps you get more restful sleep.
  • Reduce Pain and Inflammation: CBD oil has anti-pain and anti-inflammatory effects that help with pain management.
  • Could Benefit Heart Health: The anti-inflammatory and anti oxidative properties of CBD oil may be able to reduce the risk of factors that can lead to heart disease.
  • May Reduce Acne: Using CBD oil may help reduce acne by reducing the amount of sebum the body creates.
  • Can Alleviate Cancer Symptoms: Research has suggested that CBD oil along with other cannabinoids may ease neuropathic pain, nausea and poor appetite due to cancer and cancer treatment.
  • Heal Without Habit: CBD oil and other cannabinoids may be a viable alternative to narcotic pain killers.

How is CBD Oil Applied?

There are three ways CBD oil can enter the body: 

  • Inhalation
  • Ingestion
  • Absorption

Inhalation

Inhalation occurs when you apply CBD oil though the lungs either by vaping or smoking.

What is Vaping?

Vaping is a popular way to apply CBD oil. It is fast acting and the effects can last up to three hours. It is a popular way to relieve stress and anxiety, chronic pain and it helps those who want to quit smoking cigarettes.

There are two options for vaping CBD oil vape juice or vape pen. The use of a CBD vape pen is the easiest way to vape CBD oil due to the easy to use out of box solution that required little or no set up. However the solution  found in CBD pens have to be replaced over time and that can get costly. The use of CBD vape juice is preferred when you want to mix CBD oil with a favorite flavor of vape juice. However the vaping device has to be purchased separately. 

Vaping CBD oil is fast acting due to it going directly to your lungs. When this happens the CBD diffuses directly into your bloodstream. Other methods of applying CBD oil take longer to take effect because it has to pass through your liver and gut.

There is a risk for lung irritation or damage from vaping. Over the long term inhaling hot CBD oil has the potential to damage your lungs. There are chemicals in many vape pens that contain thinning agents like propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol that are known carcinogens.   

Ingestion

Ingestion occurs when you apply CBD oil through your mouth. It can be by consuming an edible or applying a tincture.

What is an Edible?

A CBD edible is a tasty way of getting a daily dose of CBD. They can provide long lasting relief for the condition you’re trying to treat. However they take 30 minutes to 2 hours to fully go into effect. The results last longer than inhalation.

There are active compounds in CBD extract added to CBD edibles  that can be added to cooked or baked goods to add additional health benefits like boosting antioxidants. An example would be using cannabutter and CBD crystals when cookies or brownies are being baked.

It’s easier to get the correct dosage of CBD eating edibles than vaping. However, when CBD oil is inhaled by vaping it is harder to determine how much dosage you are getting.

What is a Tincture?

A tincture is a concentrated liquid form of one or more herbs, such as cannabis.

CBD oil tinctures are applied under your tongue. Wait between 50 and 90 seconds for it to go into effect.

Tinctures are not only popular they are effective. They deliver CBD to the body quicker than edibles and the body can break them down quicker also.  If a user cannot vape CBD oil due to health restriction tinctures are a great alternative.


Absorption

Absorption occurs when CBD oil is absorbed through the skin when it is applied topically as an ointment, salve or lotion.

Topical CBD oil is excellent for providing relief from pain in the muscles, joints, nerves and neck and back. Research shows that its possible it can be use as an effective treatment for bacterial infections such as MRSA.

Topical CBD oil is considered the most versatile among CBD products. It’s not only used to treat anxiety and depression, but it has many other functions.

 I discovered another use for CBD oil started when I started using it to relieve pain caused by a fractured finger. I rubbed it on topically and it dulled the pain as effectively as taking ibuprofen. According to a study done by the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research CBD oil strengthens bones and accelerates the healing of fractures.

The answer to this is yes. CBD oil is federally legal as long as the amount of THC doesn’t exceed 0.3%.

THC (Tetrahydrocannabidiol) like CBD is one of 113 cannabinoids identified in cannabis. However, unlike CBD THC is a psychoactive compound that can cause someone to become “high” and it is still considered a schedule 1 controlled substance by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency).

The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was a proposed law that would’ve removed industrial hemp from schedule 1 controlled substance and would’ve made it an ordinary agricultural commodity. The provisions were incorporated into the 2018 United States Farm Bill that became law on December 20, 2018.

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cbd-oil-benefits

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20180507/cbd-oil-all-the-rage-but-is-it-safe-effective#1

https://www.fb.org/market-intel/2018-farm-bill-provides-a-path-forward-for-industrial-hemp

Have You Ever Been Curious About CBD Oil?

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Making Leading Edge Decisions

What Does It Mean To Make A Decision?

What is Decision Making? It’s the process of deciding something based on a logical choice from available options.

When we’re trying to make a decision we take a look at the positives and negatives of the options available, along with considering the possible alternatives. 

After looking at the available options we also must be able to forecast the outcome of the final decision. 

An important factor that’s overlooked that affects decision making is being aware or mindful of our own thoughts and emotions.

Why is Good Decision Making Important?

The cornerstone of good leadership skills is the ability to make a decision and stick to it.

Decision making is an ongoing process in every business regardless of size and also in our personal lives as well. 

Having critical thinking skills allows us to approach a problem and decide on a solution that is beneficial to not only yourself, but to other members of your organization or those close to you in your personal life.

What Influences Our Decisions?

There are a lot of factors that we’re not aware of that can influence the decisions we’re making.

These factors include:

Our Thoughts and Emotions: Our own thoughts and emotions can affect our decisions, not only the nature of those decisions, but also the speed in which they’re made. If your judgement is off due to negative thoughts that lead to anger and make you impatient and cause you to make rash decisions.

Being Hungry: It’s interesting that feelings or states of being can spill over from one area to another. This occurs a lot with our physical desires, for example when we feel hungry or thirsty it can affect the decision areas of our brains. We can feel more desire for big rewards and this can motivate us to make higher risk choices and keep wanting more.

Quality of Ventilation: This is important, because the physical environment can have an effect on our physical and mental health along with our cognitive health. For example when the level of CO2 in your workplace is increased it can cause a decrease in cognitive and mental abilities and lead to poor decision making. It’s a good idea that your work environment has adequate ventilation and plants to decrease CO2 levels.

Number of Choices: Sometimes our ability to make decisions can be affected by the number of choices we have in front of us. When we’re presented with two or more choices it’s easy to look at the pros and cons of each choice. However, if we’re bombarded with endless choices whether we’re car shopping, using dating apps or entertainment apps it leads to a paradox of choice than makes decision making more difficult.

Past Experiences: This is an interesting one. Past experiences can impact present and future decision making. These include events that happened when you’re younger that shape the way you think, act and interact with people close to you.

Familiarity: Making decisions based on factors that are familiar with is deeply entrenched in our minds without being aware of it. We not only like things we’re familiar with, but we fear and judge anything that is different.

If you’re struggling with anxiety please click on the link below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

How Being Mindful Leads To Better Decision Making?

Decision making is not always as simple as saying “yes” or “no” and it’s not always a thoughtful or cognitive exercise, instead it can be an impulsive reaction to satisfy immediate needs.

We make decisions everyday about what we eat, when we leave for work, how often we check our smartphones or what assignment to complete. We also make crucial decisions that affect ourselves and others. Many people are not aware how important day-to-day decisions really are until they make the wrong ones. 

Sometimes we fear the unknown so much that we make bad decisions due to fear and anxiety.

Conventional decision making can only take you so far, so it’s important to learn about mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the moment-to-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the environment around us.

Mindfulness is one of the most powerful tools for understanding your mind and focusing your attention. It can be applied in many ways including:

Mindful Breathing:  Mindfulness involves focusing your attention on your breathing. When you’re focusing on the rise and fall of your chest or the sensation through your nostrils your breath becomes an object of concentration when you start becoming aware of your mind’s tendency to jump from one thought to another.

Finding Your Purpose: Mindfulness makes you more aware of your purpose which leads to a greater sense of direction, a valued sense of self and a more meaningful life. Once you know your purpose you get to decide whether saying “yes” or “no” to a decision will ultimately serve your purpose.

Making Informed Decisions: Mindfulness can make the decision making process a thoughtful and cognitive exercise by making us aware of our impulsivity. For example, it’s important to be informed of the full impact of a decision before it’s made rather than be impulsive and regret your decision.

Finding Balance Between the Heart and the Brain: Overtime we’ve become more reliant on the human brain alone for day to day decisions. It was never meant to be the main source of wisdom and decision making. It has tendencies to push the human body past healthy limits and may result in fear, doubt and insecurities. In my previous post I mentioned that mindfulness puts an emphasis on dropping into your heart space, by doing that the brain and heart balance each other out. The brain receives the information that we make decisions from and the heart incorporates wisdom to help make good decisions.

What Do You Do Before Making Decisions?

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Sources:

https://open.buffer.com/decision-making/

https://www.bachremedies.com/en-us/emotional-health-blog/how-do-our-emotions-affect-decision-making

https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/the-psychology-of-choice

https://www.customerservicemanager.com/decision-making/

https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/mindful_breathing

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tracking-wonder/201902/mindful-approach-decision-making

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What is FOMO and How To Overcome It?

In this week’s blog I’ll be exploring the concept of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

What is FOMO?

FOMO is anxiety that occurs when an exciting or interesting event is happening somewhere else and is often aroused by posts seen on social media. 

What Are Some Examples of FOMO?

FOMO has always been around. Remember the old idea of “Keeping up with the Jones”?! The idea that stems from person A being jealous and envious of person B’s new car or new house so Person A starts experiencing feelings of inadequacy and anxiety associated with the Fear of Missing Out except it’s with materialistic possessions. 

The FOMO I’m referring to is social media driven and more extreme than Keeping up with the Joneses. It’s the fear of missing out on social interactions, novel experiences or other potentially satisfying events.

Who is Affected by FOMO?

Between 75 to 80 percent of Americans have some kind of social media account. However, more than 50 percent of social media users experience FOMO and it’s the most common among the 18 to 33 year old age bracket.

What Problems Are Caused by FOMO and How Do You Overcome Them?

FOMO affects us in numerous ways including:

Extreme Social Anxiety: Social anxiety occurs when everyday interactions cause significant worry and self-consciousness about how others perceive you. In a way FOMO is a more extreme form of social anxiety that causes someone to feel anxious that they’re missing out on bonding time with other people.

How To Overcome Social Anxiety:

  • Reducing Social Media Usage: This may not seem like much, but it’s a start.
  • Self-Help Manuals: Self-help manuals are intended to supplement therapy and are great tools for working on yourself.
  • Therapy: It helps to find a therapist that specializes in anxiety disorders and they can work with you to develop coping skills and also get to the cause of your social anxiety.
  • Meditation: When you’re compulsively chasing after experiences due to FOMO it can make happiness an illusion. By practicing mindfulness you can become happier by focusing on the present moment and feeling a deeper sense of meaning from it.
  • Journaling: Evokes mindfulness and helps someone remain present while keeping perspective.
  • Learn How To Keep Negative Thinking Under Control: I mentioned in my post, “How to Turn Anxiety Into A Superpower”? that anxiety is characterized by a tendency toward negative thinking due to over generalization. This way of thinking is transformed with reframing, which is a process where negative and unhelpful thoughts are identified and replaced with positive and empowering ones.

Depression: Overuse of social media caused by FOMO can cause depression. Also, depression is an indication of an underlying source of stress caused by spreading ourselves too thin when we do too many things.

The opposite of FOMO is JOMO. JOMO (Joy of missing out) describes the joy people experience when they take a break from social activity. We tend to overload our lives with social obligations than necessary and we lose sight of how to enjoy the present moment.

Perceived Low Status: People have always been concerned about their social standing, however social media induced FOMO has resulted in a bigger obsession with social standing resulting in more anxiety and feelings of inferiority.

Feelings of perceived lower status caused by FOMO may be part of a much larger problem. The negative feelings of having a perceived lower status can be triggered by FOMO; have you ever started questioning about whether you’re happy with your job or happy with your current friends?! Do you feel like your social standing is feeling affected by these things? The feelings of unhappiness or insecurities dredged up by FOMO may be an opportunity to take a break from social media and think about how you can become happier and more fulfilled in your life.

Loneliness: Many people use social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram to keep in touch with friends they meet offline. However, there are many people that use social media as a substitute for real connection and they develop feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. These feelings are enhanced if you are dealing with FOMO.

When you’re feeling lonely it helps to reemphasize relationships. I’m not talking about online dating which is the biggest source of FOMO. Instead spend more time with your family and friends offline doing group activities and can increase the quality of our relationships.

Reduced Self-Esteem: FOMO can lead to reduced self-esteem; this can go hand-in-hand with the depression and loneliness brought on by social anxiety.

How to boost self-esteem:

  • Be Kind To Yourself
  • Learn How To Say “No”
  • Accept that Nobody’s Perfect
  • Accept that We All Make Mistakes
  • Focus on What You Can Change
  • Do What Makes You Happy
  • Show Gratitude for the Small Things

Mood Swings: Mood swings are a normal occurrence, but they can also be an indicator of an underlying problem such as FOMO. 

Mood swings can be caused by many social media induced issues including stress and anxiety, getting off schedule and disrupted sleep. It’s important to talk to a professional about this, because mood swings can be a sign of a much bigger problem than FOMO.

Social Media Addiction: FOMO can lead to a compulsive desire to stay connected with other people’s lives online.

The general over-use of social media may be the root of the problem. It helps to take a break from using social media. Instead of compulsively checking Facebook and/or Instagram several times a day focus on other ways to keep your mind occupied including hobbies, exercising and socializing with people offline.

Having a Hard Time Committing in Case Something Else Comes Up: This happens a lot not just on Facebook, but also on online dating platforms. The paradox of choice involved with the fear of buyer’s remorse when we go car shopping is similar to FOMO when there are too many choices. Feelings of fear, guilt and anxiety can creep in if you miss out on something due to FOMO.

Due to the paradox of choice it can create problems with committing to anything. It’s important to evaluate these choices and prioritize which ones you choose based on what you truly value.

Feeling That You’ll Never Catch Up to Everyone Else: FOMO makes people perceive that they’re falling behind in life when they compare their accomplishments with someone else’s on social media and also seeing how much better their lives are compared to yours. The sense of urgency it creates results in increased anxiety and fear.

Most people use social media to exaggerate in order to make their lives seem a lot better and more fun than they actually are. It helps to take a step back and realize that these exaggerated lives don’t exist. Also, realize that these people have problems in their lives too but won’t post it on social media.

Conclusion

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is anxiety that occurs when we get mentally aroused by social media posts of events or experiences happening somewhere else.

Problems that can occur with FOMO include social anxiety, depression, loneliness and reduced self-esteem that result from social media addiction. However, being aware that these problems are happening are the first step toward overcoming FOMO.


If you are struggling with anxiety please click on the button below to download a free anxiety expert guide.

Have You Ever Experienced FOMO?

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