Table of contents:

Why are we afraid of missing something important and how to fix it
Why are we afraid of missing something important and how to fix it

First you need to calm down and analyze your desires.

Why are we afraid of missing something important and how to fix it
Why are we afraid of missing something important and how to fix it

Just a minute ago, you were in a great mood, but you scrolled through your Instagram feed and now you feel disgusting. One friend of yours has been traveling in Southeast Asia for the second month, another attends lectures on AI and robotics, and the third posts photos from his morning run every day.

And it seems that you are not particularly interested in robots, and you prefer yoga to running, but after watching the tape it still seems that you are missing something important. We figure out where this feeling comes from and tell you how to get rid of it.

Why it happens

If this unpleasant, disturbing, annoying feeling is familiar to you, then you are faced with the fear of loss of profit (WTS). When he gets over you, you probably think that something interesting is happening to everyone around you. With everyone but you. And you try to keep up with this sparkling life, but you are always late, lag behind and watch with regret as events, acquaintances and opportunities pass by.

According to various sources, from time to time, 40 to 56% of people experience fear of lost profit. Moreover, men suffer from it more often than women. These are the “symptoms” that are characteristic of this fear.

  • You are constantly afraid of missing important events, news, opportunities.
  • You go to all parties, corporate events and other gatherings because you are worried that something interesting will happen without you, and you will not know.
  • You strive to be available around the clock for communication - do not turn off your phone, check messages in instant messengers.
  • You update your social media feed as often as possible.
  • You have a strong desire to please others and receive their approval.

Also, people who are afraid of lost profits tend to drink alcohol more often and in large quantities. And they are more prone to depression.

Where does fear come from

We live in social networks

86% of people use social media on a daily basis. According to some reports, we risk spending five years of our life on them. And the loss of time is not the worst thing. We go to social media to relax, unwind, or relieve boredom, but instead we get tired and depressed. And we endlessly compare our life with the life of friends and acquaintances. Rather, with the image that they consider necessary to show the world. And we come to the conclusion that we ourselves and our life do not reach this image at all.

And of course, we cannot get rid of the feeling that we are always missing something. The fear of lost profits torments more than half of social media users. And, paradoxically, it makes them seek solace … in social networks. Yes, people who are tormented by VTS often check messages, scroll through the feed and see what's new with their friends.

The mechanism is pretty simple. Having read the news about someone else's eventful life, a person gets nervous and tries to calm down, flipping through the tape. And as a result, it falls into a vicious circle.

Moreover. We ourselves make this circle revolve. When, in an effort to get rid of anxiety, dissatisfaction and envy, we post unnecessarily cheerful, far from the truth posts and photos. As if we are trying to show: look, I'm fine too, I'm not lagging behind, I'm no worse than the rest! This is how the “Facebook personality” is formed - an idealized, but flat and far from reality image of a person. Looking at which, others also feel fear and anxiety.

Some researchers believe that the fear of lost profits is not caused by the social networks themselves, but by the tons of information that they help to spread. In the old, pre-Internet times, we could follow the lives of a dozen or more acquaintances, friends and colleagues. At the same time, they hardly knew what all these people eat for breakfast, how many kilometers they run in the morning and what they buy in stores. And now, flipping through the friendly tape, we become spectators and almost accomplices of many lives. And not everyone finds it easy.

We are unhappy with life and want to be no worse than others

And this dissatisfaction is a great fertilizer, thanks to which the fear of lost profits, spurred by social networks, blooms in lush color. Studies have shown that people who are dissatisfied with their lives experience BTS more often than those who are happy with everything.

This dissatisfaction stems in part from constant comparisons of oneself with others. And the desire to be better than the rest. Or at least not worse.

In many ways, the need to constantly flip through the feed in social networks is dictated by this: we try to make sure that we keep up with others. This desire to be part of the majority even has a name - the effect of joining the majority or "the effect of a carriage with an orchestra." And conformism is to blame for everything, which scientists consider an automatic reaction of the brain and one of the mechanisms of survival.

We suffer from perfectionism

That is, we not only want to be better than others, but also try to become ideal. And we suffer because we do not correspond to this standard. We cannot run a half marathon right away, we go to bed late and are unable to get up early to do yoga and meditate, we do not have time to go to exhibitions, lectures and courses, we are too tired to go to a party on Friday evening.

Perfectionism can be called one of the diseases of our time. It is now 33% more common than a quarter century ago. In addition, perfectionism is possibly destroying mental and even physical health. People susceptible to it are more likely to suffer from depression, hypertension and other diseases.

We don't understand what we really want

Social networks broadcast a certain standardized image of a “full-fledged” and “successful” person, which we read and perceive as an immutable truth. This image may change slightly depending on your place of residence, interests, environment and educational level.

But, as a rule, its general features remain unchanged: the “right” person earns good money and works a lot, but at the same time manages to live an active life. He gets up early, plays sports, reads a lot, travels and has time to spend time with his family. If we are talking about a woman, then, of course, she flawlessly looks after the house and children, goes to beauty procedures, does needlework or creativity.

At the same time, our own interests may not correspond to this glossy picture at all. But we, wanting to keep up with the majority, sometimes do not even realize it.

And if we do not listen to ourselves, do not understand our own desires, then we easily become victims of the fear of missed profit.

But when we clearly know what we love and what we don’t, other people's photo reports do not bother us. Well, yes, it's great that my friend goes to concerts, but I'm not interested in that. This means there is no cause for concern.

Coping with your fear of lost profits

Unfortunately, there is no magic life hack. As in the fight against any fear, you need patience, attention to yourself, long painstaking work. And here's what can help with this.

Be here now

No matter how trite and hackneyed it may sound. Only this is not about mindfulness and meditation. Forget about the subjunctive mood - "what would happen if I …" - and focus on the benefits that you get at a particular moment. On Friday night, you stayed at home, and your friends are posting funny stories from the club? Yes, skip the party, but you can spend the evening in silence and relax.

Don't compare yourself to others

But compare with your old self. You've been training in the gym for several months, but your shape is still not like that of the fitness babies from Instagram? Take a look at your photos before class. And by the way, be sure to start taking such pictures: this is both an opportunity to track progress and a source of motivation.

The same applies to other aspects of your life. Somewhere photos will help, somewhere - tests (for example, to assess the level of English) or a 2-NDFL certificate (to see how income changes). It will not be superfluous to keep a diary - for example, a "five-book", thanks to which you can clearly see how your views and attitude towards life are evolving.

Be grateful

And these are not empty words: gratitude increases the feeling of happiness. Start writing down who you would like to thank for what you have. For example, a friend who supported you at the right time, or a colleague who helped solve a difficult issue. Or even a bystander who lifted your spirits with a compliment or a smile.

You can and should thank not only in your diary. Remember to say thank you in person. Or write notes and messages. The person will be pleased, and he will have an additional incentive to do something good.

Take a break from social media

24% of social media users dream of taking a break from at least one of them. If your friend instead of joy brings you anxiety, discomfort and envy, it may be better to take a break - for a day, a week, or even a month.

Be sincere

Try not to embellish your life on social media: you are not doing anyone better by doing this. And do not be afraid to be sincere and talk not only about joys and victories, but also about defeats and hard days. You may lose some of your followers, but your honesty will definitely be appreciated: sincerity in social networks is becoming a trend.

Blogs that tell the truth about motherhood or living with mental health problems are gaining tens of thousands of subscribers. People are tired of perfect images and decorations, of deception and falsehood. I want to be told the truth. And that truth, in turn, motivates others to be honest.