The Four Steps to Help Your Teen Overcome FOMO and Feel More at Ease
Does your teen suffer from the Fear of Missing Out?
Does your teen suffer from a Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)? Whether you are a teen or an adult, being excluded never feels good. We are social beings, so we have a natural urge to socialize that drives our desire to be included.
However, for some teens, FOMO throws them into The Chronic Stress Loop, and their default habit to soothe the stress is checking their various social media platforms. While at first glance this might seem harmless, a study found a correlation between FOMO and social media addiction. If you are concerned that FOMO might be causing your teen to spend way too much time on social media, then check out my four steps to help your teen break this cycle.
Step # 1 Confirm
Constantly checking social media has become the norm. Your teen might argue with you that they don’t have a problem because all of their friends do exactly the same thing. In order to see if FOMO is driving their social media habits have them take this FOMO Quiz. It could also be interesting for you to answer the questions about your teen and see how your answers match up.
Step # 2 Healthy Replacement Habit
If your teen suffers from FOMO, then the pull to check their social media accounts is likely quite strong. In order to help your teen break out of The Chronic Stress Loop triggered by FOMO, I recommend that your teen picks a healthy replacement habit like getting a drink of water or listening to their favorite song when the urge to check their social media is strong but unwarranted. This way, they’ll know exactly what to do instead and the likelihood that they will be able to resist increases.
To learn more about how to help your teen break out of The Chronic Stress Loop, grab a copy of my FREE Stress Less Guide, and start helping your teen be happier and healthier today.
Step # 3 Detox
One your teen has decided upon their healthy replacement habit, then they are ready to start their social media detox. Your teen will be a bit more prepared than the teens who participated in a challenge done in the UK. This challenge asked teens to give up checking their social media sites for one week. These teens volunteered to participate and the two that shared their experience in the article initially did not think it would be challenging. As you might have guessed, the reality was very different.
While it would be great to go cold turkey for a week like the teens in the UK, that is not the right path for every teen. I have lots of resources on my Technology and Teens Pinterest Board, but I really liked this 7 Day Smartphone Detox because each day helps tackle a different issue with smartphones.
Step # 3 Boost Self Confidence
While picking a replacement habit and doing a detox is great, if your teen doesn’t address the root cause of FOMO, they will remain stuck in The Chronic Stress Loop. For most teens, the root cause of FOMO is low self-esteem and confidence. One of my favorite techniques to increase teen’s self-confidence and help them decrease their FOMO is repeating positive mantras.
In the Moment Mantras:
Encourage your teen to pick a mantra to repeat silently before opening any social media account. This small shift helps your teen bolster their self-esteem, so if they are disappointed that they missed out or were not included in a social event, they can remain confident and ditch the comparisons and worrying.
In 2005, the National Science Foundation published an article indicating that 80% of the thousands of thoughts we have per day are negative. Because of this human tendency to think negatively, helping your teen upgrade how they think of themselves increases their self-esteem.
One of my favorite ways to increase teens’ positive thoughts is using the Think Up App. Think Up allows your teen to search a directory of positive affirmations in categories like self-confidence, gratitude and overcoming anxiety and stress and pick around 15–20 to add to their favorites. Then they record their personal affirmations and choose background music. In addition, they can set a timer so the mantras automatically shut off. Listening to mantras through the Think Up App is a great practice to boost your teen’s confidence and put them at ease as they drift off to sleep or whenever they need a confidence boost during the day.
Confidence Boosting Mantras
- My self-worth is independent of social media because I know I am awesome and loved by many exactly how I am today.
- My value is independent of others. I am unique and so are my strengths.
- I look forward to seeing my friends’ posts regardless of my presence in the moment.
- People adore me and I easily attract friendships into my life that are supportive and positive.
- I release the need to be included in all social events. I am happy with how I spend my time.
If you feel that your teen does suffer from FOMO, then the likelihood that they are spending too much time on social media is high. These four steps will help your teen begin to accept that FOMO is a stressor that is causing them to waste energy on social media, break free from this unhealthy Chronic Stress Loop, and begin to boost their self-esteem and confidence. By following these steps, your teen will gradually begin to be happier, healthier and more secure.
To learn more about helping your teen break out of The Chronic Stress Loop for good, grab a copy of my FREE Stress Less Guide. If you have any questions about any of the four steps, join The Parenting Happy and Healthy Teens Private Facebook group to ask questions and get support here.
*The ThinkUp App is free. However, the link above is an affiliate link, so if your teen chooses to make a purchase within the App, I receive a referral commission without any additional cost to you.
Originally published at www.claireketchum.com on February 5, 2018.