The joy of missing out - Deepstash

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The surprisingly difficult art of doing less

The joy of missing out

We gain from it the chance to engage in activities and experiences that are deeper and more meaningful. Because the mentality of fearing that we will miss out makes us always worried that something better might be waiting for us.

And moving through life, where everything becomes a means to the next thing, prevents us from understanding that certain things are inherently valuable and meaningful in and of themselves.

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Constant self-optimization
Constant self-optimization

The problem with focusing on constant self-optimization is that it is a process without end. We can never say we've reached the full version of ourselves. We may feel that we are not (and can never be) good enough. We're never allowed to be happy and satisfied.

Also, it's not that you shouldn't become your best self, but the concern is that the self-help craze, with the drive to optimize yourself all the time, has become pathological.

Self-optimization and depression

In a way, depression is our way of reacting, withdrawing, and possibly metaphorically recharging our batteries.

There's so much pressure in modern society to perform and be productive, to be efficient, that we don't get time to recharge. This leads to sadness and loss of energy.

Something concrete we can change

We should stop trying to adjust people to circumstances that are not worth being adjusted to. If people suffer from stress in an organization, try to look at how work is organized and change it, instead of referring them to something like stress coaching, or psychotherapies or mindfulness exercises that are really just treating symptoms.

These sensitive, intelligent, resourceful people should be out changing the world, not just sitting in therapy rooms trying to improve themselves.

The new buzzword

The "pursuit of joy" seems to be the new buzzword to counter the fear of missing out phenomenon.

What brings you joy? Joy is pared with cleaning up our cluttered lives: from household clutter to life clutter.

Life clutter builds up

We are constantly invited to do something, think something, experience something or buy something.

For every social event or task we say yes to, we run the risk of overfilling our lives. It may leave us feeling overstretched, overtired and overwhelmed.

Inability to say "no"

There is often an underlying fear that prevents us from saying no. Perhaps we fear that we are not good enough. We find the compulsive "yes" might help us feel better. However, we cannot continue living at this pace.

We need to ask ourselves why we continue to do the very things that make us unhappy. Self-restraint and missing out are vital for our well-being.

Make room for your emotions
Make room for your emotions

Rumi, the 13th-century Sufi poet, compared emotions to unexpected visitors. 

We're supposed to let them in and not hide from them, suppress them or pretend they do not exist.

Gaining peace of mind

In a society that promotes gratitude and positivity, there is pressure to suppress or conceal negative feelings.

But psychological studies reveal that acceptance of your negative feelings promotes emotional resilience, with fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.

The magic of acceptance

Acceptance of negative emotions involves not trying to change how we feel but taking them for what they are.

Acceptance works because it blunts the emotional reactions to stressful events. In time, it can lead to positive psychological health.