Hello Friday - August 3, 2018

It is once again Friday 😊 I hope you had a GREAT week. I hope that you can finish up your day today in a place that allows you to truly immerse yourself in the present moment enjoying time this weekend in whatever way that fills your cup. I hope you can spend some time “unplugging”!

We live in a world saturated with social media, constant posting, checking our phones, abbreviations, acronyms, and hashtags. Because this virtual world has become so integrated with our daily life, there is a phenomenon that is called FOMO (fear of missing out). FOMO is described as “anxiety” that can occur to people if they believe that there is an interesting or exciting event that may be currently happening elsewhere, (seen through posts or on a social media website) that they might be missing out on if not “plugged in”.

While the verdict is still out on whether smart phones are actually addictive, it has been pointed out that there are similarities between smart phones and slot machines (the bright colors and noises, the sense of anticipation and unpredictability). The same chemicals that are being released in the pleasure centers of your brain when you are engaging in different activities with your phone are similar to those that an addict receives when engaging in their addictive behavior. Catherine Price, science journalist and author, has done research in this area and says:

“If you spend all your time constantly refreshing and checking your phone, you are teaching your brain to release constant spritzes of dopamine, which is a brain chemical that tells us something is worth doing again. The flip side of this is that when you activate the cycle, which is the same system activated when you do things like drugs, alcohol and gambling, then you actually begin to release stress hormones when you can't check (your phone).”

As a result of this knowledge, a new acronym has recently emerged in response to FOMO; and that new acronym is JOMO (joy of missing out). In contrast to FOMO, JOMO encourages you to embrace choosing what you want to do (or not do) in a way that fuels and fulfills you vs. being constantly “plugged in”.Employing this strategy, (JOMO) you can live your life in the present moment vs. being distracted.

Below are just a few reasons to embrace JOMO:

More time: When you put down your phone, you are able to fill your time with self-care, friends, family; not incessant social media, emails, and texting.

Waking up: Technology can be mind-numbing and distracting. Enjoy and experience the present moment. Be here and now. Experience the world around you. Take a walk in nature; breathe in the fresh air. Experience the bloom of the present moment.

Living intentionally: Instead of checking emails or scrolling through your latest feed on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, remind yourself what you could be doing. Whether it is catching up on sleep, going for a walk, spending time with friends and family, playing with your pets, etc. There are so many activities, outside of being attached to your phone, that are fulfilling.

I am not suggesting that you quit social media and technology all together; but being mindful of the time you spend on these activities can help you make some choices to live in a more present way. Start with taking small breaks from your phone or incorporating a “no phone” policy at the dinner table. Every little stride helps and can make a huge difference in the joy you will feel with the newfound experiences in life that you have created for yourself.

Have a GREAT weekend. Experiment with unplugging😊. Take Care.

#unplug #JOMO #FOMO #happiness #joy #presentmoment #beingpresent #awareness #slowdown

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