Perhaps you’ve heard of FOMO, the fear of missing out, and the negative emotions attached to it. After all, no one wants to feel like they’re missing out. But those of us suffering from fibromyalgia understand this fear all too well. We fear we’re missing out on so many things in life and it can paralyze us.
I’d like to offer an alternative: JOMO, or the joy of moving on.
There really is joy available when you choose to move on and not stay stuck in “what ifs” and asking “why me” or “why can’t I,” among other negative self-conversations. I found that in wallowing in the broken record of wanting my life back and the ability to do what I wanted, my emotions tended to spiral downward. It’s only when I accepted my diagnosis and trusted that God had a plan even for this that joy began to bloom.
That required redefining the things that make me happy. I also had to be conscious of the things I was grateful for, both big and small. I got creative and wrote down all the things that brought me joy. I try to refer to this list often. I’ve also started a gratitude journal, writing down three things at the end of the day that I’m thankful for. Even if I can find only one, that’s OK, I write it down. Sometimes it’s as simple as being thankful for the sunny day or a great cup of coffee.
I like doing a variation of deep breathing called breath prayers, in which you speak a word, or words, as you inhale and different words while you exhale. For example: “I am” on the inhale and “well-loved” on the exhale. I cover this in one of the devotions in my book.
Some other things that spark joy in me are writing, doing a puzzle, or playing backgammon with my husband. I also like talking to my children, sunny days, springtime, birds at my bird feeder, walking with my husband while holding hands, or enjoying an ice-cold Coke. These are just a few of the things that bring joy to my heart and help me to keep moving forward, instead of wishing for my past or the ability to do things I no longer can. I choose every day not to dwell on the fear of missing out. Instead, I focus on the things that are in my control.
I would like to encourage you not to give in to the fear of missing out, and to embrace the joy of moving on!
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.