Follow by Email

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Joy of Missing Out comes from being present

Are you thinking about making a resolution to live more mindfully in 2014? You're in good -- and trendy -- company, according to global advertising and marketing company JWT, which named "Mindful Living" among its Top 10 trends for 2014. 

Ann Mack, the company's director of trend spotting, points to the Slow Food Movement, the rise of digital detox camps where you go to disconnect from social media, and meditation programs in major companies like Google and General Mills.
The mind-calming, mind-blowing concept goes like this, according to Mack: “You’re enjoying what you’re doing in the here and now and not on social media broadcasting or seeing what everybody else is doing.”
The trend-spotter offers a name for it: Joy of Missing Out, or JOMO (for which she gives credit to tech blogger Anil Dash). It follows 2013's Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO, which bred anxiety among Instagram users who envied the meals, vacations, and life events posted by people they follow on the photo-sharing app.

Of course, there are less snappy names for it. Mindfulness, taught by the Buddha and countless secular psychologists and therapists, is a kind, non-judgmental awareness of what's happening in the present moment. By keeping our attention on what's happening now we can avoid the stress that rises from ruminating on the past or worry about the future.

Right now I'm breathing and aware, which means I can choose how to respond to what's happening in my life. Meditation is a great way of developing that awareness and of finding some peace amid the chaos of thoughts in our minds.

Rather than focusing on what's missing, you notice what's present. And you relax with it instead of measuring it against some standard. Joy arises when you can simply be present.

So maybe the resolution for 2014 is just to be there for it, not looking ahead or back.