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The Other Side of FOMO: What Am I Really Missing?

The Other Side of FOMO: What Am I Really Missing?

         Most of us know FOMO is the fear of missing out. People claim to have FOMO when they are unable to partake in an event or experience and feel anxiety based on their absence. But FOMO implies that one experience is far more important, impactful or meaningful than another which fuels the fire of comparison culture. We may think FOMO is a love of exploring, of getting out and seeing the world, but the bottom line is FOMO is a trigger for mental illness and substance issues because if we give in to FOMO, we aren’t staying true to ourselves and our needs.

         When we see the word FOMO on social media, we usually see this acronym tagged to parties, concerts, and travel experiences. Rarely do we see this term linked to events such as family parties, family dinners, and or a quiet night in. This contrast is the real curiosity of FOMO. It seems to be centered around friends and costly events, but why can’t someone be jealous of a quiet night in?

If you’re someone who connects to this message, it might be time to ask why the external experiences are more important than inner growth and family. Why don’t you want to spend time at home? Are you afraid to be alone? Do you even like the band everyone is going to see? These questions are an important step in the direction of unpacking the reasons you feel you are missing out. Ultimately, they will help you unpack issues with mental health, addiction, and so much more.

Why Do I Feel I am Missing Out?

         If you’re the type of person who experiences FOMO, it’s important to stop and ask why? Say your friends are going to see a band that you kind of like, but you don’t really have the money. Plus, you’ve had a long week at school. Do you really want to go? Or let’s say your friends are going to a party at a popular kid’s house. You don’t like drinking, you don’t know anyone there, and the thought actually gives you anxiety because there will be significant underage drinking. However, you feel that if you don’t go, your friends might stop talking to you or you feel you will miss a connection with the people there.

         These examples illuminate the underpinnings of FOMO. In both scenarios, the people making the choice are driven by fear, hence FEAR of missing out. Fear is an archaic emotion that connects to survival. It’s the thing inside of us that yells WARNING and tells us certain ideas or behaviors are going to cause us pain, sadness, or even death. Fear is a response that was designed to keep us safe, but in a 21st-century world, fear can be a trigger for deeper mental illness.

         Understanding this concept of fear is an important part of unpacking why we are afraid to miss out because fear can mask other issues that could connect to negative experiences and even repressed trauma. And the more we make choices out of fear, the farther we get away from what we truly need in relation to health and wellness. So, the next time you feel FOMO, it might be the right moment to stop and assess because in doing do, you can break this negative response patterning once and for all.

The Importance of Family and Community

         The concept of a family is integral to healing and health. Whether we are talking about blood relations or not, the word family means a group of people that unconditionally love and support each other. Without this archetype, it can be difficult to heal from things like trauma, addiction and substance abuse, and mental health ailments.

         Maybe you’ve drifted away from your family, focusing on concerts, parties, and other distractions that have been fueling your addiction or mental illness, and that’s okay. But it’s time to rewrite that narrative and help you realize that turning in towards your support group could be the thing that stops the feelings of said fear. The FOMO we should actually be focusing on should be with the people that have raised us and supported us. Why does society push us away from the people that birthed us and raised us? The answer is unclear, but to start healing and get back on the track to health and wellness, healing within our family systems is an integral step.

         Reconnecting with family isn’t always easy, especially if you’re suffering from addiction or a mental health disorder. If this hits home, The Bougainvilla House can help. We focus on getting kids connected to themselves and their families with a community-style practice. We offer individual, group, and family treatment programs that are customized to fit your individual needs. There’s no need to fight mental illness alone and live in fear. Call now to learn about your options for a better and brighter future: (954) 764-7337


Self-Love: The Foundation of Recovery

Self-Love: The Foundation of Recovery

As we’re exploring more of ourselves in sobriety, we’ll uncover many more aspects of ourselves that we didn’t know before. One of the most challenging aspects of healing is learning of what we said or did while drunk or high; oftentimes, this coincides with feelings of shame, resentment, and more. Nobody likes to hear that they’ve hurt the ones they love, but when we’re in the throes of addiction, it’s bound to happen. Self-love is an incredibly important part of recovery because that’s when we become stronger in who we really are.

There are several different aspects of self-love, and we may already exhibit a few of these or we may not:

  1. Staying true to ourselves even when it’s not made others happy
  2. Expressing how we really feel and being honest
  3. Eating and exercising as appropriate
  4. Dressing in a way that makes us feel good about ourselves
  5. Building a life we love
  6. Accepting all parts of ourselves
  7. Making time to do things that bring us joy
  8. Choosing not to mull over past mistakes
  9. Trusting that everything will be okay
  10. Learning to set boundaries

It’s so much easier for us to fall back into those negative coping mechanisms – to point fingers at those around us, to wallow in self-pity over what we can’t have, and more. When it all boils down to it, however, how far do we get? How far should we let ourselves go down this rabbit hole of self-defeat? 

Even the most experienced of life coaches and mental health professionals admit that self-love is often what brings us out of the depths of negativity and despair.

Unfortunately, the path towards self-love is often missed as we find ourselves turning down roads filled with self-hatred, depression, anger, and resentment. It’s possible that even if we’re surrounded by others, we may feel completed neglected; it’s oftentimes this dark place of self-hatred that lingers on and gives us a feeling that we’re not good enough, that we’re not lovable, and that we don’t deserve good things.

It’s part of our biological instincts – to focus more on the negative than the good, as a way of self-preservation. The problem with this is that in modern life, we’ve adapted to focus more on the negatives as a whole – no longer just for the needs of survival. When we give more weight to our flaws and shortcomings, we’re holding ourselves back from receiving the love, joy, and fulfillment that we truly deserve. Yes, addiction can seem to take away parts of us over time – but that doesn’t mean that we have to continue letting those past behaviors take over us even well into treatment.

Self-criticism is often one of the most life-sucking aspects of life if we let it occur; when we neglect self-love, we’re more likely to:

  • Begin thinking in ways that make us more prone to relapse
  • Become more withdrawn in social situations
  • Avoid attending recovery-related activities
  • Have more self-doubt in our abilities to succeed in recovery
  • Give in to temptations easier, especially if we feel we’re deserving to fail
  • Experience more aggression and tension in daily life
  • And more

Neglect can tear us apart from our own sense of wellbeing, and this can further damage our progress in recovery along with our progress in forming meaningful, supportive networks to move forward in our lives.

If you’re ready to apply more self-love to your recovery, you must note that you’ll not always feel like practicing self-love  – but you must do it anyway. Positive affirmations are a great way of working through all of the negativity that can squander self-esteem. There are several things you can say to yourself to help with this, such as the fact that you’re doing the best that you can, that you have people who believe in you and who support you, and that you’re an incredibly strong person in recovery right now.

Work with your family, your therapist and/or your sponsor to help remind you to replace those negative thoughts with more positive, productive ones. Over time, self-love will become more natural – and you’ll find that your mind, body, and spirit thrive off of it as well. 

The Bougainvilla House has created a safe and welcoming environment for adolescents and their families which focuses on helping you overcome your feelings and connect you back to the beauty of the world. With a variety of outpatient treatment options and individualized programs, we are confident we can get you feeling healthy and happy. Call now to find a support that works for you and your family: (954) 764-7337

How Is Social Media Effecting American Teenagers?

For many teenagers, social media is a fun and easy way to stay connected with friends. However, there are dangerous risks in every new profile created. And Child Psychologists are starting to take notice! While there is still much to be learned about the implications of social media, here are the facts…

  • Over 75% of teenagers in the U.S. are using social media. 
  • Over 50% of teenagers in the U.S. use social media on a daily basis. 
  • Over 25% of teenagers in the U.S. are considered “heavy social media users” 

Social Media Is Addicting 

According to scientists, American teenagers are becoming addicted to social media. Why? It’s all about the likes! A study at UCLA observed that likes, especially on personal images, send a positive signal to the reward region of the brain. The brain’s reward region is significantly more sensitive during adolescence, leaving teens vulnerable to the gravitating effects of social media and the risk it poses on their mental health. 

Behavioral Health Risks

At The Bougainvilla House Family Therapy Center, we work closely with our clients to identify and resolve sources of teen anxiety and depression. The 21st Century is a fast-paced and interesting time to grow up in! Phones now serve as mini-computers, social apps connect users with major influencers across the globe, and risky behavior is propagandized throughout every media outlet. 

Now, more than ever, teenagers are pressured to conform their bodies, minds, and habitats to follow mainstream status quo. Furthermore, expecting to capture every moment perfectly, creating virtually appealing posts and avoiding scrutiny from cyber-bullies. Bullying has long threatened the likelihood of depression, anxiety and low self-esteem amongst teens. And social media creates a new platform for bullies to lurk victims and attack users without confrontation. It’s difficult for anyone to handle! 

Working Together 

Social Media is affecting American teenagers in ways we haven’t even begun to measure. While we can’t do much to stop negative user activity, we can teach teenagers how to manage the anxiety they are feeling about their social media. The Bougainvilla House Family Therapy Center helps families to establish healthy routines together and dissolve risks of social media on adolescent behavioral health. 

If your teen is showing signs of socially induced anxiety or depression, please reach out to us. We’re always here to answer your questions. Fill out our online form or call now to schedule an appointment.

⦁ Over 75% of teenagers in the U.S. are using social media.
⦁ Over 50% of teenagers in the U.S. use social media on a daily basis.
⦁ Over 25% of teenagers in the U.S. are considered “heavy social media users”

What is a Community?

There are two popular definitions of the word community. The first is “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.” This definition is how perhaps people from the outside might view people who come to a treatment facility. It is definitely true, on the surface, everyone is living there and they are there for the common purpose of beginning recovery from various types of mental health challenges and addiction.

However, at The Bougainvilla House, there is so much more to treatment than just people getting together in a shared space with a common characteristic. The sense of community is maybe not something that is visible on the surface. Rather, it is something that truly binds people together. When we choose recovery, we become more like the second definition, “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.”

More than Commonalities

It would be easy to come together with all that we have in common and just form groups of people in recovery. But recovery isn’t like having a barbecue or other social event. Recovery is where we dig into the depths of our souls. We find the very best and the very worst in ourselves, and everything in between. We suffer physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. And we make life-changing transformations, too.

At The Bougainvilla House, we are never asked to do all of that alone. Amongst the people with which we have both differences and commonalities, we also find fellowship. We are all on this path together, even many of the employees, and so when one of us is suffering, we all suffer. When one of us has a breakthrough, we all rejoice. We cry together, laugh together, and help each other stand when maybe alone we didn’t feel like we could.

Although each of us has our own journey in recovery, it is impossible to do it all on our own. So we reach out to those around us who support us, and we support them. They are people with commonalities and differences, people with strengths and weaknesses, people who have good days and bad. They are just like us and yet different from us, but ultimately, we all share the same goal: to be well. It becomes a fellowship of freedom from our addictions and a family of warriors for life.

Building Relationships in Recovery

Friendships made in recovery are made stronger because of the incredible things we go through during the treatment and recovery process. Also because we are learning to be present, sometimes for the first time, we are able to learn about healthy relationships. We can ask for help, learn to trust, and we can reciprocate help, too. Despite the fact that we are all pretty raw, we can build a support system of friends that we can lean on and they can lean on us.

These friendships are different from some we may have had before because we are all healing together. We all share the same guidelines, we are learning together how to set healthy boundaries. We know better than to be distracted by romantic relationships because we are carefully rebuilding our lives and our hearts. Instead, the relationships we build while starting out in recovery are the kinds of friendships that will fortify us and help us to find our feet again. The kind of friends that we know we could call at any time, and we know they will be there for us.

The Community of Family

Within recovery, those who believe in us, stand by us, and lend us a hand when we think we can’t go on become closer than typical friends, they become like a family. They understand what we have been through, because they have been there, too. They understand where we are at, because they are right here with us, too. And we know they will be a part of our future because together, we are stronger. Not only do they reach out for us to lift us, but we can reach out and help them, too. 

The friends and family we have had prior to recovery may or may not understand us, it may not even be healthy to keep them in our lives. But the family that we make while in recovery will not let us get away with anything, will call us out when we need it, and love us for who we are, no matter what. And we can do the same for them. It is truly a gift in our lives to join this fellowship of wellness.

Do we feel alone and helpless?

At this time of the year, wouldn’t it be nice to become part of something bigger than ourselves? This is the perfect time to recover our lives and give ourselves a new kind of family,  the gift of community.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health challenges and/or addiction, don’t fight it alone.

Call Now: 954-764-7337