The Stoic Approach to Stress and Anxiety

Stoicism as a Method for Coping with Stress and Anxiety

It’s no secret that everyone experiences tension and worry at some point. Whatever the source of your worry and anxiety may be—a job deadline, a chat with a loved one, or a worldwide pandemic—it may consume your life. What if, however, there was a means by which these difficulties might be met with more awareness and calm? Here we enter the realm of Stoicism.

The Stoics were a school of thought among ancient Greeks and Romans who flourished about the year 300 B.C. They held that stress and anxiety are states that can be managed via conscious attention and acceptance, and they advocated a life of virtue, reason, and self-control.

Ataraxia, which may be translated as mental calmness, is central to Stoic philosophy. Focusing on what we can control and letting go of what we can’t was how the Stoics defined ataraxia. This involves coming to terms with the fact that there are certain things over which we have no say and taking solace in the knowledge that we are trying our best to deal with the matters within our sphere of influence.

The concept of amor fati, or love of fate, is also central to Stoicism. That’s why it’s so important to use each new experience as a chance to learn and develop our character. Epictetus, a stoic philosopher, said, “It’s not what happens to you that matters, but how you react to it.” When we embrace the concept of amor fati, we are able to accept adversity and turn it into growth.

The Stoic technique of “negative visualization” is a useful tool for incorporating Stoic principles into everyday life. In other words, you should set aside some time every day to consider the worst-case situation and make preparations accordingly. Building this kind of resistance strengthens our ability to cope with adversity when it arises.

The Stoics shared this view, holding that thankfulness may do wonders. By practicing daily gratitude, we may gain perspective on our challenges and learn to live in the here and now with more ease.

So, try some of these Stoic concepts out the next time stress and worry are getting the best of you. Focus on what you can change, embrace thankfulness and acceptance, and seek contentment in the here and now. It’s possible you’ll find that these ancient thinkers offered sound advice for handling the pressures and worries of today.