Life lessons from ancient Greece
Stoicism is famous for its practicality and focus on the here and now. It tells what is worth having in your life and gives you a way to get there; being satisfied with what you’ve got.
Stoicism is centered around developing the ability to focus on what matters most and what you can control and ignore the rest. This is a rational approach to managing expectations and preparing for the inevitable difficulties of life.
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
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Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), is a “problem-focused” approach to psychological therapy and is seen as very effective against depression, anxiety and every kind of unhelpful thinking.
Like stoicism, CBT encourages distinguishing between events and perceptions, and most CBT textbooks contain one of the core teachings of the Stoics: our perception hurts us more than the things themselves.
Practitioners may forget that some of the biggest determinants of our wellbeing are socio-economic and political if they follow too closely stoicism’s belief that circumstances can’t be changed and they must adapt. Doing so can needlessly perpetuate and aggravate harmful situations.
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The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was the last famous Stoic philosopher of antiquity. He faced one of the worst plagues in European history.
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Because Stoics believe that true good resides in a person's character and actions, they would focus on what they can control, not what they can't.
What happens to you is never directly under your control, but your thoughts and actions are. Hence, It's not events that upset you but instead your opinion about the events.
Our judgment that something is really bad or even catastrophic causes our distress.
It's not the new virus that makes us afraid but rather our opinions about it.
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Stoicism is about accepting the facts as they are and then deciding what you’re going to do about them. Nobody recommends denial. Accept. And then do something.
Beliefs about events do. Bad feelings are caused by irrational beliefs, so if you’re feeling negative emotions, focus on the belief you hold about what happens.
For stoics there is no good or bad, there’s only perception. And you control perception.
Ignore the rest. We worry about things that we have no control over. But worrying never fixed anything.
The stoics are saying that if you focus your energy on what you can change, you’re going to be a lot more productive and effective.
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