How not to panic during the pandemic: welcome hard times like a Stoic
“Until we have begun to go without them, we fail to realise how unnecessary many things are. We’ve been using them not because we needed them but because we had them.”
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Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy that was founded by Zeno of Citium, in Athens, in the early 3rd century BC.
It is an ancient tool for remaining calm in adversity, a philosophical framework, useful in providing an ethical scaffold for both everyday life and in times of difficulty.
We can create our own heaven or hell with our thoughts. Stoics prized rational thinking, acting on good information and contemplating the situation fully rather than acting rashly or from a place of panic and anxiety.
A Stoic's recommendation for the pandemic would be to carefully choose what media and opinions you consume.
Stoics believed that your health and your money can be taken away from you at any time – but no one can take your character from you. So you need to nurture it.
In today's situation related to the spread of the virus, demonstrating good character might involve not hoarding scarce goods ( i.e toilet paper), not taking all the pasta and rice for yourself and leaving none for others and it might mean self-isolating, for your own good and for the safety of others.
The Stoic philosophy reflects our deep and profound interconnectedness. We are highly social animals, and we exist and find meaning within our communities.
It's up to us to act out of love, not fear and consider the wider good whenever we take action during crises.
This technique involves thinking about what you value most in life, then imagine losing that thing.
This was a common practice for the Stoics. This includes not only exposing us to the inevitable losses we may suffer in life but also enabling us to appreciate the people and things we love. We are less likely to take someone for granted if we are aware that they may not be in our life forever.
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At the very root of Stoicism there is a very simple, though not easy, way of living: Take obstacles in your life and turn them into your advantage, control what you can and accept what yo...
At the very root of Stoicism there is a very simple, though not easy, way of living: Take obstacles in your life and turn them into your advantage, control what you can and accept what you can’t.
“In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control. Where wil...
“In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control. Where will I find good and bad? In me, in my choices.” - Epictetus:
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Stoicism acknowledges the challenges we face and teaches us practical lessons so that we may overcome whatever stands in our way. By taking a practical approach to happiness, we learn how to mainta...
“Don’t seek for everything to happen as you wish it would, but rather wish that everything happens as it actually will—then your life will flow well.”
Buddha taught that there is suffering in this world, it is inevitable, and the root cause of suffering is mainly the desires we feel.
We want something, always, and feel miserable when we don't get it.
Stoicism teaches us to live in accordance with nature and to accept that suffering will manifest in different ways in our lives.
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Excellence is something that we have to demonstrate every waking moment of our lives, not something that is done once and then forgotten. Excellence is a way of life and is the operating system ins...
There is nothing more powerful and effective as a habit. Our repetition, routine, rituals and daily actions become our habits and eventually define our success and happiness.
Our habits make us survive, thrive and live ahead, even during hard times. Each repeated action we do becomes a habit, as we add fuel to the fire. The more we do it, the more it is reinforced.
Some of the most successful and happy people are early risers. Waking up early could be the best productivity hack of your life. One does the best work in the morning when the day has just started. There are no distractions, no phones or doorbells ringing and no commotion at home.
Studies show that early risers experience better emotional, physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
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Stoicism is generally understood to be detached and non-reactive towards any of life’s adversities.
In the words of the philosopher William Irvine, the ultimate goal of Sto...
It is a stoic practice in which one deliberately imagines how things could be really bad, much worse than they are now. It is a visualization of one’s biggest fears. It is a kind of psychological trick that lowers your expectations and makes reality look better.
According to the Roman philosopher Seneca, apart from embracing the negative emotions, one needs to maximize the positive outlook and learn how to feel real joy.
“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing."
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Stoicism, a 3rd-century philosophy from Athens and later Rome, is a pragmatic, realistic and practical way of addressing life's problems.
Whether we are overworked, stressed, or struggl...
The central message of Stoicism is that we do not control life and our situations, but we control how we respond to those circumstances.
The thinking of the Stoics related to anger management, the endurance of hardships, fear of death, and handling of success or failure, is extremely relevant in today's world.
Though earlier people misread stoicism as a philosophy based on austerity and lack of emotion, now there is a resurgence in the real thinking of stoicism, which was overlooked all these years.
Stoicism is finding resonance in today's complex world, and its philosophies seem to be understood in the intended sense.