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3 Ancient Philosophy Tips to Help You Cope With Stress

Practice Self-Denial

Practice Self-Denial

Purposely deny yourself basic modern privileges, like meals, a cup of coffee or your weekend treat.

This helps you build up self-control and reminds you to appreciate what you have, which helps put the things you’re anxious about in perspective. Both gratitude and self-control are required to manage stress at its root instead of just dealing with it as it comes up.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Accepting doesn't mean giving up

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

Events don’t upset you

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. 

Control what you can

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. 

Inversion

Is the way of thinking in which you consider the opposite of what you want.

Inversion puts a spotlight on errors and roadblocks that are not obvious at first glance. What if the opposi...

The "kill the company" strategy

The idea is to identify challenges and points of failure so you can develop a plan to prevent them ahead of time.

Imagine the most important goal or project you are working on right now. Then fast forward 6 months and assume the project or goal has failed. Tell the story of how it happened and ask yourself, “What could cause this to go horribly wrong?”

Inversion and productivity

Applying inversion to productivity you could ask, “What if I wanted to decrease my focus? How do I end up distracted?” 

The answer to these question may help you discover interruptions you can eliminate to free up more time and energy each day.

Inversion

It is a mental model, a way of thinking backward about what you don’t want to happen. It is about taking an idea upside down and thinking about what could go wrong.

Avoiding failure

Avoiding mistakes is an under-appreciated way to improve.

In most jobs, you can enjoy some degree of success simply by being proactive and reliable—even if you are not particularly smart, fast, or talented in a given area. Sometimes it is more important to consider why people fail in life than why they succeed.

Project Management

Failure Premortem/ Kill the company: one of the applications of inversion, in which you imagine the most important goal or project you are working on right now, then fast forward six months and assume the project or goal has failed.

Tell the story of how it happened. What went wrong? What mistakes did you make? How did it fail?