Today, we face incredibly increased levels of uncertainty, stress, and even terror. In such an environment, many begin to feel personal helplessness, growing fear and anxiety. And, of course, they try to cope with this condition in a variety of ways. There are different approaches that help restore self-confidence, cope with negative emotions, and regain inner support. One of them is Stoicism - an ancient practical philosophy, which is rightfully considered the philosophy of difficult times.
What can modern man take from the philosophy of the Stoics? We have identified 5 main thoughts of Stoicism and want to share them with you.
Clearly define what is in your power
Faced with a difficult situation, we can most clearly divide all the factors that collect it into two groups: factors that are in our power, and factors that are not now in our power. A simple example: it is impossible to control the behavior of other people on social networks. But if the information noise and some posts on social networks cause feelings of irritation, panic, frustration that prevent you from concentrating or relaxing, it is in your power to disconnect from the flow of information, unsubscribe to some channels, introduce "quiet hours" without social networks and so on.
Be accurate in your judgments
Seneca, in his Moral Letters to Lucilius, wrote: "You bring yourself the most trouble." Epictetus echoed him: "People are not tormented by things, but by ideas about them." Stoic philosophers advise us to scrutinize the conclusions we make. Try to always separate the facts from the interpretation of these facts. Avoid hasty and superficial assessments. After all, it is precisely in incorrect and inaccurate interpretations that most of our cognitive errors lie, leading us out of balance.
Define your areas of concern and responsibility
The Stoics have a model named after its creator Hierocles' circles. The essence of this model is to clearly define areas of responsibility for yourself. Try asking yourself, "What can I really take care of?" And then look at the circles. The less illusions you have about the scope of the circles of care, the better. It is better to really support your loved ones and your team than to spend resources on reasoning about global problems that you cannot influence in any way.
Think of negative scenarios for the development of the situation
Unlike the followers of modern positive psychology, the Stoics recommend carefully thinking through the negative scenarios of the situation. Try to answer a few questions for yourself: "What will I do if the worst happens?", "What are the maximum losses that can be and how can I avoid them?", "How can I recover if things go according to a negative scenario?". Thanks to such questions, we can prepare our psyche for potential difficulties, calculate in advance ways to get out of the crisis.
Remember that you are not here forever
Imagine that today is your last day on Earth. How did you spend it? Hanging out with friends, doing what you love so much, calling your parents, finally making time for yourself? Most likely not, because you, like most people, are immersed in constant worries, vanity, where there is practically no room for joy. We live life as if the human age is endless, and we can neglect the priceless minutes, hours, days that are given to each of us. Don't make this mistake - live like you're running out of time; appreciate every joyful moment that you can share with loved ones, because all this can end at any second.
Stoicism has passed through thousands of years, and the teaching of the Stoics continues to be relevant even today. The main goal of ancient stoicism was to find the best and optimal way of life, which would provide a comfortable being. Despite the fact that the most famous representatives of this trend, such as Seneca, Epictetus, conveyed their thoughts to the masses several millennia ago, their views and principles are still relevant, and they can be used as some kind of guide for life even in the modern world.