Wednesday, July 10, 2024

10 Ways to Practice Stoicism For Greater Happiness

Stoicism is about self-control.  Stoics try to face all challenges as personal challenges, of which the mind is both the cause and cure.  The goal of stoicism is to move beyond the ego and address the inner self as a means to a more enlightened life.  In a way, connections can be made between the philosophies of stoicism with Eastern religious philosophies like Hinduism and Buddhism.  While many people practice stoicism worldwide, many of the most famous thinkers are Ancient Greek and Roman.

Stoicism searches for two things:

  1. A fulfilling life of happiness, and;
  2. Transcendence to a better state of being

The goal of inner peace involves overcoming challenges, practicing self-control, resisting impulses, and understanding just how short our lives truly are.  Stoics meditate to comprehend and exist in the present moment.  These meditation techniques feature several amazing health benefits including reduced risk against heart attacks, better sleep, better sex, and better cognition.

Stoicism philosophy is greatly influenced by three thinkers: Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius.  Their insightful thoughts about life are truly refreshing.

1. Understand It’s All Mind Over Matter

“It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.” – Seneca


2. Shift Your Thinking

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” – Marcus Aurelius

3. Face Your Fears and Conquer Them

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” – Marcus Aurelius

4. Live Simply and Adopt a Minimalist Lifestyle

“Until we have begun to go without them, we fail to realize how unnecessary many things are. We’ve been using them not because we needed them but because we had them.” – Seneca

5. Learn To Let Go Of Your Ego

“Remember, it is not enough to be hit or insulted to be harmed, you must believe that you are being harmed. If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation. Which is why it is essential that we not respond impulsively to impressions; take a moment before reacting, and you will find it easier to maintain control.” – Epictetus

6. Enjoy Time Alone

“Nothing, to my way of thinking, is a better proof of a well ordered mind than a man’s ability to stop just where he is and pass some time in his own company.” – Seneca


7. Lower Expectations and Hold Yourself Accountable

“The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what is in Fortune’s control and abandoning what lies in yours.” – Seneca

8. “Maybe Someday” Doesn’t Exist; The Present Is All We Have

“Remember two things: 1. that everything has always been the same, and keeps recurring, and it makes no difference whether you see the same things recur in a hundred years or two hundred, or in an infinite period; 2. that the longest-lived and those who will die soonest lose the same thing. The present is all that they can give up, since that is all you have, and what you do not have you cannot lose.” – Marcus Aurelius

9. Focus On Others, Not Just Yourself

marcus aurelius
Marcus Aurelius

“Regard a friend as loyal, and you will make him loyal.” – Seneca

10. Find Your Own Way Through Life

“Philosophy does not promise to secure anything external for man, otherwise it would be admitting something that lies beyond its proper subject-matter. For as the material of the carpenter is wood, and that of statuary bronze, so the subject-matter of the art of living is each person’s own life.” – Epictetus


Ryan is a writer, investor, and entrepreneur.


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