Stress is a constant companion in today's fast-paced world. While we can't eliminate stress completely, we can manage it better. Stoicism, a philosophy rooted in ancient Greece, offers timeless strategies for coping with stress in a balanced and healthy way. In this article, we'll explore some of these strategies that you can start using today.
Six Strategies to help with Stress:
1. Accept What You Can't Control
The cornerstone of Stoic philosophy is understanding the difference between things you can control and things you can't. When faced with a stressful situation, ask yourself if it's something within your power to change. If not, try to let go of the anxiety it brings. The act of surrendering control can be liberating and stress-relieving.
2. The Value of Now
Stoicism teaches us to live in the present moment. Many stressors arise from worrying about the future or regretting the past. Make it a habit to bring yourself back to the present when you start to spiral. Focus on your breath, your immediate surroundings, or the task at hand to steer your mind away from stress.
3. Take the Long View
Stress often comes from reacting to immediate problems without considering the bigger picture. Stoicism encourages us to think long-term. Will this stressor matter in a year? Five years? If the answer is no, try to loosen its grip on your present emotions.
4. Use Obstacles as Opportunities
Stoics see life's challenges as lessons in disguise. When stressed, try to find the hidden opportunity or lesson within the obstacle. This reframing can convert a stressor into a chance for growth or reflection.
5. Small Acts of Kindness
Sometimes the best way to relieve stress is to take the focus off yourself. Stoicism teaches us the value of community and compassion. A small act of kindness can uplift your spirits and help break the cycle of stress.
6. Journal Your Thoughts
Writing down your thoughts can be a useful Stoic exercise. It helps to externalize the stress, providing a new perspective. Create a 'stress journal' to keep track of what triggers stress and how you reacted. Over time, you'll see patterns and can develop coping strategies.
We have so many guided journals, breathing exercises, and guided meditations to help you de-stress in our app.
Stress is an inevitable part of life, but Stoicism offers tools to handle it effectively. By adopting a Stoic mindset and applying these strategies, you can not only manage your stress but also enrich your life in meaningful ways.