Stoicism Making Its Way Into Our Everyday Lives
“You have been formed of three parts – body, breath, and mind. Of these, the first two are yours insofar as they are only in your care. The third alone is truly yours.”
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 12.3
Each morning, for the past few months, I have begun my day with a quote and analysis from The Daily Stoic. This calendar of quotes essentially acts as a daily lesson and reminder to care for oneself in a rational, yet meaningful way that allows for growth and reflection.
Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy, based upon personal ethics, logical thinking and the nature of the world around us. The guiding principle of Stoicism is to accept the current moment as it is, leaving no room for potential desire, fear, or worry, while at the same time, doing all that can be done to care for our own mind.
From reading these daily quotes and lessons, I’ve come to find that the ideology behind Stoicism seems simple; accept each moment for what it is. Leave behind further contemplation, judgement and the strain of stress we put upon ourselves to constantly inquire a deeper meaning. However, in reality, I’ve realized the practice of such ideology is an entirely different ballgame.
We, as humans, tend to make even the simplest of matters more difficult than needed. We overthink, we overanalyze, we fill our minds with dread and anxiety, solely based upon the judgements we make and the interpretations we have of each moment. We feel anger and stress, we cry over matters that later make us laugh. And while allowing ourselves to feel all of the emotions within us is a healthy way to live, what if we were to free ourselves of such judgements, and the act of overanalyzing? Well, we would probably spend less of our time feeling stressed, and more of our time seeing the life around us in its most simple and honest version. We could become more rational, and less jaded. We would probably be happier and less stressed overall…
As the month of April, which is National Stress Awareness Month, comes to a close, I thought this article could serve as your own personal Daily Stoic; a reminder that life doesn’t necessarily need to feel so difficult. We are the ones in control of our own minds, meaning we are in control of how we process the world around us. The addition of judgements and overanalysis on top of what we are experiencing, only masks the reality of the situation. Dismantling our judgements and eliminating excess reasoning, however, allows us to see each moment as it truly is, freeing us from unnecessary stress.
Written By Carley Wright