How reduce stress and anxiety with Stoicism

I think it was Seneca the Stoic who said,

“We suffer far more in imagination than we do in reality.”

I think he was referring to this insistence we have of trying to solve problems that do not exist, problems we have conjured up in our minds to pointlessly fantasize about.

One of the most powerfully practical things a person can do is to catch themselves when they’re trying to solve an imaginary problem and redirect their attention to a real one to make themselves feel more confident.

If you’d actually been keeping track all the things you’ve ever worried about – all that planning and worrying you’ve done about potential problems that might happen in the future – you’d probably find that maybe 1% of them actually happened and the rest never did.

All that time wasted. All that suffering for no reason.

Next time you’re worrying about something, try and find a real problem to solve instead.

Assume that if something you’re worried about is indeed a problem worth solving, it will come up in real life, so you can wait until that happens.

One Response

  1. Remind yourself: stress is always about wanting to escape reality, and anxiety is never about something real. Come back to the real world!

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