Bring Calm to the Chaos We Face Today with Stoic values
Stoic philosophy is characterized by its practicality on a day-to-day basis. The Stoics performed what is known as “spiritual exercises” and used them for strength. In this article, we will discuss 5 practices to start applying Stoicism daily.
1. Practice Meditation
Stoicism does not advocate dogmatic and demanding liturgical practice, but rather a serious confrontation of the individual with himself, to be aware daily that he uses rational mechanisms to achieve well-being.
Seneca advises that we meditate on what happened in our daily lives as often as possible, analysing how we responded to events and how we could have improved the outcome using Stoic principles.
For example, when one has meditated on openly criticising someone, one should not only analyse whether the criticism is valid, but whether the criticised person can bear the criticism with maturity.
A piece of advice from Epictetus: “if people praise you for yourself, distrust yourself.” When we meditate on what happened, we prepare ourselves to act in the future with greater temperance and thus improve our peace of mind.
But how do we know that we are progressing? According to Epictetus, on the one hand, we will stop complaining; censure or flatter others; brag about ourselves and our knowledge. On the other hand, when things don’t go as expected, we will blame ourselves and not the external circumstances.
2. Practice Authenticity
Seneca, in his Letters to Lucilius, urges him to choose a role model to provide a standard for living. Of course, this is an idea that is by no means unique to Stoicism, but Seneca exposes why it is a necessary step in our quest for the good life.
Principles that can help us navigate even the most challenging and treacherous circumstances, as well as standards against which we can judge our behaviour on a day-to-day basis.
We must choose a reference, a model, and the rule with which to measure ourselves. But we must not forget to be ourselves.
Choose a model to look at, but don’t forget to keep your authenticity.
Also See: 5 Easy Ways to Learn Stoicism
3. Practice Discomfort
Seneca suggested that we should set aside a certain number of days each month to practice poverty. Eating less food, wearing our worst clothes, moving away from the comfort of our home and our bed.
Ask yourself: “Is this what I used to fear?” It’s important to remember that this is an exercise and not a rhetorical device. It doesn’t mean “thinking about” misfortune, it means living it. He remembers that Stoicism is a practical philosophy.
Comfort is the worst kind of bondage because you are always afraid that something or someone will take it away from you.
Emotions like anxiety and fear are rooted in uncertainty and rarely inexperience. Become familiar with the things we are afraid of. Practice what you fear, whether it’s a simulation in your mind or real life.
Must Read: 5 Myths About Stoicism
4. Practice Your Reaction to Explosive Situations
When we are victims of an insult, our first reaction is anger. A negative action that responds to another negative action. If we behave in this way we risk our peace of mind.
Hence, the Stoics focused on developing strategies to eliminate feelings of anger when we are attacked. For the Stoics, insults (regardless of their nature) incorporate a toxic and symbolic sting that must be dislodged, because it damages the spirit.
One of the tactics is to learn to appease the insult by analysing it and paying attention to the true things. Recognise this philosophy of life. The best counterattack is to demonstrate rationality and indolence.
Sometimes you can even jokingly reply, avoiding the hurt tone. When it’s not possible to respond calmly, say the Stoics, it’s possible to be silent.
5. Practice Finding Your Purpose and Direction
A stoic wakes up and knows exactly what he wants to do on his day. His goals and his commitments are clear. If you start the day by writing down your goals, you will create a prior psychological commitment that will increase the probability that they will be met. This is known as the self-fulfilling prophecy.
One of the foundations of Stoicism is constantly repeating a series of mantras and phrases as a reminder of a series of principles and values. This helps us to practice behaviour that takes us away from the irrational.
Don’t allow anything or anyone to divert you from your mission. A stoic doesn’t allow anything to prevent him from fulfilling his duty.
To steer our ship we need the compass that will prevent us from getting lost when we feel carried away by the currents of other people.
When you feel that there are people who failed you, complicated circumstances, or that you lost faith, don’t forget to be consistent.
Stoicism as we have mentioned previously is an eminently practical philosophy.
These practices can be carried into your day to day to continue aspiring to that stoic ideal. Practice these exercises in your life. ACT!