We live in a crazy world, and it seems to get crazier every year. It’s enough to cause severe stress and mood swings in most people, but you can become a beacon of calmness and collectedness if you learn how to be stoic. Let’s look at precisely what that means and 9 tips you can adopt to achieve it.
What is Stoicism?
Being stoic means being able to undergo hardships without letting them get to you. It entails looking at your situation logically and making the best of it without any complaint to the outside world.
The philosophical school of stoicism got started in Greece around 270 BC and persisted for about 600 years. Its followers learned how to remain stoic and focus on bettering the world around them to make their environments less stressful.
Nowadays, being stoic means largely the same thing as it did to the ancient Greeks that developed the term. In today’s more difficult-to-navigate world, though, being stoic is more of a way to deal with current events and real-world conundrums than a philosophical principle. In the following 9 tips, we’ve applied the teachings of stoicism to the modern world.
How to Be Stoic in 2020
Shoot for One Percent Improvement
If you want to improve something about yourself or the world around you, don’t try to do it all at once. Tackling just one percent every day means you’ll complete the task or double the point you were initially at in a few months.
Breaking the improvement into manageable goals like this will make it a lot less stressful to think about, and much more likely, it will actually get done.
Never Act Without an Objective
Before you do ANYTHING that will affect you or another person, think about the action and make sure you are going about it in the most prudent way possible. Ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish and whether you could be going with another method to generate more positivity or take less of a toll.
If you have to stop and think about it, that’s okay. After all, quiet contemplation is one of the cornerstones of how to be stoic.
Get Into Nature
Getting in touch with nature is an excellent way to get in touch with yourself, and that makes being stoic much easier. If you can get to a spot in the wilderness that is quiet save for natural noise, find somewhere to sit down and drink in the quiet; it’s increasingly rare in the modern world, and it’s like fuel for stoic thought processes.
Take Alone Time
Some people are uncomfortable taking alone time, as they feel like it’s selfish or “for losers.” If you’re one of those people, change your mindset immediately.
Taking a fair amount of alone time is very important for a stoic mindset. Not only does socializing expose us to issues that can be stressful, but we all need time to reflect and reason with ourselves in order to be stoic.
In fact, the busier you are, the more quiet time you need to stay healthy.
Learn What’s In Your Control
One of the keys to being stoic is learning to differentiate between what you can control and what you can’t. If you can do it accurately, you won’t waste time on things you’ll never be able to change.
In addition, having 100% assurance that you can personally affect the efforts you undertake will give you added motivation and an internal locus of control stoics need.
Talk Less, Think More
Have you ever noticed that some people just listen when they’re being spoken to and don’t actually respond unless they are really expected to you? Well, that’s a very stoic quality.
It gives the listener time to fully understand what’s being said to them, which often reduces anxiety and confusion. It also lets the listener formulate an intelligent answer.
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Ask Yourself Where Panicking Will Get You
When you find yourself wanting to panic about a situation, take a step back, and analyze the panic. Is it actually going to accomplish anything? Or will it just make the situation more complicated? Let the answer guide you as to whether you’ll quash the panic or not.
Don’t Follow Negative Topics
Try not to expose yourself to negative topics that you cannot positively affect, like news stories about crimes or vicious gossip about someone you don’t actually know.
Preventing exposure entirely is easier said than done in today’s social media-heavy world, but at least avoid following overwhelmingly negative news sources, both online and off.
Rituals are a great way to calm your mind and let you concentrate on issues in your environment rather than what you’re going to do before bed, for example.
There is a fine line between ritualistic behavior and addiction. Make sure your rituals are non-harmful to everyone, including yourself.
People who honestly remember how to be stoic are getting rarer and rarer, but you can be one of them. Practice these tips, and you’ll be well on your way!
FOR A LOOK AT EXACTLY HOW STOICISM STARTED, CHECK OUT THIS TED-ED VIDEO!