How Marcus Aurelius Conquered Stress (and the Rest of Us Can Too) | Ryan Holiday | Stoicism

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Anxiety is the worry over things that might happen. It Is the constant dread of…something. Of what we’re never exactly sure. Something that is about to make everything else more difficult? Something that will put an end to everything good in our lives? It could be. Or maybe it’s something totally different, that we could never have expected. 

Have you had those fears? Have you felt the tightness in your chest? The lump in your throat? The quickening of your pulse? The shallowness of your breathing? The flop sweat?

You’re not alone. 

Stress and anxiety are emotions humans have been dealing with since the dawn of time. They’re emotions that can destroy lives. Zap the pleasure out of everyday life, reduce a top performer to the bottom of the class, and make everyday chores seem like Herculean efforts. 

Researchers estimate that 65 million people in the US alone suffer serious stress issues. 20% of the population is stressed or anxious! And almost everyone feels stress at different points in their lives. But just because you feel acute stress doesn’t mean you have to be chronically stressed.

Life does not have to go down that way…

…and no one understood that better than the Stoics.

Stress was one of the main emotions Stoicism was built to handle. The pages of Marcus Aurelius’s private journal are filled with notes to himself on how to ‘escape anxiety’. Epictetus says the ‘most important task in life’ was determining what we could control and what we couldn’t, in an effort to ease daily anxieties. Seneca’s letters are constant reminders to not suffer before it is necessary. And not just reminders, but practical, actionable steps to overcoming both.

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Stoicism is a practical philosophy. The main thinkers that the Daily Stoic focuses on in stoicism are Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, and Seneca. The Daily Stoic is a guide to how to practice Stoicism in your daily life, the daily routines of Stoicism, and is a practical guide to Stoicism. This channel is Stoicism 101, it will tell you what Stoicism is and how to be a Stoic. Ryan Holiday has been practicing stoicism and writing about stoicism for more than a decade and his insights will give you guidance to practicing stoicism in your day to day life.


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Ryan Holiday has influenced the modern stoicism movement greatly. His books are read by modern stoicism’s practitioners like Tim Ferriss, Robert Greene, and others.

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