I read an article today about first century Roman stoics Marcus Aurelius (More About Aurelius) and Seneca the Younger (More About Seneca). They took a "matter of fact" approach to managing stress--telling people to lean on logic, mindfulness, and emotion-free decision making to get through life. It's where we get the word "stoic." Their advice for dealing with tough people and tough times back around 100AD make a lot of sense all these years later. Not that I am stoic or anything. I can be semi-stoic when I am fully rested, not having a hot flash, and have had sufficient chocolate. That's precisely why I called this blog entry "Sticks and Stoics: 12 Tips to Beat Stress." About half of the helpful tips below come directly from the stoics and the other half--the "sticks" come from me. Why "sticks"? Because they are the reminders I need continually beat into my head. And I hope you find them helpful in beating stress. If not, get some rest and chocolate. It works for me.
Sticks & Stoics…12 Tips to Beat Stress
- Overcome the paralysis of your negative imagination. More suffering happens in our minds than in reality. Most of what we worry about never happens.
- Choose not to be harmed and you won’t be harmed. Don’t feel harmed and you haven’t been.
- Stop staring at the problem and start focusing on the solution. Problems are opportunities.
- Get over yourself. You have it really good. Really.
- Focus on what you can control and let go of what you can’t.
- Don’t assume the other person is “up to no good.” (i.e. Don’t assume bad intentions.)
- Don’t put your health in the hands of someone else by letting them control your emotions. Stress kills so kill stress.
- Get perspective: Consider that you could be wrong and that you are small in the grand scheme of life. Humility is freeing.
- Choose your battles. If something/someone bothers you, make sure a response is worth it. Does it violate your core values or just bug you? There is a difference between a mosquito bite and a shark bite. Respond accordingly.
- Feeling down? Lift up someone else.
- Remember why you are on this planet. (Put things in perspective by thinking beyond this temporal world. What is your purpose? Passion? Faith?)
- Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life. (Making a hard choice can be stressful, but it saves you a lot of stress down the road.)
Feel free to share, forward and comment.
- Hope Horner
On Twitter @HopeNote
Contact author on gmail at hopeh1122
Copyright 2017 - No offline use or online publication with author's consent.
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