Stoicism is an ancient Roman philosophy that is regaining immense popularity due to its practicality. Stoicism is a school of philosophy that originates from ancient Greece and Rome in the early parts of the 3rd century, BC.
According to its teachings, the path to happiness for humans is found in accepting the moment as it is, by not allowing yourself to be controlled by your emotions, and using your mind to understand the world.
One of the things I love about stoicism the most is that it was deliberately created to be understandable, actionable, and useful.
There are the so-called BIG THREE stoics: Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca.
It’s all about learning how to practice mindfulness, objectivity, humility, integrity, forgiveness, and last but not least – understand and accept the impermanence of life.
Now, let’s get into stoicism practices
What does practicing poverty mean?
It’s all about practicing the worst-case scenario in real life by exposing yourself to pain and uncomfortable situations to build resilience and develop a tolerance for the unavoidable pain and disruption that life inevitably brings to all of us.
Here are a few ways you can practice poverty in your life by getting into uncomfortable situations:
Sometimes go out with old, stained clothes that have holes in them to break your attachment to material possessions and the way other people perceive you
Another practice, intermittent fasting or sitting with a desire to eat something in particular, until it goes away. That gives me inner strength and resilience to battle all other desires that come up while you sit with your discomfort and pain.
The Second way to practice stoicism is NON-REACTIVITY
Non-reactivity is all about developing an internal locus of control, which means you believe that you take full responsibility for everything that happens in your life and, accept reality for exactly what it is.
You can practice non-reactivity by letting go of trying to control things that are out of your control and immersing myself in reality let all your emotions and thoughts flow through you without engaging.
Another way you can practice non-reactivity is by saying to yourself internally:
” I’m completely independent of the good or bad things that other people think of me.”
Then, when you engage in a conversation or have some kind of interaction with another human being, you notice your emotions and build self-awareness.
You can also ask yourself some questions to get more clarity:
What emotion am I feeling right now?
What did this person say that triggered such an emotional response from me?
Have I heard this before and how did I react back then?
By asking yourself all of these questions and handling your emotions better, you will practice non-reactivity and build self-awareness.
The third way to practice stoicism for beginners is by using NEGATIVE VISUALIZATION
When you meditate on your mortality and think about your own death one day, you will gain a new perspective on life and its impermanence.
You will let go of little things that bother you and become so much more present and alive
Now, how can you practice negative visualization?
All you need to do is find some quiet time alone and imagine what would it be like to be dead.? (that’s funny isn’t it? )
You can also imagine your own funeral. ( This is funnier right? , but it makes you stoic)
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I know this isn’t a pleasant exercise but if you become a master of your death anxiety, you’ll be able to endure anything that life throws at you.
Knowing that you may die at any given moment, will give you the desire to live, to leave something behind, to be kinder and more generous with others.
Stoicism may help you if you are really going through a rough time, midlife crisis, uncomfortable situations, or mentally tortured. Stoicism brings you mental toughness, Cognitive Strength, and Stubbornness to face any problem in your life!
On the other side, you may give a try to Buddha’s Vipassana Technique which is deep and acts as a root to root out all bonds of Misery
You can learn more here: Vipassana