Category Archives: Stoicism for mental health

Stoicism for mental health 2: What can we control?

Today we consider the very first principle of Stoicism as defined by Epictetus in his handbook, The Enchiridion. What can we control and what can’t we control?

This means understanding the difference between problems and facts.

Stoics choose not to waste energy or emotional effort on facts that they cannot change – it’s pointless. Instead they work on things they can change, control or influence. That means they work on (and worry about) surprisingly little.

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Stoicism for mental health 1: Introduction

Stoic philosophy isn’t the dry, humourless approach to life that many think it is. ‘Stoic joy’ comes from the ability to manage and control our emotions, the ability to choose our feelings without being blown this way or that by the winds of fortune.

Much of modern mental health practice comes from the wisdom of the ancient Stoics. Some of our most successful modern therapies are derived almost exactly from the Stoics whose philosophy leads inevitably toward happiness, contentment, self control and yes, joy.

This video series introduces the basic elements of Stoicism to a modern audience. It’s the antidote to the instant gratification, consumer culture that is the root of so much misery today.

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