10 Healthy Ways To Get Through Difficult Times (Insights From Stoic Philosophy)

Get Through Difficult Times

Difficult times and tough situations can never be avoided, but they can definitely be handled. Stoic philosophy can tremendously help you by providing you with healthy ways to get through difficult times. It might seem hard at first, but it will help you overcome every hurdle in life with a lot of dignity and strength.

To build emotional resilience and to reduce the risk of developing serious emotional problems in the future requires learning how to face everyday problems, such as worry, loss, and self-control.

The ancient Greek philosophy of Stoic focuses on cultivating virtue and strength of character to handle obstacles in life. The fruits of Stoic philosophy are tranquility, courage, and freedom.

The followings provide examples of Stoic strategies that often resemble modern cognitive behavior therapy (Pigliucci, 2017; Robertson, 2019).

Here Are 10 Healthy Ways to Get Through Difficult Times

1. Value clarification. 

Clarifying our core values and trying to live consistently with them can help us gain a greater sense of direction and meaning in life. To live a full meaningful life and flourish is to discover our unique and authentic calling. As Nietzsche remarked, “He who has a why to live can bear almost anyhow.”

2. Nothing is entirely under our control, except our own voluntary actions and thoughts. 

The foundation of Stoic philosophy begins by focusing our attention and efforts on those things that we can control, and ignoring those that we cannot. Knowing that we have done our best given the circumstances leads to the calm acceptance of whatever happens. Stoic acceptance is similar to Nietzsche’s idea of Amor Fati (love one’s fate). This means accepting life in its entirety.

Related: 8 Ways To Cultivate Resilience In Yourself During Tough Times

3. Attitude. 

As the Stoics like to put it, “It is not things that upset us but our judgment about them.” Our emotional lives are shaped by our values and judgments. We can liberate ourselves from negative emotions such as anger and hatred by developing a capacity to choose how to interpret the situation.

4. Pause and take a deep breath.  

Strong feelings make us forget that there are different ways of viewing a situation. For example, anger is nothing but temporary madness with potentially lasting consequences. The mere passage of time can lower the intensity of emotion. By delaying we won’t fall prey to basing decisions entirely on what happens to be in our mind in the immediate moment.

5. Cognitive distancing. 

Cognitive distancing refers to the ability to separate our value judgments from facts. Describing events in objective form is the basis of ancient Stoic therapy. For example, when someone becomes ill, we should avoid adding value judgment like: “Why me? This is awful.” Viewing events objectively helps us prevent being overwhelmed by our emotions.

6. Blowing things out of proportion. 

When we are anxious, we tend to overestimate both the likelihood and the intensity of threat and danger. When people are really struggling, they focus on their inability to cope and the feeling that the problem is spiraling out of control.

A good idea for achieving peace of mind is to learn to downgrade the perceived severity of a threat from, “What if this happens?” To, “How will I cope.” To, “So what if this happens?” “It’s not the end of the world.” Separating our value judgments from the facts can often reduce our anxiety.

Related: 5 Simple Steps To Overcome Difficult Situations In Life

7. Negative visualization. 

The stoic philosophers recommended that we spend time imagining that we have lost the things we value. Doing so will make us value what we already have. Rather than desiring things that are absent (the ‘grass is always greener’ mentality), we should practice gratitude for the things we already have in life.

8. Managing unhealthy desires. 

The key to breaking a bad habit (e.g., overeating) is to spot them early so that you can nip them. As the 16th-century French essayist, Michel de Montaigne remarked, “The infancies of all things are feeble and weak. We must keep our eyes open at their beginnings; you cannot find the danger then because it is so small; once it has grown, you cannot find the cure.”

This requires persistent self-monitoring, especially looking out for any distorted thoughts that might excuse the desire (e.g., I have not had a drink for a while; this is going to be my last treat, and then I’ll start my diet).

9. Resilience building. 

Nietzsche famously remarked, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ We can view any experience of emotional pain as an opportunity that will strengthen our ability to better deal with any future pain. Seneca remarked, “No man knows his own strength or value but by being put to the proof.”

Related: 100+ Eckhart Tolle’s Quotes To Help You Power Through Life

10. Letting go of excessive attachment to external things. 

Attachment implies a holding on, or wanting things to be a certain way. Clinging to things, especially to a sense of self, is what creates suffering. Stoics were famous for cultivating indifference toward external things and disregarding praise and criticism from others. As indicated in the ancient book, The Way of Life by Lao-Tze: If you never assume importance, You never lose it.”

References

Pigliucci, Massimo (2017), How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life. NY: Baic Books.
Robertson, Donald (2019), How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, St. Martin's Press.

Written By Shahram Heshmat 
Originally Appeared In Psychology Today

Life is full of obstacles, and no matter how much you hate them, you cannot do anything other than face them head-on. No matter what life throws at you, these are some of the best ways to get through difficult times. Be strong, have faith in yourself, and draw from your inner strength, and see how you emerge victoriously.

Healthy Ways Get Through Difficult Times pin
Get Through Difficult Times Pin

— About the Author —

Response

  1. Tatiana Avatar
    Tatiana

    wow, what a bullshit pseudo intellectual utterly useless article made by a pompous ass citing Nietzsche for inspiration? what an idiot probably russian

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Up Next

5 Things That Hold You Back From Achieving Your Dreams

Things That Hold You Back From Achieving Your Dreams

Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to get out of it? Achieving your dreams and achieving your goals can feel intimidating when there are things that hold you back, more like, obstacles. Read on to know more about the things that stop you from achieving your goals.

KEY POINTS

Five main obstacles stop people from achieving their career dreams.

Fear of failure is high on the list.

There are workable strategies for overcoming the main career obstacles.



Up Next

How Can I Become More Confident: 10 Effective Tips To Gain Confidence and Boost Self-Esteem!

How Can I Become More Confident in Transformative Ways!

Confidence, in the vast theatre of life, is like a bright floodlight that shines on everything we do. It’s as if it’s a magic ingredient that changes ambiguity to attractiveness, indecision to elegance, and doubt to faith.

When people ask how can I become more confident? It often feels like they are asking how do I stop being scared and worried.

If you are going through similar struggles, don’t worry we have got you covered!

This article is just like a friendly guide that looks into everything affecting your confidence level. We will give you simple tools for breaking free from self-doubt and finding your self-confidence.



Up Next

Finding Your Way: 10 Steps To Move Forward When You Feel Stuck

When You Feel Stuck: Steps For Moving Forward In Life

When you feel stuck, it can make you feel like you are caught in quicksand and you are sinking and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to get out of it. But there’s always a way out of every sticky situation in life. Whenever you are feeling stuck in a rut, remind yourself of these 10 things you can do to stop feeling so bogged down.

Let’s explore what to do when you feel stuck and how to stop feeling stuck in life.

KEY POINTS

The sooner you can free your thoughts, the better you will feel.

Work on a different



Up Next

7 Reasons Why People With Difficult Childhoods Soar In Resilience: The Phoenix Effect !

Causes People With Difficult Childhoods Soar In Resilience

Growing up is not always an easy journey to be in, is it? And especially for some people, it can be particularly difficult, and traumatic even. However, people with difficult childhoods, more often than not, are the ones who grow up to be extremely resilient. The situations that could have knocked them down for good, they use those situations to become even stronger.

Every time they are knocked down, they get back up and do what they need to do to thrive. It’s nothing less than a superpower! Resilient adults overcoming a cruel past is one of the most inspirational things to witness.

This article is



Up Next

How To Not Be Awkward Around People: 10 Effortless Steps

How To Not Be Awkward Around People In Easy Steps

Social situations can be challenging, but with some simple techniques, you can feel more comfortable and confident in your interactions. Figuring out how to not be awkward around people doesn’t have to be complicated.

In this guide, we will explore effective strategies and proven methods for navigating these delicate social encounters, enabling you to foster a supportive and inclusive environment while ensuring everyone feels valued and respected.

Socially Awkward Meaning  

Socially awkward behavior refers to feeling uncomfortable or out of place in social situations. It often involves experiencing anxiety, struggling to initiate or maintain c



Up Next

25+ Matthew Perry Quotes: A Tribute To ‘Chandler Bing’ – The King of Sarcasm

To the one who brought Chandler Bing to life in the beloved TV show Friends. Get ready to laugh through your tears as we pay tribute to the one and only “King of Sarcasm” – with Matthew Perry quotes.

Yes, you heard that right – our beloved Chandler Bing, who could make a joke out of any awkward situation, left us way too soon at the age of 54.

Let’s take a moment to remember the man who brought laughter and snark to our screens, with some of his most iconic quotes. It’s going to be a blend of sadness and humor, just like the man himself. So grab your coffee, and let’s dive into the wit and wisdom with these Matthew Perry quotes.



Up Next

40+ Quotes About Adventure And Life To Awaken Your Wanderlust

Best Quotes About Adventure And Life To Inspire You

Someone once said, ‘Adventure is worthwhile in itself.’ And indeed, it is! Today, we’ll embark on a journey through the wisdom of some remarkable quotes about adventure and life.

Are you ready to embark on a journey through the enchanting world of quotes about adventure and travel to ignite your wanderlust? Well, adventure is like a siren’s call, beckoning us to explore the unknown, to seek out new horizons, and to embrace the thrill of the unexpected.

Inspirational Quotes About Adventure And Life

Whether you’re a seasoned