best stoic quotes to help you overcome stress

best stoic quotes to help you overcome stress

Whether it be the ancient world or the contemporary one, stress has always made its presence felt. Human life has always been challenging. And it will continue to be both in the near and the distant future no matter how advanced we get as a species.

Because stress is timeless, the good news is that we can always rely on ancient wisdom to help us navigate the complexities and difficulties that arise in the modern world. 

Here are some finest, time-tested Stoic quotes that will not only help you deal with the stressful situation(s) that might be taking a toll on you but also change your perspective and get you in the right mindset. 

“It’s normal to feel pain in your hands and feet, if you’re using your feet as feet and your hands as hands. And for a human being to feel stress is normal—if he’s living a normal human life. And if it’s normal, how can it be bad?” — Marcus Aurelius

“You will understand that a man’s peace of mind does not depend upon Fortune; for, even when angry she grants enough for our needs.” — Seneca

“And reading, I hold, is indispensable…Reading nourishes the mind and refreshes it when it is wearied.” — Seneca

“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.” — Marcus Aurelius

“He who laughs has joy. The very soul must be happy and confident, lifted above every circumstance.” — Seneca

“Ambition means tying your well-being to what other people say or do…Sanity means tying it to your own actions.” — Marcus Aurelius

“The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own.” — Epictetus

“We suffer more from imagination than from reality.” — Seneca

“All you need are these: certainty of judgment in the present moment; action for the common good in the present moment; and an attitude of gratitude in the present moment for anything that comes your way.” — Marcus Aurelius

“What upsets people is not things themselves, but their judgements about these things.” — Epictetus

“Don’t let your imagination be crushed by life as a whole. Don’t try to picture everything bad that could possibly happen. Stick with the situation at hand, and ask, ‘Why is this so unbearable? Why can’t I endure it?’ You’ll be embarrassed to answer.” — Marcus Aurelius

“Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems.” — Epictetus

“Frame your thoughts like this— you are an old person, you won’t let yourself be enslaved by this any longer.” — Marcus Aurelius

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing.” — Seneca

“Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions—not outside.” — Marcus Aurelius

“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.” — Seneca

PS: If you enjoyed reading this passage and are inclined to learn the essential tools and strategies of Stoicism in these uncertain and difficult times, I encourage you to read my eBook Daily Stoicism which is the third book in The Daily Learner series. Through this book, you can be in tune with the Stoic philosophy on a daily basis as you face the challenges of everyday life with practical wisdom and inner fortitude. The wisdom of great philosophers such as Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius as well as modern authors such as Ryan Holiday and Donald Robertson has been distilled in a form that is easy to digest and consume (even if you’re not a reader!).  The condensed timeless knowledge in these meditations will guide you in navigating through the complexities that come with modern living and help you in your quest to live a virtuous and meaningful life, especially in this global health crisis.