Stoicism and Modern Psychology: How They Complement Each Other
Stoicism and modern psychology both have a lot to offer when it comes to improving our mental well-being. While Stoicism is an ancient philosophy that has been around for centuries, modern psychology is a relatively new field that has grown exponentially in recent years. However, both share a common goal: to help individuals lead happier and more fulfilling life.
One of the main principles of Stoicism is the concept of acceptance. The Stoics believed that individuals should accept the things that are out of their control and focus on what they can control. This is a principle that is also echoed in modern psychology, where acceptance is a key component of therapies such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” – Epictetus
Another important aspect of Stoicism is the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being present and fully engaged in the present moment. The Stoics believed that mindfulness is key to maintaining inner peace and emotional resilience. Modern psychology also recognizes the benefits of mindfulness and incorporates it into various therapies, such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT).
“The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.” – Marcus Aurelius
Stoicism also emphasizes the importance of emotional regulation. The Stoics believed that individuals should strive to maintain a calm and rational state of mind, even in the face of adversity. This is an important aspect of mental health, and modern psychology also recognizes the importance of emotional regulation through therapies such as DBT and emotion-focused therapy (EFT).
“The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skilled pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.” – Epictetus
Another area where Stoicism and modern psychology complement each other is in the area of resilience. Stoicism teaches individuals to focus on what they can control and let go of what they can’t control, which helps to build resilience. Modern psychology also recognizes the importance of resilience and incorporates it into therapies such as positive psychology and solution-focused therapy.
“We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.” – Seneca
Stoicism and modern psychology have a lot to offer when it comes to improving our mental well-being. Both share common principles such as acceptance, mindfulness, emotional regulation, and resilience. By incorporating the teachings of Stoicism into our lives and seeking professional help when needed, we can lead a happier and more fulfilling life.