Here are 10 stoic quotes to help you out with anxiety. The stoic philosophers knew a lot about how to live a tranquil life. I’s a bit of a shame Stoicism never grew very big as a philosophy. These quotes are all from Marcus Aurelius, one of the most well-known Stoic Philosophers.
“To love only what happens, what was destined. No greater harmony.”
This relates to anxiety in that we should love everything that happens. It’s the reality that was going to happen from the dawn of the universe. According to determinism (belief that everything is predestined), there isn’t anything we can do to stop that.
“The first step: Don’t be anxious. Nature controls it all.”
This relates to the last quote. Nature has its ways and is a bigger force than we can comprehend. We can’t control nature, so the only thing we can do is live in accordance with it.
“The second step: Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it. Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being; remind yourself what nature demands of people. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy.”
Part of stoic belief is that, as humans, we need to fulfill our purpose as humans by living in accordance to nature.
“The more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.”
We may get anxious because we value things that are outside of our control. Our best option is to only concern ourselves with what we can control.
“Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions – not outside.”
This quote is saying we create anxiety through our own perceptions. Nothing can cause anxiety in you except your perception.
“For God’s sake, stop honouring externals, quit turning yourself into the tool of mere matter, or of people who can supply you or deny you those material things”
This is another quote talking about how we value external things. We shouldn’t concern ourselves too much with what we own because our satisfaction comes from inside. No amount of owning things will satiate your hunger for luxuries and the like.
“Receive without pride, let go without attachment.”
This quote is about impermanence. It means that everything we have, we are simply borrowing from the universe. Only for a short time are we here taking up space and using energy.
“Let not your mind run on what you lack as much as on what you have already.”
This goes back to learning to satisfy yourself with what you have. If you focus on what you have and are grateful for it. You will then be much happier, and not anxious about what you want to get in the future.
“I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinions of himself than on the opinions of others.”
This quote talks about how a lot of social anxiety comes from valuing other people’s opinions more than your own. You control only your own opinions, so it’s best to not concern yourself with the thoughts of others.