The philosophy of Stoicism has made a profound impact on the world. It offers a much-needed answer to the mental and emotional upheavals a person can experience in life. We’re expected to achieve big goals and be successful in all areas of life. Because of this, when we experience challenges, we feel stressed and anxious.
Practicing stoic journaling can be a powerful way to manage stress. It also offers long-term benefits as you learn to deal with life’s ups and downs with acceptance and equanimity.
How can you use journaling and stoicism to feel better and manage stress? Let’s find out.
Journal every day
The very act of journaling can be considered a stoic practice. It’s about spending time in thought and reflecting on your actions, beliefs, and thinking processes.
The great stoics, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, and Seneca were philosophers who journaled. The wrote down their thoughts and their words remain with us even today providing us with important philosophical knowledge.
Journaling also offers an alternative way to manage stress. Many people, around 42 percent, use YouTube videos to relax and 39% of people use it to destress. While this is helpful, it doesn’t resolve any issues or lead to long term benefits.
Instead, make it a practice to write in a diary or a journal. If you can write for five minutes as soon as you wake up and think about what you want to accomplish, you’ll start your data with a clear head. It’s very likely that Emperor Marcus Aurelius journaled in the morning to prepare himself for confrontations during the day.
And writing before you sleep can be a great way to disconnect from social media or the television. It’s also an opportunity to think about how your day went and what you can do differently tomorrow. Seneca suggests that once things are silent and when family members have fallen asleep, it’s the perfect time to self-reflect.
This way of reflecting and assessing your experience is part of the logical and rational approach to thinking that form’s stoicism’s core.
Use prompts inspired by stoicism
If you’re not sure what to write about, then consider get inspiration or prompts from different sources. Here are some ideas:
- Consider getting a ‘stoic journal’. These are printed journals containing passages and prompts for you to think about. You can fill in your thoughts that arise from these prompts
- Read books by stoics such as Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. Think about interesting passages you’ve read and write about them
- When writing about your day, step away from the situation mentally. Try to see the events and actions you took that day as if you were a bystander. How you would describe things? You should see your experiences differently and get some distance from your emotional reactions
With these prompts and ideas, you should get an interesting view into your own life and mind. This kind of reflection can help you cope with changing situations more easily and learn profound life lessons.
Build principles that matter to you
At the end of the day, you can only judge something in your life by your core beliefs. What this means is that you should be concerned with the things that you can control and that matter to you. And that it’s not useful to get invested in the way others behave or choose to live.
By creating values that matter to you, you’ll have a template or a basis on which you can assess your own life.
Every day, when you journal, reflect on whether you’ve lived by your own beliefs. Ask yourself if you’ve been frustrated when other people or situations don’t turn out the way you like.
When journaling, lay out your thoughts and frustrations but always end your writing with the knowledge that you can only control yourself.
With daily practice, you’ll develop the philosophy of stoicism into something that’s personal to you. You’ll also find that you feel less stress and anxiety over time.
Journaling with a stoic mindset can help you process your emotions better. You’ll also think more rationally which will help you with better decision making in life.
By using the tips given here, you’ll be on your way to a more balanced and contented mindset, which leads to long-term peacefulness.