Sunday, May 05, 2019

How Stoicism can help you manage Anger and Frustration

Anger and frustration are an inevitable part of human life. Like rain on a Bank Holiday, traffic jams and politicians being really self-interested and deluded, they are part of the human condition.

Or are they?

The Stoics take a different view which can ultimately be both mood-enhancing and liberating.

A game-changing insight, a magic key to changing your life, is that we are not affected by things so much as our interpretation of them. 

A second key idea is that we have control over some things and not others, and the wise person focusses all their energy only on what they can change.

This means that though rainy bank holidays, traffic jams and politicians are inevitable, our anger and frustration over them are not.

One of the best introductions to Stoicism's remedy for anger is Seneca's little book On Anger. 
But how best to translate Seneca's ideas into a modern day set of remedies?  

In this series of articles recently published on the Modern Stoicism website, I wrote about how someone struggling today with anger and frustration might be helped by conversing with a modern Seneca, a life coached well-versed in Seneca's Stoic ideas and also with a good understanding of how therapy can help people overcome bad habits like getting angry too often.

Stoic Therapy for Anger by Tim LeBon -part 1

Stoic Therapy for Anger by Tim LeBon -part 2

I hope you find them useful and help you take control over what you can - with practice - change (your anger and frustration) and accept what you cannot (politicians, traffic jams and the weather, for starters).  Seneca, and the articles, also discuss why tackling anger and frustration is so important.