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This Lesson From The Daily Stoic Hit Me Hard

I may look peaceful on the outside but my mind is a home for constant chaos.

My anxiety does not always come to the surface. You won't find me racing back and forth in a room, but my heart can beat as fast as it's allowed by its own strength when anxiety kicks in.

Maybe doctors can sense it. I don't usually have to visit doctors (thank god), but once, I went to a doctor like the first time in forever. My heart was beating so loud, I was deaf to everything else.

Though I answered her questions confidently, she sensed my anxiety somehow. "Relax, Shilpa. I won't eat you up," were her exact words, and her tone, obviously, comforted me. I don't even know why I was anxious in the first place.

Now, on February 3rd, The Daily Stoic's lesson is about The Source of Our Anxiety.

It quotes Epictetus, Discourses, 2.13.1: "When I see an anxious person, I ask myself, what do they want? For if a person wasn't wanting something outside of their own control, why would they be stricken by anxiety?"

The Daily Stoic talks in length and at different places about the importance of deciding what's under our control and what's not. And that one decision can change our life drastically.

We are often anxious when we are facing situations that are outside of our control. When we wish for something to happen and know that we cannot drive any force to make it happen ourselves, the anxiety shows up and knocks us off from our peace.

It's the feeling of hopelessness and helplessness when we let anxiety take a toll on us.

We think that anxiously praying will somehow solve all our problems. Not lying, it often truly does but still, prayers of gratitude do the real wonders.

This excerpt from The Daily Stoic hit me quite hard… hard enough to immediately draft out this blog post: "Staring at the clock, at the ticker, at the next checkout lane over, at the sky—it's as if we all belong to a religious cult that believes the gods of fate will only give us what we want if we sacrifice our peace of mind."

This is so true! I mean, don't we think that things won't work out if we just sit peacefully and wait for the destiny to happen, or we believe that God won't hear us if we don't pray 'hard enough' and show God how desperately we want what we want.

Where did that mentality come from? Why do we think that our prayers will be answered if we pace back and forth, get all worked up, and pray incessantly with little faith and a lot of anxiety?

The book The Daily Stoic didn't only provide this important and damn helpful insight, it also provided a solution for the same. It will require you to step out of your chaos, pause, and think.

Next time, the anxiety takes over you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why are my insides twisted into knots?
  • Am I in control or is my anxiety?
  • And most important: Is my anxiety doing me any good?

I am just a month and a few days into this book and have already learned so many valuable lessons. I wish I had read it sooner. But everything comes to us when we need it the most.

We cannot control our circumstances, but we can control our reaction or response to them!

Do give it a read:

And I will keep sharing more lessons from the books with time.


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