Stop Reacting. Start Responding.

We’ve been spending the month of July exploring what we can learn from philosophy to live a better life.

Much of what we’ve learned so far has been about adjusting our outlook and mindset in order to get more out of whatever situation we happen to be in at any given time. I want to stick with that theme today, but I’d like to zoom in on one particular issue that tends to be problematic for people.

If we want to live a happier life, we need to recognize the difference between responding and reacting. Continue reading “Stop Reacting. Start Responding.”

How to Control (and Minimize) Negative Emotions

Stoicism has gotten a bad rap.

These days, when people think “stoic,” they think “emotionless.” “Indifferent to pleasure and pain” is now literally a definition of the word “stoic.”

That’s not what the Stoics were going for.

For the Stoics, the goal is not to avoid all emotion. It is to minimize negative emotion. I can see where people get confused, though.

I am often accused (usually jokingly, but often enough to take the hint) of being emotionless.

I disagree with this assessment. I feel plenty of emotions. I just try not to dwell on negative emotions.

And I try not to act on them, either. Continue reading “How to Control (and Minimize) Negative Emotions”