How The Stoics Dealt With Anxiety (10 Strategies)

How much more enjoyable would your days be without the constant dread of stress looming over you?

Anxiety was one of the main emotions Stoicism was built to handle. In this video best-selling author Ryan Holiday explores 10 of the best time-tested ways that the Stoics dealt with anxiety.

⚔️ Overwhelmed? You’re not alone. Check out the Daily Stoic Slay Your Stress Course: A 13-day challenge designed to reclaim your life from the negative effects of stress and anxiety. Go to to sign up.

The pages of Marcus Aurelius’s private journal are filled with notes to himself on how to ‘escape anxiety’. Epictetus says the ‘most important task in life’ was determining what we could control and what we couldn’t, in an effort to ease daily anxieties. Seneca’s letters are constant reminders to not suffer before it is necessary. And not just reminders, but practical, actionable steps to overcoming both.

00:00 Intro
01:39 1. Focus On The Little Things
02:29 2. Practice Gratitude
03:21 3. Have No Opinion
03:55 4. Stop Caring About What People Think
04:23 5. Process Your Emotions
05:39 6. Don’t Suffer Imagined Troubles
06:32 7. Choose Not To Be Harmed
07:19 8. Go For A Walk
08:27 9. Keep A Journal
09:05 10. Grab The Right Handle

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  1. I have subscribed to your daily stoicism, I am ready to make this big change in my life through planting these thoughts in my mind little by little. Thank you for doing this.

  2. I like what he says but what undermines and ruins it all is that it ends with him trying to sell you something. He talks fast cos he's a salesman

  3. Small things are not small …..something that has been talked by dr cal newport in his book Deep work where he talk about working on lead measures(immediate tasks) that ll take u to lag measures (ultimate goal)

  4. The great thing about Stoicism as a school of thought is that its followers are natural stoics by the time they're ready to understand rather than simply learn. In essence life prepares us for Stoicism and in turn Stoicism prepares us for our finest years beyond that. Life is indeed a time-perfected craft.

  5. Gracias Ryan – A great video to keep in our watch later list.. and watch it from time to time.

  6. I usually get like this when i’m on the toilet. Guess where i’m watching this video rn…

  7. Your getting me through a very bad time. I am hearing great advice at a moment of grief and massive change.

  8. I agree that you can live a good life with Stoicism, but this isn't the full picture. It's a bit outdated. Not saying Marcus wasn't ahead of his time or anything. I gotta give him much respect for that time period. Times have changed, and there's much more to just matter -to-matter hard work and the physical. Instead of just READING Meditations, we should all MEDITATE! There's a spiritual side and a scientific side that are missing. When you actually sit in stillness, you realize the material world is just a FRACTION of your existence. It's actually SMALLER than the side you experience from your subconscious 💯 SCIENTIFICALLY-speaking, we are magnetic fields, and we can attract/manifest material things into our realities. Visualization is another thing that's missing in just following Stoicism. Much love and respect

  9. When you think about it, animals already instinctively practice stoicism. They live in the present, enjoy the little things, don't care what people think, don't imagine terrible things, and express their emotions and move on. We could learn a lot from observing our pets.

  10. Is to love a decision or a happening? If it is a happening then being hurt also is, therefore it is not a choice. Why do we will what we will?

  11. How about eliminate anxiety altogether through hypnosis. It’s powerful permanent change that way

  12. Always short, sweet and to the point. You are doing such important work – passing down the essential wisdom of ages. Thank you for all the time and energy you invest. It is making a difference in the world. One person at a time.

  13. This is a call to all of you out there: I, personally, have found women ( I am one, an older one) have found each sex to have their own, shall we say, peculiarities. When young, I did not realize that men found me very attractive (alcoholic mom whose criticism was absolute and constant) and that women viewed me as a competitor. I grew up with many male cousins and some female cousins. I was close to them and very close to my grandmother. What I was not prepared for and still am not, is the utter viciousness of women, the behind-the-back reputational damage. I tended when young to feel so loved by my grandmother that I blew-off my mom when she took me aside when I was fourteen and told me, "You're going to be a nice looking women when you grow up. Be prepared for women not to like you and for men to pursue you, and, if they can't have you to say that they did." My mom was considered to be a beauty, think Marilyn Monroe but dark brunette. So, to my question: this shit is still happening to me and I am OLD! Got that?! Old! My husband's co-worker told him, "Your wife is the only slim and pretty woman I've ever met who isn't stuck on herself." Like, wow. I should be so lucky to be so burdened, right? Wrong! So, especially to women: how the hell do you take a Stoic Attitude to female underhandedness, the kind developed to a fine art among the feminine? What is the Stoic Attitude to take toward men who project all kinds of idiotic fantasies onto you and act like a fool and foul up and complicate what should be the most simple of transactions?

  14. Gratitude is something that, as im just getting into gratitude and stoicism, i struggle with a lot. One of the biggest grinds against my world view i find is treating life and consciousness as a gift as for the longest time i thought the opposite, and still do. I thought that being aware was a horrible accidental curse, so the thought of gratitude for not only whats around but also for this 'gift' is still so foreign to me.

  15. Thank you for sharing, been watching your videos for months and working on it… everyday is a challenge! Fortitudine vincimus

  16. I had this on my "Watch Later" and I finally watched it today. WOW. It really hit me, I needed these messages at this exact moment.

  17. Thank you for this, many important lessons and the passion in your voice talking about these is proof that it has greatly helped you

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