"If someone handed over your body to any person who met you, you would be vexed; but that you hand over your mind to any person that comes along, so that, if he reviles you, it is disturbed and troubled—are you not ashamed of that?" - Enchiridion XXVIII
After eight years of Stoic practice, I have noticed that I waste a lot of energy I waste on mental disturbances. Of course, I am not really talking about large traumas, although I have experienced a few of those some time ago. I'm mostly referring to short, fleeting thoughts where I momentarily resign my cognition to the whims of inaccurate impressions. Where in the past I would've simply gone on with my day without paying attention to this fact, I now realize how much time and mental energy these false impressions drain me.
One of the things that complicates my experience is the reality of mental illness. Interestingly, Seneca writes about what seemingly counts as mental illness. Being someone with panic disorder and ADHD, my thoughts are constantly spinning. I remember the first time I overheard a friend say something along the lines of "I just sat there and didn't think about anything." This type of idea was completely foreign to me; I've never had an experience in my thoughts apart from a tumultuous mass of somewhat-connected ideas, one thought picking up and branching into a related or unrelated direction of the previous one.
Since practicing Stoicism, I would definitely say that I am more aware of when I rely on one of these fleeting thoughts. While the frequency of my thoughts have generally stayed static, I am more active in my deconstruction of my thoughts. Stoic practice has allowed me to judge my impressions with new angles.
If you are someone who struggles with this these types of active thoughts, Stoicism is probably a great fit for you. I am currently now scheduling FREE consultations and FREE first sessions. Schedule your consultation today here: