Stoicism is an ancient philosophy started by Zeno of Citium in 3rd century BCE. It’s a philsoophy that is incredibly practical with timeless wisdom that continues to resonate thousands of years later.

One of the things I appreciate about Stoicism is that it’s more of a hands-on philosophy where you can actually put into practice the advice and see results immidately. There were three stoic practices in particular that I found effective and they include: pracitcing poverty, negative visualization and zooming in & zooming out.

Practicing Poverty

The idea with practicing poverty is to remind yourself of the bare necessities you need to live your life. Sleeping on the floor with a sleeping bag, eating only beans and rice will remind you that all the superfluous elements of life are just that - superfluous. I try to do this practice at least once a month, as a way to remind myself to not be hijacked by lifestyle creep and the ever increasing levels on the hedonic treadmill.

Negative Visualization

Visualize your worst-case scenario, this way when the worst-case scenario happens, you’ll be mentally prepared for it. The key here is not to brood and instead employ the tactic as an immunization shot against the future.

Zooming in & Zooming out

These two techniques are helpful anytime you feel overwhelmed about your lifes problems. To zoom in, is to realize that you are nothing more than an evolved primate whose driving mechanism is to pass on your genetics. To zoom out is to realize that your existence, and humanity as a whole is simply a blip on the cosmic timescale. Both techniques serve to humble you and make you realize that most of the things you’re worrying about really aren’t that important in the long run.