Ataraxia: the ancient remedy to stress

 In Education, Health, Lifestyle

Hello, loyal readers. We are back; ready to share with you some advice that, we hope, will make your life easier. Today’s blog post is dedicated to people who can’t help but lose out to stress. Stress is actually a pretty common illness, usually related to workload and, sometimes, it can have serious consequences. Since we know, even too well, how easy it is to feel overwhelmed by unexpected events and massive workloads, we would like to share with you a philosophical view, that might help you change your lifestyle.

 

The philosophical concept we are going to speak about today can be considered a lifestyle. It is called “ataraxia” (from the ancient Greek ἀταραξία), and it is a term indicating a state of mind characterised by the absence of worries and freedom from emotional disturbance and anxiety. Several ancient philosophers associated particular traits with ataraxia, considering it the natural consequence for a person who lives according to virtue.

 

Therefore, our dear friends, the advantages of being able to live in the absence of stress were pretty clear even in the past. That said, the real question is: how do we acquire this famous ataraxia? Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer to this. Feeling a sensation of freedom from turbulence is not something that results from a lack of interest, but it is more related to the ability to achieve good measure in what we experience, without being overwhelmed by it. In other words, our interpretation of this journey towards ataraxia is mainly mental, stemming from a big dose of self-control and rationality.

 

We know that this is not easy, but for one moment try to think about the troubles that torment you. Are you really sure that your being tormented by them might change your situation? We highly doubt that. Instead, by trying to rationalise the problem and being aware of your options, not only might you find a realistic solution but, more importantly, you might be able to find some peace of mind. Finally, whether you reach the state of mind of the ancient Greek ataraxia or not is irrelevant. What we actually think is important is for you to be aware that it is possible to release stress and to find some peace, and that, most of the time, the way to reach that desirable position is through training your mind to be rational and, as a consequence, less anxious.

 

Maria Chiara Strano

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