Epictetus Phrases To Stop Suffering

The sentences of Epictetus can be a valid starting point to find strength and stop suffering.
Epictetus phrases to stop suffering

Epictetus was a Greek philosopher, a slave to Rome for most of his life. The date of his release is not known with certainty, but we do know instead that he achieved great fame, perhaps because he concentrated on the pursuit of happiness and well-being. In fact, there are many phrases from Epictetus that contain his reflections on this matter.

In this article, therefore, we have collected some of his maxims that have helped him in his dark times and that could help you too. The sentences of Epictetus can be a valid starting point to find strength and stop suffering.

The philosophical current that Epictetus followed was that of Stoicism. What we commonly refer to as happiness is strictly speaking eudaimonia, which can be achieved through carrying out activities consistent with the deepest values ​​and with the promise of full commitment.

We see below the lessons that we can draw from the sentences of Epictetus to better manage our pain.

Epictetus phrases to stop suffering

What we tell ourselves is very important

This sentence from Epictetus speaks to us of two actions that we unwittingly often and willingly perform: one concerns the negative dialogue we address and the other the story we invent starting from real experiences.

For example, following a conversation with a stranger it is easy to say to yourself “I behaved stupidly, I replied absurdly, I am just unable to relate to others”. Well, it was not the event that actually happened that triggered our malaise, but the words we addressed to ourselves about the way we behaved.

The important thing is to be conscious, to observe the way we speak and the distorted view of reality that we adopt and then self-pity.

Afflicted woman

2. Not everything depends on us

Very often we suffer and feel bad because we are powerless, we can not do anything to change what is happening around us. For example, if we have a friend who is being abused by a partner but doesn’t realize it, we can feel helpless and feel bad for her. Yet, despite all our good will, there is no way to take her away from a situation that she herself has chosen.

The most important thing, just as Epictetus reminds us, is that we must understand that there are circumstances that do not depend on us. We can choose how to act, but how others will act is not up to us. Keeping this concept in mind and accepting it will allow us to get rid of suffering.

3. What they say about us

“If someone comes to you to tell you that someone talks badly about you, don’t try to defend yourself, but answer: – Surely he is ignorant of my other faults, otherwise he would not have spoken only of these-.”

Among the phrases of Epictetus to ward off suffering, this one speaks to us of the importance we usually give to the opinion that others have of us. But towards the opinion of others it is important to be prudent and intelligent. If they speak ill of us by saying that we are liars, there is nothing left for us to do but correct ourselves. Sometimes, in fact, what they say about us helps us to see some mistakes that we make unknowingly.

Well, what happens when it comes to nonsense? In this case we can try to clarify the situation, but we also need to know when to stop and move on. We must not take what we know to be a lie too seriously. Our angry attitude could elicit phrases such as “if it bothered you, it’s because you know it’s true”. Sometimes it is essential to have a good sense of humor.

4. Opinions and problems are contagious

“The opinions and problems of others can be contagious. Do not sabotage yourself by involuntarily assuming negative and counterproductive attitudes through your friends. “

Another of Epictetus’ phrases to combat suffering concerns the people we surround ourselves with. Often we cannot choose who to have at our side, for example in the case of colleagues. For this, we must keep our eyes open to understand if we are letting ourselves be influenced by the attitudes and even the thoughts of the people around us.

C iring ourselves with negative people can lead us to look at the world in a pessimistic way, almost without realizing it. Being aware of this trend can help us not to find ourselves infected by the problems and negative attitudes of others.

5. Distance yourself from adversity

“One has to look at one’s own misfortunes with the same attitude that one adopts towards those of others.”

With this last sentence, Epictetus leaves us a wise teaching. When we observe the problems of others, we tend to relativize them, to belittle them, to see clearly. For example, if we are dealing with a person who is being mistreated the first thing we think is: why does he not walk away and leave his partner?

However, when the situation concerns us firsthand, we are unable to look at it objectively and something blocks us in this oppressive situation. For this, Epictetus invites us to distance ourselves and try to look at what happens to us from the point of view of a brother or a good friend. A personal contribution that can help us in these cases is to ask ourselves “if this happens to a person close to my heart, what would I recommend that you do?”. Imagining the scene and responding without thinking will give us the answer we need.

Woman walking Epictetus phrases

All these sentences of Epictetus will help you in the moments when you see everything black. Taking our distance and having examples to follow can help us see things more clearly. Because suffering, if we stop clinging to it, ends up disappearing by itself.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button