9 Ways to Practice Stoicism: Bring Calm to Modern Day Chaos

The branch of philosophy called Stoicism is a practice designed to make us more resilient, happier, wiser, and overall better individuals. The practice of enduring pain and hardship without complaint is the main idea behind Stoicism and staying strong in the face of adversity. 

Stoicism began around 304 BC when a merchant called Zeno was shipwrecked and lost all of his belongings. He made his way to nearby Athens where he stumbled across a bookshop and was absorbed by the teachings of Socrates. During his time in Athens, Zeno met and studied with the greatest philosophers of his time. Thus, he turned his great loss into something valuable, turning disaster into wisdom: 

“I made a prosperous voyage when I suffered shipwreck.”

Stoicism teaches us how to turn pain and adversity into learning and transformation. Here are some ways to practice being Stoic in our modern-day world. 

1. Develop internal control over your actions and emotions  

In our busy world where we are so used to comfort and convenience, it’s easy to get angry when something doesn’t go our way. 

But most of what happens in life is not within our control. Getting stuck in traffic, waiting for the internet to load, or not receiving the response we want from others causes us to feel frustrated, though frustration rarely helps. 

This Stoic practice requires you to realize that although you can’t control everything, you can control how you react to things. Take a rain check on your emotions the next time you feel the rush of anger. Don’t let external events affect your internal state of mind. Realize that you have the power to feel how you want to feel, regardless of what happens. Observe your emotions and accept things as they are when they’re out of your control. 

2. Use your time well

The Stoics believe that time is your greatest asset and is something to be cherished. Lost material possessions can be found or replaced, but you will never get back lost time. 

They believe that you should avoid procrastinating, wasting your time, or giving it away freely to others. 

Prioritize your commitments instead of taking on everything that’s thrown at you. Don’t become a slave to your calendar, rather take the time to prioritize. Time is precious – use it well. 

3. Stand by your principles

We need to make compromises in this day and age in order to get what we want. But there are some things we should not compromise on. 

Stand your ground and stay true to your virtues. Only this way will people respect you enough to agree to your demands. 

4. Practice journaling your thoughts

Taking time to write down your thoughts and reflect on them is one of the most effective practices for mindfulness. 

It has countless benefits and is such a simple exercise that you can do practically anywhere. 

By writing down your thoughts, you find out more about yourself and the world. You boost your creativity, gratitude, and self-awareness. You process your thoughts and feelings, any clouded thoughts become clearer and you start seeing the bigger picture. 

5. Don’t let others control your happiness

Trying to win the approval and admiration of others is a sure-fire way to lose both time and happiness. 

Too often in life, we buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t even care about. We choose jobs based on what looks good instead of what we really want. We live a life we think other people will admire instead of fulfilling our own dreams and desires. 

All in all, we’re wasting our lives trying to get other people’s approval. 

Lead a life that isn’t based on others’ opinions. Only then will you be truly free. 

6. Focus in the face of distraction

In our modern world today, the abundance of options and distractions is overwhelming. But with so many options come more problems than solutions, and we become paralyzed by indecision. 

Also known as the choice paradox, our brains can’t keep up with the huge amounts of information constantly being thrown at us. And so, we automatically choose what fits in with the status quo, the path everyone else is going along. And it often is not the right choice for us. 

One of the main issues is that people nowadays have a hard time choosing a path and committing to it. When you know what you want, put the blinkers on and go for it wholeheartedly, avoiding your distractions. 

7. Kill the ego

Most people want to learn but deep inside they feel like they already know everything. People have resistance to admitting that they don’t already know everything in their field of expertise, yet it is only through constant learning that we really grow. 

Practice being open to new information, even if you think you’ve heard it all before. Don’t be complacent. Throw away your ego. 

8. Expect the worst

Although many people will tell you about the magic of positive thinking, that’s not what Stoicism is about. They believed that by hoping for the best, we become passive and don’t take the action we need to better our circumstances. 

Stoics asked themselves questions such as; what would happen if everything went wrong tomorrow? What would be the worst thing that could happen? Do I need to change anything today? 

This way, they took cautionary measures and were always on guard for any evil that may happen. This practice is about confronting the reality of your situation and being brutally honest with yourself. 

9. Remember that nothing lasts forever 

At the end of the day, we have to remember that nothing that we’ve created will matter. No-one will remember who we are, or who Socrates, Edison, and Newton were. 

In the grand scheme of things, nothing we do matters, so why not spend our lives doing things we truly care about and spending time with people we love? 

It’s a very humbling thought. 


Whether you’re getting easily frustrated at the little things, trying to find your way, or generally not enjoying life as much as you want to, Stoicism may be the way forward. 

Learning to become more tolerant, appreciative, and action-oriented will help you lead a more fulfilling life. 

Try these 9 practices and observe how Stoicism your life changes. 

How to Stop Complaining: Change It, Leave It, or Accept It
How to Stop Assuming: 10 Expert-Backed Ways
How to Meditate Without Your Eyes Closed: Do It in a Cafe
8 Life-Changing Quotes From Jim Rohn to Make You a Better Person
Don't Think Positive. Try the WOOP Technique Instead.
Forget Motivation. Reach Goals with "Implementation Intention"
How to Stop Wasting Your Life: 42 Simple Ways
Why You Need a Bullet Journal in Your Life and How to Use It
How to Master Your Craft by Copying Others: 6 Practical Tips
How to Overcome Laziness: 23 Practical Tips from Great Books
9 Life Lessons From Leo Tolstoy’s Quotes
Am I Shallow? Transforming Your Habits with Deep Work
How to Change Your Behavior and Create Habits: Tiny Can Be Big
What Are the 5 Keys to Success: Goals, Grit, Habits & More