Seneca on suffering
Our suffering increases when we let our anxiety define us. We would love to have a life free of anxiety, when in reality, our negative emotions often rule us, and bring us into an endless cycle of anxiety that affects the quality of our lives.
It has been said that if you really want to escape things that harass you, you don’t need to be in a different place, you need to be a different person.
Philosopher Seneca said: “We suffer more in imagination than in reality.” We worry about circumstances we cannot control, and we end up suffering for what we cannot change nor resolve. So, when you are overwhelmed by anxiety and worries, take a moment to ask yourself if you are suffering the effects of what you cannot change, things beyond your responsibility. And when you reduce worrying about things you cannot change, you can improve your focus on your real and definite responsibilities.
Anxiety is a very bad counselor. Anxiety makes us think the worse of everything, limiting our potential, and adds a lot of suffering.
It is no easy thing to confront and reduce anxiety. But each night you can ask the same questions Seneca made: “We must ask ourselves: what weakness did I overcome today? What virtue did I acquire?”
Answering these two questions will reduce your anxiety and improve your life today.