4 Life Hacks from Ancient Philosophy

What happens when science validates ancient philosophic ideas on how to be happy.

Humanists aren’t picky about where we get our knowledge from. As long as it works, and is scientifically verified to work, we use it.  Turns out that the Stoics, yes, those folks who used to deny themselves pleasure, were on to something.  Here is a great article about 4 life hacks from the Stoics - http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2014/01/ancient-philosophers/ - and the best part of this article is that there are links to the scientific studies that show these particular life hacks of the stoics work in reality.

For those of you who hate linking – here they are:

1) Imagine all the bad things that might happen. Then when they don’t, feel relief and gratitude, and yes, a bit of happiness. Take that obnoxiously irrational positive thinkers.

2) Act as if.  Turns out that even if you aren’t feeling it, if you act as if you are, you really will trick your body into believing and feeling like you are. So go ahead and fake your emotions until you make it. And no – that isn't a license of unrestrained and irrational exuberance. Reread Hack 1 to ensure balance.

3) Deny yourself now and again. Turns out, if you not only don’t indulge, but you actively deny, then when you allow yourself to do something again, it really is that much better.

4) Forgive yourself for not being perfect. As I tell all my students. No one is a perfect critical thinker and no one is totally compassionate 100% of the time. It’s ok. Just keep trying and keep practicing. These are called philosophic practice for a reason!

So, what is your favorite life hack from ancient philosophy? (Note – you do not need to limit yourself to the stoics.)

1 comment:

  1. The Stoics have a pretty big palette of life hacks -- and modern Stoics are trying to polish 'em up.


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