Read This if You’re Stressed

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” ― Marcus Aurelius

Anand Swamy


Image by Steve Johnson from Pixabay

A moment of vulnerability here.

I have a tendency to exaggerate problems.

I do this without knowing it. A simple issue may spiral out into an avalanche, leaving me lost and buried under a rubble of problems that doesn’t even exist yet.

You may relate.

Stoic Philosophy has helped me think about external circumstances differently.

Aside from refining the wine process and labeling bottles with the year and type of grapes, Stoicism may be the greatest contribution to the world by way of the Greeks.

The timeless lessons from the Stoics spread throughout Rome and played an influential role in Marcus Aurelius’s life.

Touted as one of the last great emperors of Rome, Marcus Aurelius, who ruled from 161 to 180 AD, led with humility, integrity and grace and was often praised by his people for consistently maintaining stability and order in the empire.

Whether it was political disparity, wars, or plagues, he was able to win the people over and over again with his sincerity, strength, and love.

The quote shared in my subtitle is a recurring theme in his most poignant work, Meditations. Even after all this time, his words are revered and used in practice by many.

Unsavory circumstances will find us all. Death, divorce, taxes, family drama, layoffs, wars, hunger, etc., are all things that suck.

But how much they suck is up to us.

I’m getting better at acknowledging problems as they come into my life. Interestingly, when I have the intention of trying to solve them, they aren’t problems anymore. Instead, they are one of many moments that I am simply trying to resolve.

All of life is resolution in some capacity.

Perhaps this frame of mind can help you look at your problems as something that simply needs to be dealt with.

Problems of any kind aren’t a death sentence.

Maybe it’s just an opportunity for growth.

Maybe the problems are life’s way to make our brittle spirits stronger and more resilient.

Maybe they are gifts in disguise from a source that’s rooting for us to win.

With love,



Anand Swamy

I write about personal development and self awareness.