I have been experiencing a high level of anxiety for the past week or so. There are periods of time when I am particularly high-strung. I’m learning to recognise these moments.
I’m learning to develop strategies to deal with them.
The Nov 12th issue of the Daily Stoic email newsletter spoke about tranquility and was a good reminder on building my “inner citadel”. Marcus Aurelius cultivated his by journalling.
Ada Palmer (a historian, professor and novelist), who was highlighted in this issue of the newsletter, uses a strategy that requires “stopping, reframing, changing perspectives”.
She sometimes imagines life as “being a guest at a banquet”.
“Many great platters are being passed around for you to take from, but occasionally one arrives already empty, everyone else has already taken it all,” she says.
She reminds herself that the food “was a gift” from the host, that “you didn’t really need it, there is plenty of other food”.
“Sometimes just thinking about that can make me less upset by something,” she says.
“Cultivating your inner citadel doesn’t mean reaching a point where one is immune to life’s disturbances,” goes the Daily Stoic.
“It’s about having your systems in place, your battle-tested line of defence ready to fend off those disturbances when they inevitably show up.”
I’m trying to improve my systems.