Today, I will discuss the best ways to overcome your fear, anxiety, and pain.
Table of Contents
- A Word On Fear, Anxiety, and Pain
- You Defeat Fear By Reducing Your Vices
- List your vices.
- What do you gain through your vices?
- What would you gain back if you gave up your vices?
- Work on overcoming smaller vices then move to the larger ones.
- You Overcome Anxiety By Attending To Your Virtues
- Be generous
- Understand your life’s purpose
- Attend to your daily responsibilities
- Pursue virtue
- You Shoulder Pain By Understanding Your Goals
- Define your goals and pursue them
- Act virtuously
- Lessen the suffering of others
- You’ll Never Be Completely Free
- Reading List
A Word On Fear, Anxiety, and Pain
“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” – Søren Kierkegaard
Fear, anxiety, and pain are essential. Fear warns you of potential dangers. Anxiety reminds you of your mortality and responsibilities. Pain prevents you from pursuing what harms you. Therefore, your goal is to make these elements serve your virtuous ends.
You should never eliminate fear, anxiety, and pain from your life. Why? Because they can guide you down the best paths, but only if you control them. If you could maintain your anxiety, how clearer would your thoughts become? If you could understand your fear and ensure it gives you the best advice, how well would you perform? If you could shoulder the pain of the challenges you know you have to face, how much farther could you go?
Today, we will explore how defeating your vices, pursuing virtue, and having a meaningful life gives you strength over your fear, anxiety, and pain.
You Defeat Fear By Reducing Your Vices
“Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems” – Epictetus
Fear arises from not understanding the future and what one is capable of. Where will you be tomorrow? Will you be closer to your goals or deeper in your vices?
Weak individuals fear tomorrow because tomorrow is full of promises they cannot fulfill. If we are addicted to our vices, then we will lack time, energy, and effort. Without these elements, weak individuals cannot create a tomorrow worth experiencing. For example, people fear bills because they overspend. If individuals had a budget and savings, then bills and unexpected expenses are significantly less terrifying.
But how do you overcome your fear? By defeating your vices. Let’s take notes.
- List your vices. Do you overeat? Look at porn? What actions rob you of time, energy, and resources? What activities make you feel shame or guilt?
- What do you gain by pursuing these vices? How do they make you feel?
- Hold on to the feelings you experience. Now, focus on the fear and uncertainty these vices promote. Is the exchange worth it? Furthermore, what could you gain if you overcome these vices?
- Lastly, we start small. Work on the smaller vices. Conquer these by setting goals and finding substitutes. “I will defeat X by this date.” Cut back a little at a time. Once you defeat the small vices, then you can move to the bigger ones. If smaller vices resurface, then pull back and regroup. Why did you fall back to bad habits? How can you prevent this in the future?
Be humble and embrace your failures. You were not created for perfection. However, the more you fight your vices, the less you have to fear.
You Overcome Anxiety By Attending To Your Virtues
Weak individuals are anxious because they have goals but do not work towards them. Their lives are oriented towards our culture’s worst aspects.
You control anxiety by increasing your virtues. Attending to your best aspects will give you the confidence you need. If you improve as a person, you can improve the world around you.
Where do you start?
- Generosity. Give gifts to, listen to, and spend more time with your family and friends. From here, give your time, energy, or money to your community. Ensure they take what you give them and improve themselves. Never be generous without expectation.
- Next, understand your life goals. What do you need to do before you die? Create a game plan and orient your day around fulfilling small goals that feed into your life purposes.
- Additionally, attend to your daily responsibilities. Are you performing well at your job? Spending time with your family? Taking care of your health? If you perform your daily duties as admirably as possible, then your anxiety will fade.
- Lastly, keep the virtues at heart. Are you courageous? Are you persisting through pain and doubts? Are you grateful for everything you have?
Once you improve your character, your anxiety does what it should: push you. Your anxiety, when properly wielded, gently reminds you of your responsibilities and mortality. The more virtuous you are, the less likely your stress will be a nagging voice, forcing you to inaction.
You Shoulder Pain By Understanding Your Goals
“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Life is complicated, and you can never rid yourself of suffering. The best way to endure pain is through purpose. And you find meaning through your virtues and goals. You find purpose by living for the best within yourself and others.
Purpose reminds us the pain we are suffering through is smaller than the goodness we will accomplish. For example, if you want to get in shape, you will deal with exercise pain. However, the benefits of improved health, an attractive body, and better endurance will overcome the temporary discomfort of working out.
How do you start with overcoming your pain?
- Have life goals and do all you can to accomplish them. Set smaller goals to direct your actions towards your life’s purpose.
- Study the 13 virtues and live them as entirely as you can.
- Aim to lessen others’ suffering by volunteering, being a good friend, and always remaining loyal to virtuous individuals. When you focus on alleviating the pain of others, then your pain diminishes.
You’ll Never Be Completely Free
You are human. Therefore, you’ll always have fears, anxieties, and pains. There’s no way to completely escape life’s discomforts.
As with almost all things in life, your path towards peace of mind and happiness is through self-improvement and virtue. Please do not buy the nonsense you can overcome your sufferings without considerable effort. Your vices can distract you from the fears, anxieties, and pains of life, but the high always has to end.
Instead, go forward and live the best life you can.
“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.” – J.K. Rowling
- The Art of Manliness Anxiety posts
- A Stoic Response to Anxiety by the Daily Stoic
- The School of Anxiety is The School of Greatness by The Academy of Ideas
- The Jonah Complex and the Fear of Greatness by The Academy of Ideas
- You May Be Strong . . . But Are You Tough? by the Art of Manliness
- Stoicism and Pain Management: 4 Techniques Practiced By Marcus Aurelius by the Daily Stoic
- A Stoic Response to Pain by the Daily Stoic
- A Stoic Response to Fear by the Daily Stoic
- How To Not Fear Death by the Daily Stoic
- Fear and Social Control by The Academy of Ideas
- What do you fear? Why are you afraid of these particular things?
- What are you anxious about? Why? Can you do anything about what causes you anxiety?
- What pains do you experience? Are they primarily physical or mental?
- List your vices. Why do you have these vices? What do they do for you? Help you forget about your past? Or make you feel better about yourself?
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.