Today we are going to embark on a journey through time to explore the profound evening habits of Stoic philosophers like Marcus Aurelius. These ancient practices, often overlooked in our fast-paced modern lives, offer timeless wisdom that can significantly enhance our well-being and bring balance to our daily routines.
Best-selling author Tim Ferriss describes Stoic philosophy as: “An ideal operating system for thriving in high-stress environments.”
- Reflection and Gratitude:
Stoics believed in the power of self-reflection as a means to gain better control over one's emotions and actions. Marcus Aurelius, in his Meditations, often practiced an evening review where he reflected on the events of the day. This habit allowed him to assess his actions, cultivate gratitude, and identify areas for improvement.
In our constantly connected world, taking a moment to reflect on the positives of the day can foster a sense of gratitude and mindfulness. It's a simple yet powerful practice that can lead to increased happiness and a more positive outlook on life.
- Philosophical Reading:
Stoics were avid readers, using literature to expand their understanding of the world and deepen their philosophical insights. Marcus Aurelius, for instance, dedicated time in the evening to engage with the works of great thinkers.
Incorporating reading into our evening routine can be a gateway to self-improvement and personal growth. It allows us to disconnect from the noise of the day and immerse ourselves in the timeless wisdom of literature, providing a serene end to the day.
- Mindful Preparation for Tomorrow:
Stoics understood the importance of preparing for the challenges of the next day. Marcus Aurelius would use his evenings to plan for potential obstacles, ensuring he faced them with a calm and composed mind.
Taking a few moments to plan for the next day can reduce stress and contribute to a more organized and focused mindset. By anticipating challenges, we empower ourselves to approach them with resilience and confidence.
- Embracing Silence and Stillness:
Stoics valued moments of solitude and silence. Evening hours provided them with an opportunity to detach from the chaos of the external world and connect with their inner selves.
In the age of constant digital stimulation, finding time for silence and stillness is a rare gift. Embracing this Stoic practice can lead to enhanced mental clarity, improved concentration, and a deeper connection to our own thoughts and emotions.
As we delve into the evening habits of Stoic philosophers, let us consider incorporating these ancient practices into our own lives. By rediscovering these timeless rituals, that has stood the test of time (~1,850 years) we may find the keys to a more balanced, mindful, and fulfilling existence.
Stay tuned for more insights and inspiration from Midsummer-Milano.
The SleepWell Team