So. I don’t know whether this is true. But I keep thinking the Stoic tools are connected. Let’s see.
You feel unhappy. There are a couple of possible reasons.
- Your life is actually fine, but you don’t feel fine about it. Negative Visualization to the rescue! Remind yourself that it could be worse.
- Compare “me now” to the hypothetical “me later”, looking back on you doing this particular activity right now, for the last time.
- Compare “me” to “someone else”, looking at your life and thinking, that’s a good life, better than mine anyway.
- Compare “me now” to “me later”, looking back on your life right now and being nostalgic.
- Bonus points: at bedtime, consider, did you remember to use the above described tool today?
- Your life, admittedly, has some problems.
- Look for the silver linings.
- Imagine that all this is happening to toughen you up. That you’re being tested.
There are also some general techniques.
- Regarding feeling unhappy:
- Do some hard stuff on purpose. It will feel unpleasant in the moment. But it will be good training for other unpleasant times.
- Regarding seeking out happy moments:
- Practice awe.
- Practice delight.
Does this work? What do you think?