He wore a toga and spoke Latin. This ancient philosopher can help you survive the anxiety of the 2024 election

He wore a toga and spoke Latin. This ancient philosopher can help you survive the anxiety of the 2024 election

Ancient Wisdom for Modern Anxieties: Marcus Aurelius and the 2024 Election

In the tumultuous world of modern politics, it can be all too easy to succumb to anxieties, stress, and uncertainty. With the upcoming

2024 Election

looming on the horizon, many individuals find themselves feeling overwhelmed and worried about the future. However, there is much that we can learn from the ancient world, particularly from the wisdom of the great Roman philosopher

Marcus Aurelius


Born in

AD 121-180

, Marcus Aurelius was a renowned Stoic philosopher and the

Roman Emperor

from AD 161 to 180. Despite ruling during a time of war and political turmoil, Marcus Aurelius remained steadfast in his beliefs and practices, which he documented in his famous work “Meditations”.

One of the key tenets of Stoicism is the belief that individuals have the power to control their own reactions and emotions, even in the face of external circumstances. This idea can be particularly relevant for those feeling anxious about the upcoming election. As Marcus Aurelius wrote:

“The things which are not subject to our control are only the things that we think cannot be controlled by us, but in fact, if we merely give them up they are no longer able to cause any trouble.”
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book IV, 21

By focusing on what we can control – our thoughts, actions, and reactions – rather than the external circumstances that are beyond our influence, we can reduce feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. Additionally, practicing mindfulness and gratitude can help us stay present and grounded during times of stress.

Another important aspect of Stoicism is the idea that all things, including elections, are part of the natural order of the universe. Rather than seeing external events as threats or sources of anxiety, Stoics believe that they are merely opportunities for growth and learning. In the words of Marcus Aurelius:

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book II, 14

By adopting this perspective and focusing on our own reactions and responses rather than the outcome of the election itself, we can find peace and calm in even the most uncertain of times.

He wore a toga and spoke Latin. This ancient philosopher can help you survive the anxiety of the 2024 election


As the countdown to the 2024 election begins, anxiety levels among citizens are reaching an all-time high. The uncertainty and tension surrounding political campaigns can be overwhelming, leaving many feeling stressed, anxious, and uncertain about the future. This is a problem that transcends borders and affects people across the globe. But what if there was a way to cope with this anxiety and find inner peace, no matter the outcome of the election? Enter Marcus Aurelius, an ancient Roman philosopher whose teachings on stoicism continue to provide valuable insights for navigating stress and anxiety in our modern world.

Explanation of Election Anxiety

Election anxiety is a real phenomenon, and it’s not hard to see why. The constant stream of news, social media, and political ads can be exhausting, not to mention the fear of the unknown that comes with a contested election. Add in the polarizing nature of modern politics and it’s no wonder many people feel stressed and anxious leading up to the big day.

Marcus Aurelius: An Ancient Philosopher for Modern Times

Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) was a Roman Emperor and philosopher who is perhaps best known for his Meditations, a collection of reflections on life and philosophy. Despite ruling during one of the most turbulent periods in Roman history, Marcus Aurelius managed to maintain a calm and centered perspective throughout his life. His teachings on stoicism offer practical wisdom for dealing with anxiety and stress, making him an invaluable resource for anyone looking to find inner peace in the midst of political uncertainty.

He wore a toga and spoke Latin. This ancient philosopher can help you survive the anxiety of the 2024 election

Background on Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD), a renowned figure in the history of both Rome and philosophy, was born in the ancient city of Raetia, present-day Bozen in Italy. He began his political career as a military officer and rose through the ranks to become the Roman Emperor in 161 AD, ruling alongside his co-emperor Lucius Verus until Verus’ death in 169. Aurelius was not only a successful emperor, renowned for his military conquests and peaceful reign, but also an ardent follower of Stoic philosophy.

Description of his major works

The philosophical inclinations of Marcus Aurelius are best represented by his personal writings, later published as Meditations. These profound reflections on life, morality, and the universe were not meant for public consumption but rather served as a spiritual exercise for the emperor himself. The Meditations, written primarily in Greek, consist of 12 books with over 100 chapters. They have endured through the centuries as a testament to Marcus Aurelius’ wisdom and have significantly influenced numerous philosophers, political figures, and scholars.

The Influence of Stoicism

Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, deeply rooted in the Stoic philosophy of Seneca, Epictetus, and other great thinkers of his time, emphasize the importance of living according to nature (i.e., reason or virtue) and accepting the things that are beyond one’s control as part of the natural order. He encourages readers to focus on their own responses to events instead of the events themselves and to live in harmony with nature, thus attaining inner peace and wisdom.


The legacy of Marcus Aurelius extends far beyond Rome’s borders. His Meditations have been translated into various languages and continue to inspire countless individuals throughout history, including artists, writers, politicians, and scholars. Today, Marcus Aurelius’ philosophical musings remain a cornerstone of Western thought on ethics, morality, and the pursuit of a good life.

He wore a toga and spoke Latin. This ancient philosopher can help you survive the anxiety of the 2024 election

I Stoic Philosophy and Anxiety Management

Stoicism is an ancient philosophical school of thought that originated in Greece around 300 BIt is known for its focus on personal ethics and the pursuit of inner calm, which can be particularly relevant in the context of anxiety management.

Explanation of Stoicism:

At its core, Stoicism teaches that individuals should strive to live in harmony with nature and accept the reality of things as they are, rather than being controlled by their emotions or external events.

Role of Emotions:

Emotions play a significant role in Stoic philosophy, but they are not seen as inherently good or bad. Instead, it is our judgment of these emotions that determines their value. Stoics believe that we have the power to control our reactions to emotional experiences, rather than being swept away by them.

The Concept of “Virtue”:

The ultimate goal of Stoicism is to cultivate virtue, which is understood as a state of character that enables us to live in accordance with nature. Virtue includes traits such as wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance. By focusing on developing these virtues, Stoics believe that we can improve our ability to manage anxiety and other negative emotions.

Stoic Techniques for Coping with Anxiety:

Stoicism offers several techniques that can be helpful in managing anxiety.

Cognitive Restructuring:

One key technique is cognitive restructuring, which involves focusing on our thoughts rather than the external events that trigger anxiety. By recognizing and challenging negative thought patterns, we can learn to respond to situations in a more balanced and rational way.

Acceptance of the Present Moment:

Another Stoic principle is the importance of accepting the present moment and letting go of the past or future. Anxiety often arises from worrying about things that have not yet happened or dwelling on past events. By focusing on the present, we can reduce our emotional reactivity and improve our overall sense of calm and peace.

Emotional Detachment:

Finally, Stoics emphasize emotional detachment, which means recognizing that our emotions are not inherently good or bad but are responses to our thoughts. By learning to observe our emotions with curiosity and compassion rather than being consumed by them, we can develop greater resilience and inner strength in the face of anxiety and other challenges.

He wore a toga and spoke Latin. This ancient philosopher can help you survive the anxiety of the 2024 election

Applying Stoic Wisdom to the 2024 Election

Stoicism, an ancient philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens around 300 BCE, offers valuable insights for managing anxiety and stress surrounding political events, such as the upcoming 2024 election. Marcus Aurelius, one of the most famous Stoic philosophers, taught that individuals have the power to control their own responses to external circumstances and focus on what they can influence directly.

Discussion of how Marcus Aurelius’ teachings can help individuals manage anxiety surrounding the election

First, let us consider how Marcus Aurelius’ teachings can help individuals manage anxiety surrounding the election. Stoicism encourages us to shift our focus from external events that are beyond our control to our personal actions and thoughts. By recognizing that we cannot change the outcome of the election, we can instead concentrate on what we can do: educate ourselves about the candidates and issues, vote with intention, and practice managing our reactions to news and events.

Encouragement to focus on personal actions and thoughts rather than external events

Marcus Aurelius wrote, “The things which are not subject to our control are only the things which we do not care for, but over which if we may have a desire, it must be with pain. For it is not possible that he should desire the things which are not in his power, and at the same time have a sound mind.” By focusing on our personal actions and thoughts rather than the election’s outcome, we can maintain peace of mind and avoid unnecessary anxiety.

Practical exercises based on Stoic principles to help manage election anxiety

Here are some practical exercises based on Stoic principles that can help manage election anxiety:

Daily reflections on personal values and goals

Take time each day to reflect on your core values and goals, rather than getting caught up in the news cycle. Consider how your actions align with these principles and what steps you can take to move closer to your objectives.

Practicing emotional detachment through mindfulness meditation or journaling

Develop the habit of practicing emotional detachment by engaging in regular mindfulness meditation, journaling, or other calming practices. By focusing on the present moment and observing your thoughts without judgment, you can learn to let go of negative emotions and reactions.

Developing a plan of action for managing reactions to election news and events

Create a plan for managing your reactions to election news and events. Identify triggers that cause anxiety or strong emotions, and establish strategies for dealing with them, such as limiting exposure to certain sources of information or practicing deep breathing exercises.

He wore a toga and spoke Latin. This ancient philosopher can help you survive the anxiety of the 2024 election


Marcus Aurelius, the ancient Roman Stoic philosopher, offers valuable insights that can help individuals navigate the anxiety and stress of the

2024 election

. His teachings encourage us to focus on what we can control, accept what is outside our sphere of influence with equanimity, and practice the art of self-mastery. By doing so, we can minimize our emotional reactions to election-related events and maintain a sense of inner peace.

Recap of Marcus Aurelius’ Teachings

Marcus Aurelius reminds us that the external world, including election outcomes, is beyond our control. Instead of wasting energy on things we cannot change, we should focus our efforts on what we can influence – our thoughts, actions, and reactions. He encourages us to adopt an attitude of indifference towards the uncertain outcome of the election, recognizing that our happiness should not be contingent upon it. Furthermore, by practicing Stoic virtues such as wisdom, courage, justice, and self-control, we can cultivate emotional resilience that will serve us well during this time of political uncertainty.

Encouragement to Explore Stoicism

As we approach the 2024 election, it is essential that we continue to explore and apply Stoic philosophy as a valuable resource for managing anxiety. Stoicism can help us develop the emotional resilience necessary to weather the storm of election-related stressors. By focusing on what we can control and accepting the uncertainty of external events, we can reduce our emotional reactions and maintain a sense of inner peace. Moreover, Stoicism offers practical tools for managing stress, improving decision-making, and fostering positive relationships – skills that are essential for navigating life’s challenges beyond the election cycle.

Call to Action

We invite you to further engage with Stoic philosophy and its practical applications for emotional resilience. Start by reading Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations or other works by Stoic philosophers. Join a local Stoic study group or online community to learn from and engage with like-minded individuals. Practice Stoic exercises daily to develop your emotional resilience and cultivate inner peace. And most importantly, share the wisdom of Stoicism with others – together, we can build a community of individuals who are better equipped to navigate life’s challenges, including the anxiety and stress of the 2024 election.