Practical Epicurean Therapeutics: Tips on dealing with worry

  • Here is a list of possible worries with possible practical solutions and Epicurean philosophy contemplations. Epicurean philosophy may not have direct answers to all of these worries, but understanding the nature of the world and the cosmos as being material (and not supernatural) will lead to a very practical and matter-of-fact way of dealing with life's problem. I will update this with a few more references to the philosophy soon. Do you see any "worries" that are missing?

    Worrying about not having enough money to buy necessities.
    Which necessities? Prioritize the most important. Spend less money on what you buy (make a budget). Go back to work, or get a second job.
    Worrying about not being able to get or hold onto a job or the experience of losing a job.
    See what lines of work need workers. Get training. Research (or ask) about how to increase skills on your current job. Get counseling.
    Worrying about not having friends or not being able to make or keep friends.
    Research how to make and keep friends. Get out and meet people by doing activities in which you will meet people with similar interests. Keep in touch and invest time in your current friendships. Get counseling.
    Worrying about wanting a girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse but not being able to get one.
    Research all the important aspects involvled in how to find a partner. Get counseling.
    Worrying about difficulty getting along with family, spouse, friends, or boss.
    Research communication/mediation techniques. Choose to remove yourself from a situation that is abusive or toxic. Get counseling.
    Worrying about the well-being of kids, spouse, family, or friends.
    Talk to someone else to determine if your worries are realistic. Offer support but realize you can't control others. Research or get help for your kids if they are still minors.
    Worrying about your own health, the experience of being sick, or dying.
    Get evaluated by a doctor. Research about health issues. Contemplate the nature of death. Spend more time with friends and family. Add more pleasures into your life. Get counseling.
    PD02 and PD04
    Worrying about your reputation, or being judged as "not good enough" at work, or by family, spouse, or friends.Consider how to make prudent decisions and act in a prudent manner. Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good. Realise you can't please people who have unrealistic expectations. Find a different job or different friends. Get counseling.
    VS15, VS64, VS70
    Worrying about how to make the right decision.
    Write out a list of pros and cons for each possible choice, and be sure to list both short-term and long-term possible outcomes. Research decision making methods. Talk to a friend or get counseling.
    and VS71
    Worrying about the current state of the world, the future state of the world, or civilization coming to an end.
    Understand what things you can and can't influence or take action on. Research things to get a big picture view. Make peace with the understanding that there are uncertainties regarding the length of one's life. Talk to a friend or get counseling.
    Worrying about not having enough time, being disorganized, or struggling with household management.
    Research time management tips, organizing tips, or household management. Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good. Decide what is most important to you in your life and simplify your life by eliminating things which aren't necessary.VS41
    Worrying about death or the idea of existence after death, God, or perceptions of paranormal/supernatural.
    Reflect on Epicurean teachings on the nature of death, God, and the material qualities of the world. Get medication if you are having hallucinations. Get therapy.
    Worrying that you are somehow different than everyone else and don't fit in.
    Don't let consumerist-culture dictate to you who is "cool", smart, or beautiful. Find and focus on your own unique strengths and gifts. Focus on activities in which you find pleasure and enjoyment. Find friends who have similar hobbies and interests, and accept you for who you are. If you are struggling with a disability, find a therapist or support group.
  • So my take from this excellent list is that there's no need to live in worry or anxiety about these things if there are practical solutions to resolve them.

  • This is awesome! I've been playing with the idea (once suggested to me by Hiram , which I still think is a great idea), of creating an Epicurean equivalent to the "Bible Verses When You're Feeling..." Section at the end of many modern copies of the New Testament ... you've already started it with the references to the Key Doctrines!

    I have been reading and (attempting) to move through De Rerum Natura in the original Latin, and I am finding a lot of really excellent, poignant, insightful, eloquent lines that I would like to begin organizing into something comparable.

    Please keep adding to this list and I will eventually have more to share.

  • being judged as "not good enough"

    I would add under this one (and likely with application to others as well) understanding and accepting – and even celebrating – who you are, regardless of where you fall on the “spectrum” or other’s judgments or perceived judgments.

    When I discovered late in life (in my mid-to-late 50s) that I have ADHD, it was really a relief: “Oh, that’s what I’ve been struggling with all these years!” I read into some literature about it, and decided to reject the “disability” D. It’s just how my brain works, with advantages and drawbacks just like anyone else – even as it puts me outside the mainstream “normal.”

    Similarly with my pronounced introversion (which I’ve always been aware of). I suspect that it influenced my active imagination (even as that often got me into trouble in grade school).

    Just the realizations – and contemplating them – was therapeutic, relieving a great deal of τᾰρᾰχή in my life (far less struggle than in my young and midlife years).

    Being “different” I think has given me a certain sense of empathy for others: each individual is “different” – even when they try to squeeze themselves into this or that box labeled “normalcy” or “acceptability.” That might be the primary “communication skill” that allowed me to function with others in an extroverted world, both socially and in terms of work. (Although, as an introvert, I don’t always “play well with others”. 8o ) Even as the ADHD tends to make my communication efforts as non-linear and catawampus as my thinking.


    In reference to @Kalosyni’s suggestion about counseling, I might suggest Codependents Anonymous (CODA) as one possibility, even just reading up on it.

  • Just linking my "Epicurean Verses When You're Feeling..." post/file to this thread: