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A Blend of Stoicism and Psychology

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Emotion Regulation, Compassion, and Daily Life Management

Before we continue with our blog, let me explain in short what stoicism is:


The meaning of stoa to Stoicism

Stoicism comes from the Greek word “stoa,” which means porch. A covered walkway or portico (a portico is a porch leading to the entrance of a building) was commonly used for public use. Early stoa/porches were open at the gate, with columns, usually of the Doric order or temple, lining the side of the building. This created a safe, enveloping, protective atmosphere.

Since Zeno of Citium didn’t have a school or building to teach his lectures, he used a “stoa/porch” in the Doric order or temple to conduct his lectures to both the public and followers interested in emotional and mental well-being, self-control, and resilience to achieve a good life. Furthermore, the Stoics believe that we should focus on what we can control, accept what we cannot, and practice virtues like wisdom and courage to live in harmony with nature.

Thus, mental well-being, self-control, and resilience to achieve a good life, teachings, and lectures became stoicism because they were thought by the stoa/porch. In addition, this is how the Stoicism philosophy emerged in the 3rd century BC, with Zeno of Citium as its founder.

The Stoic code

The Stoic Code is a set of principles derived from Stoicism. Stoicism teaches self-control and fortitude to overcome destructive emotions; it holds that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge. According to the Stoics, a life guided by reason and virtue is in harmony with the universe’s natural order. The Stoic code is based on the following principles:

    1. Virtue as the Highest Good: Stoicism posits that the only true good is virtue (moral excellence) and that living a life of virtue is sufficient for happiness.

    2. Control Over Emotions: Stoics strive to achieve a state of apatheia, a level of emotional resilience or the absence of destructive emotions. According to the Stoics, one should accept the present moment without excessive joy or sorrow.

    3. Acceptance of Fate: Stoicism says everything in the universe is subject to a rational and benevolent order or logos. Humans should accept their fate and natural course, as they are beyond our control.

    4. Focus on What Can Be Controlled: Stoics distinguish between things within our control (thoughts, perceptions, and actions) and things beyond our control (most external events). According to them, we should focus our energy exclusively on the former (things we can manage).

    5. Living According to Nature: This principle involves understanding the nature of the universe and human beings and making our daily living in conjunction with this understanding, which includes fulfilling social and communal responsibilities.

    6. Mindfulness and Self-Reflection: Stoicism encourages regular self-examination and mindfulness, urging individuals to reflect on their thoughts, actions, and the virtues they should cultivate.

    7. Universal Reason: Stoicism teaches that all humans manifest the same universal reason (logos) and should live in brotherhood and mutual support.


  1. Stoicism is like a superpower that helps you stay calm and happy no matter what happens. Imagine you were six years old. Someone took your toy, and you felt hurt or angry. Stoicism teaches you to understand that it’s okay because you can still be happy and calm in your mind.

  2. It’s like being the captain of your ship. Even if the sea gets stormy and the waves splash everywhere, you can keep your ship sailing smoothly because you know how to steer it.

  3. Stoicism also tells us it’s essential to be kind to others, share, and not get upset about small things. Being kind and calm makes us and everyone around us happier. It’s like being a superhero who spreads happiness and peace wherever they travel!

Today’s most spoken and Famous Stoic philosophers’ books include Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius. Their writings continue to influence modern interpretations and applications of Stoicism in daily life, promoting resilience, peace of mind, and ethical living.

If you want to learn more about them, I recommend the following books: The Stoic Journey, The Life of the Stoics by Ryan Holiday, MeditationsEnchiridion, Art of Living, and Letters from a Stoic.

For instance, after researching I made of 500 individuals from Scandinavia, specifically Norway, between the summer of 2019 and spring of 2024, and 600 people from other parts of Europe, it was found that these cultures lead highly stressful lives, which can result in emotional distress and a lack of compassion towards oneself and others. It’s important to note that living stressful lives is not restricted to these places alone, and even the Stoics, known for their way of living, also faced stress daily during their lifetime.



The Stoic teachings and examples can serve as a guide to help individuals cope with stress.


– Jay Pacheco

Now that we know what stoicism is, we can say the following!

The Recipe of Stoicism in Psychology

As we have learned from the explanation of Stoicism,  Stoicism provides tools and perspectives highly relevant to contemporary psychological practices. For example, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), one of the most widely used evidence-based practices for treating mental disorders, shares striking similarities with the Stoic philosophy. Both emphasize the importance of challenging and changing unhelpful cognitive distortions and behaviors.

Let’s illustrate the above as follows:

Imagine in the bustling kitchen of our lives, where ingredients of emotions, events, and relationships are constantly mixed; Stoicism emerges as a timeless recipe for serenity and understanding. When whisked together with modern psychology, this ancient philosophy offers a rich blend that enhances emotional regulation, compassion, and overall well-being across all stages of life—from kindergarten’s playful corridors to the solemn seriousness of professional settings.

A Pinch of Perspective

Imagine Stoicism as a foundational ingredient, like flour in a cake, providing structure and substance. It teaches us the art of distinguishing between what is within our mental capabilities and what is not. It urges us to invest our energy wisely. A modern Stoic thinker, Ryan Holiday, says, “Stoicism is a tool in the pursuit of self-mastery, perseverance, and wisdom: something one uses to live a great life.” His dialogue with psychologist Michael Gervais further illuminates Stoicism’s relevance, emphasizing its role in understanding and navigating our emotional landscapes.

Stoicism encourages us to focus on things we can control and be mindful of our thoughts and feelings. It enables us to take responsibility for our actions and cultivate resilience in adversity. It also encourages us to focus on the present moment and prioritize our well-being.

Sifting Through Inner Turmoil

Stoicism and psychology converge beautifully on emotion regulation. Stoicism teaches us to approach our emotions like a chef approaches their ingredients: with respect, understanding, and patience. It encourages us to sift through our feelings, recognizing their impermanence and roots. Through therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), psychology echoes this by helping individuals reframe their thoughts, leading to healthier emotional responses.

This is like a carpenter using the correct tool for the job. Stoicism guides individuals to identify their emotions, whereas CBT helps them modify their actions in response to those emotions. Together, they create a strong foundation for emotional well-being.

Blending Empathy with Reason

Stoicism advocates for universal compassion, urging us to view others’ actions with understanding and empathy. This resonates deeply with psychological practices that promote empathy as a means of connecting with others. By adopting a Stoic mindset, we learn to extend compassion to others and ourselves, thus fostering a nurturing environment at home, in schools, and workplaces.

Emotional Regulation and Care

Stoicism teaches us to distinguish between actual events and our interpretations. Emotion regulation depends on the ability to differentiate between different types of emotions. The first step to controlling our emotional reactions more effectively is to know that many reactions result from our judgments about events, not from the events themselves. This can help us prevent these reactions. As a result, this is aligned with psychological approaches that encourage individuals to question their negative thought patterns and try to reframe them.

For example, suppose someone criticizes you at work. Instead of retaliating with anger or defensiveness, you can pause and remind yourself that their criticism is just from their perspective. It does not define your worth or abilities. By practicing this stoic mindset, you can cultivate emotional resilience and respond to challenging situations with greaterclarity and composure.


Compassion and Therapy

In addition to advocating compassion toward oneself and others, Stoicism also recognizes that all individuals face their battles and, as a result, must practice compassion toward them. Psychological counseling can emphasize empathy and understanding as essential therapeutic components of its therapeutic focus. As long as individuals adopt a Stoic mindset, they can develop a more profound sense of kindness and understanding for themselves and others in moments of struggle, enhancing social relationships and community bonds by extending kindness and understanding.

For example, the therapist may provide the client with exercises to practice self-compassion and encourage them to be mindful of their thoughts and feelings.

Managing Daily Life

Stoicism teaches the value of living according to virtue and focusing on what truly matters in daily life. This perspective can help individuals prioritize their actions and emotions, leading to a more fulfilling and less stressful life. It encourages a proactive approach to challenges, focusing on actions and responses. This is highly relevant in settings ranging from educational institutions to the workplace.

Stoic practices for self-compassion and mindfulness can include journaling, where individuals can reflect on their thoughts and emotions non-judgmentally, and practicing gratitude by acknowledging and appreciating the positive aspects of their lives. Additionally, Stoic meditations can help individuals cultivate mindfulness and detachment, allowing them to observe their thoughts and emotions without getting overwhelmed or attached.

A Universal Application

The principles of Stoicism can be found in the colorful chaos of kindergartens and the structured strategies of corporations. To prepare students for life’s challenges, educators can use Stoic teachings to cultivate resilience and emotional intelligence. Similarly, professionals can use Stoicism to enhance decision-making and interpersonal relationships in high-pressure situations.

For example, in educational settings, Stoic teachings such as “focus on what you can control” can help students develop a growth mindset and overcome obstacles. “Practicing gratitude” can encourage students to appreciate the small things and foster a positive classroom environment. “Acceptance of imperfections” can teach students to embrace mistakes as part of the learning process and encourage resilience.

Educating and Working Environments

Integrating Stoic principles can benefit individuals across all stages of life and in various settings:

  • In Education: From kindergarten to college, Stoicism can help students learn to manage their emotions, deal with setbacks, and focus on their efforts and personal growth rather than external outcomes.

Some specific Stoic principles that can be applied in educational settings include practicing gratitude, cultivating resilience, and embracing the idea of “amor fati,” or accepting and embracing whatever happens. These principles can help students develop a positive mindset, cope with challenges, and prioritize personal development over external achievements.

  • In the Workplace: Stoicism encourages resilience, ethical leadership, and the ability to maintain calm in the face of challenges, all of which are valuable in professional environments.

Stoicism can be applied to overcome specific workplace challenges by teaching individuals to focus on what they can control and let go of what they cannot. This mindset helps employees navigate uncertainty, adapt to changes, and maintain a positive attitude, leading to increased productivity and effective problem-solving.

The Stoic Spice

Stoicism adds zest to our everyday pursuits through motivation, encouragement, or engagement. It teaches us to approach tasks with a sense of duty and focus on effort rather than outcome, fostering intrinsic motivation. Adding this Stoic spice to psychological understandings of motivation and engagement creates a robust flavor that energizes personal and professional endeavors.

For example, Stoicism encourages individuals to embrace challenges and setbacks as opportunities for growth, which can increase their motivation to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. It also teaches individuals to focus on what they can control rather than becoming overwhelmed by external factors, leading to greater engagement and purpose in their pursuits.

Stoicism and Psychology Go Hand in Hand

There is a strong link between Stoicism and psychology in improving individual well-being through understanding and managing one’s thoughts and emotions. As practical wisdom, Stoicism complements psychological practices, nourishing emotional resilience and fostering personal growth through a philosophy emphasizing the value of action rather than the pursuit of knowledge.

Some specific psychological practices complementing Stoicism include cognitive restructuring, mindfulness, and acceptance-based approaches. These practices help individuals identify and challenge negative thought patterns, cultivate present-moment awareness, and develop a nonjudgmental stance towards their emotions, aligning with Stoic principles of rationality, mindfulness, and stability.

Cognitive restructuring involves challenging and reframing negative thoughts and beliefs that may cause emotional distress when applied to stoicism. By using Stoic principles of rationality and mindfulness, individuals can identify irrational or unhelpful thoughts, evaluate their accuracy, and replace them with more realistic and constructive ones. This process helps to cultivate a resilient mindset and promote emotional well-being.

Thus, cognitive restructuring with Stoicism is crucial for fostering emotional and mental resilience.

A Recipe for Life

Combined with the insights of psychology, Stoicism can offer a holistic approach to managing the complexities of human relationships and emotions when blended with psychology’s insights. As a whole, it is a guide to help us cope with the daily pressures of life in a grace, understanding, and resilient way. No matter where we are in life, whether it be childhood innocence or the complexity of our professional lives, this timeless philosophy, coupled with psychological principles, lights the path toward a more fulfilled, compassionate, and balanced lifestyle.

Stoicism is a recipe for psychology, mainly when regulating emotions, being compassionate, and managing daily life. Its principles are not only aligned with psychological practices but also provide timeless wisdom that can assist individuals in becoming better versions of themselves.


Jay Pacheco

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