Stoicism: Advice for Young People

How can Ancient Wisdom Help the Youth of Today?

Words of advice for young people? I’m a cognitive-behavioural psychotherapist and the author of several books on Stoic philosophy. I’m always giving talks and workshops on self-improvement, or talking to people about ways we can help ourselves grow more emotionally resilient. There’s a perennial question that keeps coming up in these sort of conversations whenever a good idea emerges — why isn’t this being taught in schools?

There are a lot of important things we don’t teach young people, for some reason. Probably far too many to list here. (Although we’re well into the 21st century now, most of the time they’re still not even being taught proper sex education!) So I’ve set myself the more modest goal of explaining three basic lessons from Stoic philosophy, which might be of particular interest to younger people.

  1. Our thoughts shape our feelings
  2. Getting upset involves selective thinking
  3. Anxious feelings abate naturally if we let them

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