Memento mori: Is accepting death the secret to happiness?

Hello! Seiiti Arata. Is death the secret to happiness? We have seen in previous videos that there are some limits on positive thinking and self-help literature.

Today we take it a step further: we accept the negative side of life in order to have more tranquility and fulfillment. The idea seems paradoxical, so let’s start with something strong and inevitable – death.

1. Memento mori

We can contemplate death as something that reminds us of the value of life. And we can not miss this precious opportunity to live. The Latin phrase “memento mori” is a way to remember that we will die one day and to use our lives to cultivate values such as detachment and the search for improvement of our character.

In no way does this mean we’ll be eagerly awaiting the death. That’s not the idea. But let’s stop pretending that death does not exist or will never reach us. We fail to deny death and to accept it as part of life.

Happiness is not to run away from negative emotions, but how to deal with them. We should use our intelligence to choose the best ways to deal with difficult events and turbulent emotions.

2. Stoicism

The Stoics could embrace negativity to achieve positivity. With the negative view, they imagined the worse that could happen and when they were faced with some frustration, they realized it was not so bad.

As we’ve already talked about stress here on our YouTube channel, stress is not caused by external events of our environment or things that people around us do or do not do. Stress comes from within. It is our interpretation of what happens.

See, for example, the case of an employee who is fired thinks that the greatest injustice in the world has happened to him. They are afraid about how they will make ends meet and even look on the faces of neighbors. But after a few years, they have a new job, sometimes even better, you look back and say that getting fired from that place which was stagnant was the best thing that happened. Many events rely mainly on our perspective.

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3. Detachment

Another famous Stoic idea comes from Epictetus, who reminded us that it is not a very smart idea to be attached to people or objects. Every object may break or get lost. And everyone dies one day, or will change.

The proposed approach is to accept what we have now, in this moment. Without attachment or expectation to continue in the future. I invite you to watch the video, Be in the moment

That said, it is normal to cling on to what we like. We suffer when things change. We cry with the death of those we love. We have anxiety about the future.

Clinging to any situation, look, object or person leads to suffering, for nothing is permanent. So it is that Buddhists are also not avoiding negativity or forcing a positive thought. It is accepting life as it is that we can let go of the feelings and turbulent emotions. We become observers, with serenity, tranquility. We gain consciousness.

4. Reframing and accept negative thinking

Just as we saw in the previous video about positive thinking, we understand that there is no need to stifle negative thoughts. The more we focus our efforts on negativity, the more we end up feeling it. Instead, let’s reframe and learn to use our thoughts wisely.

When we remember of Stoicism and Buddhism, this does not mean that you need to follow a certain ancient philosophy or specific religion to be quiet. Just remember that we can only use our intellect to go further in our projects in the face of difficulties. We live today knowing that things can be different tomorrow. We can leave the search for motivation techniques and self-help and get your hands dirty, making the best possible and also accepting the possibility of failure.

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In some cases, this confrontation of our fears can be better achieved through cognitive behavioral therapy with qualified professionals. In others, it is a path of social activities, volunteering. If you are new here, do not forget to favorite the video and subscribe to the channel.