You’ll likely know Charlamagne Tha God as the host of the nationally revered radio show The Breakfast Club where provocative celebrity interviews help drive the daily national conversation about issues related to hip-hop, race, society, and politics. Lesser known, the unique and compelling media personality is a Stoic. When Daily Stoic saw Charlamagne sharing pages from The Daily Stoic book across social media, we had to know more.
We interviewed Charlamagne to talk about Stoicism and his new book Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks On Me. His advice about anxiety? You might think it the words of Seneca if we didn’t tell you beforehand,
“What I would tell people who struggle with fear and anxiety is that it's natural, just always try to be aware of the source of it. That's why I believe in rational anxiety and irrational anxiety. Rational is when you know why you're afraid and anxious. Irrational is when these thoughts just flood your mind and you don't know where they are coming from, so you're just scared and having a panic attack for no reason.”
Compare that to what Seneca wrote in On Groundless Fears,
“What I advise you to do is, not to be unhappy before the crisis comes...some things torment us more than they ought; some torment us before they ought; and some torment us when they ought not to torment us at all. We are in the habit of exaggerating, or imagining, or anticipating, sorrow.”
Next time you’re feeling anxious, let that be a cue. Let that be a command to stop and analyze. Where is this coming from? Am I bringing this on myself? The cure to anxiety is often simply in dissecting the source. It’s natural for anxiety to creep in. Just don’t let it stick around for no good reason. Nip it. Don’t help it grow.