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if you're lacking feelings of gratitude, turn to Stoic Philosophy

Updated: Feb 5, 2022

This week, we released a new audio practice from Yoga Wake Up instructor, Arielle Fanelli, called “Stoic Gratitude”. We aren’t talking about someone who never shows their feelings, instead, we’re using principles from ancient Stoic Philosophy to help us feel a deeper sense of gratitude in our lives — and who doesn’t need that? Often quoted as a core pillar of a fulfilling life, gratitude can sometimes feel like the last thing on our mind when the events around us feel out of our control.

Buckle in for a quick philosophy lesson — don’t worry, there’s no test at the end! The ancient philosophy of Stoicism says that our lives are defined by two things: the events that happen around us, and how we respond to those events. The events that happen around us are very rarely within our own control. However, what we can control are our responses, expectations, beliefs, and values. By using the framework of Stoic philosophy, we can shift our mindset in times of turmoil to focus with gratitude on the things that we do have rather than the things that we do not.

We asked Yoga Wake Up instructor Arielle Fanelli how she applies the foundations of Stoic Philosophy to her modern-day life. When it comes to the way she balances emotions and looks at life, Arielle explained, “It’s just a simple shift once you can really understand the premise behind it. It’s not about thinking about the horrible things in the world and letting it bum you out. It’s about really finding value and gratitude in all we have.”

As a mother of one with another on the way, Arielle is no stranger to things feeling overwhelming at times. “I often get overwhelmed at this point in my life — I’m about to have my second kid, I have a business, and I’m home with my gorgeous 22-month old. So, when things kinda go off track I can get frustrated. This has been such a nice gut punch to keep me positive and remind me to just be grateful and that it is honestly no big deal!”

So give it a try! When you feel mental tension, try to shift your mind to a place rooted in gratitude. Sample Stoic Gratitude with Arielle on the Yoga Wake Up app.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for”

-Epicurus, Stoic Philosopher


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