Skip to main content

Stoicism proven to reduce negative emotions

Stoicism proven to reduce negative emotions

  • Date24 October 2022

Academics have proven that taking part in the ancient philosophy of stoicism does reduce negative emotions, with 94% of participants who took part in the annual Stoic Week event, run by Royal Holloway, saying they feel better about their lives.

Stoicon2021header.jpeg (1)

Dr John Sellars, from the Department of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy at Royal Holloway, has been running Stoic Week, a global online event to see if people can benefit from following the philosophy of Stoicism for a decade now. Since the start in 2012, almost 40,000 people have participated and the results have been consistently positive.

On average, those who participated reported a 30% reduction in negative emotions, such as fear, anger, and anxiety, with an increase in their general sense of life satisfaction after following Stoic ideas for seven days.

Previous participants of Stoic Week have said:

  • “I am calmer, I accept many disagreeable things with good spirits. Not so easily hurt”
  • “It has made me think, question and discuss, until now, half-formed ideas”
  • “The guidance of Stoicism makes me happy”

Dr Sellars has organised a number of public events on the benefits of adopting a Stoic life, offering training sessions aimed at showing ways in which people might use Stoic principles in their daily lives.

Dr John Sellars, said: “It has been incredible to celebrate 10 years of Stoic Week knowing 94% of those who took part have said it has improved their lives. As the years have gone on, more and more people have been interested in adopting Stoic life direction to see if this truly makes a positive change.”

This year’s Stoic Week ran from 24 to 30 October 2022.

Explore Royal Holloway

Get help paying for your studies at Royal Holloway through a range of scholarships and bursaries.

There are lots of exciting ways to get involved at Royal Holloway. Discover new interests and enjoy existing ones

Heading to university is exciting. Finding the right place to live will get you off to a good start

Whether you need support with your health or practical advice on budgeting or finding part-time work, we can help

Discover more about our 21 departments and schools

Find out why Royal Holloway is in the top 25% of UK universities for research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’

Royal Holloway is a research intensive university and our academics collaborate across disciplines to achieve excellence.

Discover world-class research at Royal Holloway

Discover more about who we are today, and our vision for the future

Royal Holloway began as two pioneering colleges for the education of women in the 19th century, and their spirit lives on today

We’ve played a role in thousands of careers, some of them particularly remarkable

Find about our decision-making processes and the people who lead and manage Royal Holloway today