Reasons Not to Worry: How to Be Stoic in Chaotic Times (Hardcover)
In this heartfelt and soul-searching work, brimming with warmth, humor, and insight, the beloved Guardian columnist spends a year exploring how to pursue a rich and meaningful life, turning to the wisdom of the Stoics for insights into the deepest questions of existence.
Like many people today, Brigid Delaney was searching for answers to timeless questions: How can we be good? Find inner peace? Properly grieve? Tame our insecurities, such as the fear of missing out? Determine what truly matters?
Centuries ago, the Stoics pondered many of these same questions. And so, at an important inflection point in her own life, Brigid decided to let these ancient philosophers be her guide. Brigid is rash where the Stoics are logical; she runs on chaos, while the Stoics relinquish control of things beyond their reach. Over the course of a year, she dedicated herself to following the wisdom of Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. She hoped to discover how best to live—how she could use the wisdom of these ancient thinkers to navigate life in the modern world.
In Reasons Not to Worry, Brigid shares what she learned, showing us how we, too, can draw on the Stoics to regain a sense of agency and tranquility and find meaning in our lives. From learning to relinquish control to cultivating daily awareness of our mortality to building community, Brigid’s insights are very funny and very wise.
Stoicism can be a tough medicine to swallow, but no longer. Thoughtful, timely, surprisingly practical, and filled to the brim with ways to learn how best to be in the world, Delaney’s guide provides compelling and sensible reasons not to worry.
BRIGID DELANEY is a political speechwriter for Australia’s minister for finance and minister for women. For many years she wrote the popular weekly column Brigid Delaney’s Diary for the Guardian. She cocreated the Netflix series Wellmania, based on her last book, and cofounded the anti–death penalty movement Mercy Campaign. She lives in Australia.
"Brigid has the most incredible gift of taking seemingly complex and esoteric concepts and explaining them to the reader in a way that is generous and clear, but above all, relatable. Reading this book is like having a long walk with your cool big sister while she just happens to be giving you the skinny on Greco- Roman philosophy." — Ben Lee
“Reasons Not to Worry is both an introduction and an interrogation of Stoicism. With acute thoughtfulness and a genial lightness, Delaney convinces us that this ancient philosophy is still relevant and necessary. I appreciated the kindness in this book and I was grateful for the care and commitment and joy of the writing and argument." — Christos Tsiolkas, author of Damascus and Seven and a Half
"It’s hard not to think of a better philosophy with which to face the silly season … [Reasons Not to Worry] is insightful and surprisingly fun.” — Qantas Magazine
Praise for Wellmania: "I laughed so hard, I choked on a doughnut reading this book. I'm so glad Brigid Delaney tried all of this crazy stuff so I never have to." — Jen Mann, New York Times bestselling author of People I Want to Punch in the Throat
“A rollicking romp and insightful journey through the wellness industrial complex told with with honesty and candor.” — Jo Piazza, author of Fitness Junkie: A Novel
“Pondering heavy topics including mortality, relaxation, disasters, anxiety, and moderation, as well as some more contemporary concerns like social media and FOMO, Delaney offers some uncomfortable but useful teachings…. Though (or perhaps because) she has some qualms with certain Stoic principles, Delaney is a great guide to their philosophy in that she recognizes the difficulty of putting it into practice… She shares personal experiences along with quotes from the ancients to assess our world and the sense of desperation that seems so pervasive.” — Booklist (starred review)