“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.”
Often we make an unpleasant situation far worse by ruminating. We even make things that are otherwise not a problem to become a problem. There are, of course, things in life that happen to us that are genuinely painful. Still, we often make ourselves suffer by worrying about things that have not yet arrived, and by creating situations in our heads that do not necessarily have an element of reality to them at all. It is natural for us to do so; it is a survival mechanism. When we perceive a threat to our survival, naturally, it requires our focus. Our instinctual mind is trying to keep us alive, and when there is something that it perceives as a threat to survival, it monopolizes our attention. When you notice emotions like that arising, you can thank them for trying to assist in you, note that whatever brought these emotions on is important and allow yourself to move on. The stoics did not try to suppress negative emotions, they acknowledged them, accepted them, and chose how they were going to react to them. That is something we can all do today and every day as well.