What is "Ataraxia?"

October 5, 2021

What is "Ataraxia?"

May 29, 2023

at·​a·​rax·​ia (n.): "A Greek term for a state of being that most modern elders aspire to, in which one is imperturbable, full of lucid equanimity and feeling free; tranquility or untroubled mind.”

When Christine Sperber brought this ten-dollar word to me, I thought it was a bad health condition. Had Christine come down with “a bad case of Ataraxia?” On the contrary, the word is a healthy, life-affirming declaration on how to live, especially in the second half of life. Go ahead, reread the definition. You could call it a form of Zen—a way of being. It’s not a mythical state of being either.

In fact, social scientists have shown that humans turning 50 have grown their happiness with each succeeding decade until the last few years of one’s life. In other words, Ataraxia is growing exponentially, and we are the torchbearers—paving the path for generations behind us.

And all it asks of us is to find peace and our own equanimity.

So, the next time someone asks you how you’re feeling, smile at them and tell them you’re feeling just fine, now that you’ve come down with a mighty powerful case of Ataraxia. The best part is, it’s contagious.

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