When I am feeling the onset of anxiety and worry—that itching in my fingertips or rattle in my chest—I turn to comforting words from well-known people. And I’m not alone. Pinterest is filled with stress quotes set against calming backdrops. Tattoos of famous quotes and sayings will never go out of style. In the face of fear, stress, and depression, positive quotes—or even just quotes and sayings that help you realize you're not alone—can give you peace or a momentary break from feeling overwhelmed.
Quotes can be cathartic. They tap into that feeling that someone else understands and is speaking a truth that is inside you, just waiting to be properly expressed.
They can be inspirational, an expression of wisdom from someone you respect and want to emulate. This person gets anxious too, and look how they overcame it to be such a success!
Quotes can also function as a mantra, something ingrained in your mind that allows you a moment to breath, collect your thoughts, and process your emotions. For someone with anxiety, a quote can be a catalyst for calming that worry and fear.
Here are 16 motivational quotes about anxiety that can give you a little peace and a break from feeling overwhelmed in your life—or at least allow you to realize that even the most accomplished people need to work on their mental health sometimes.
1. “I didn't know why this was happening. The cruel reality of anxiety is that you never quite do. At the moments it should logically strike, I am fit as a fiddle. On a lazy afternoon, I am seized by a cold dread.”―Lena Dunham
2. “We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster's whim and the purest ideal.”―Ingmar Bergman
3. “[Anxiety and panic attacks] can hit at any time. You feel like you're in an open field, and there's a tornado coming at you. And you're just consumed by it.”―Kim Basinger
4. “It’s getting sucked into a whirlpool that shrinks and shrinks and shrinks your world until you’re just spinning without moving, stuck inside a prison cell that is exactly the size of you, until eventually you realize that you’re not actually in the prison cell. You are the prison cell.”―John Green, Turtles All the Way Down
5. “Even if she be not harmed, her heart may fail her in so much and so many horrors; and hereafter she may suffer—both in waking, from her nerves, and in sleep, from her dreams.”—Bram Stoker, Dracula
6. “But I can hardly sit still. I keep fidgeting, crossing one leg and then the other. I feel like I could throw off sparks, or break a window—maybe rearrange all the furniture.”―Raymond Carver, Where I'm Calling From: New and Selected Stories
7. “Work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender.” ― The Bhagavad Gita
8. “Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”—Arthur Somers Roche
9. “The largest part of what we call 'personality' is determined by how we’ve opted to defend ourselves against anxiety and sadness.”―Alain de Botton
10. “Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems.”―Epictetus
11. “Anxiety's like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you very far.”―Jodi Picoult, Sing You Home
12. “Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths.”―Charles Haddon Spurgeon
13. “Do not let your difficulties fill you with anxiety, after all it is only in the darkest nights that stars shine more brightly.”―Hazrat Ali Ibn Abu-Talib A.S
14. “Smile, breathe, and go slowly.”―Thich Nhat Hanh
15. “You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.”―Dan Millman
16. “Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”―Deepak Chopra
More and more, people are talking about their struggles with anxiety. One upside, in addition to breaking down the stigma, is that there are more and more quotes at our fingertips.