20 Thoughtful Quotes about Recognizing and Relieving Stress

Stress is at an all-time high for many of us right now with turbulent news popping up on our screens every few minutes. Eight months into a global pandemic, we are all living in a constantly changing state of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. Adding to the looming health and economic stresses, we are also facing intense amounts of social turmoil, environmental destruction, and political discord which can send your mind and body into a state of extreme stress and overwhelm if you’re not careful.

So what do we do when we’re faced with this constant influx of overwhelming information? There’s no doubt that the current climate is stressful. However, we always have a choice–we can let it consume us or we can learn to command it. One of my teachers told me yesterday that “If you want to be in command, you can’t be in control. ” Although he told me this in relation to my singing, I think these words of wisdom are especially applicable right now and are undoubtedly much easier said than done. You can’t control all of the external factors that are making the days difficult, but you can learn to command the way you react to it.

To help you in coping with stress, I have complied 20 more quotes on stress to hopefully help you see it in a new light. If one doesn’t speak to you, another might.

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.

-Sydney J. Harris

It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean.

Tony Robbins

You can’t always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside.

–Wayne Dyer

We all have those things that even in the midst of stress and disarray, they energize us and give us renewed strength and purpose. These are our passions.

–Adam Braun

Remember that stress doesn’t come from what’s going on in your life. It comes from your thoughts about what’s going on in your life.

–Andrew J. Bernstein

In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.

–Lee Iacocca

Stress is caused by being “here” but wanting to be “there.”

–Eckhart Tolle

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.

–Chinese proverb

If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved, worrying will do you no good.


In times of life crisis, whether wild fires or smoldering stress, the first thing I do is go back to basics … am I eating right, am I getting enough sleep, am I getting some physical and mental exercise every day?

–Edward Albert

When I’m grateful for all the blessings, it puts away all the stress about things not in my control. Things like long hours, aging, pollution, scandals … it helps me create perspective by just focusing on being grateful. Take that moment twice a day with yourself.

–Darby Stanchfield

Worrying is like a rocking chair. it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.

–English proverb

Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.

–Kahlil Gibran

It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.

–Bruce Lee

When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.

–Peter Marshall

Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.

–Etty Hillesum

How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward.

–Spanish proverb

Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.

–Winnie the Pooh

You believe that you live in the world, where in fact the world lives within you.

–Deepak Chopra

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.

–Lily Tomlin

At the end of the day, one of the best things you can do during times of extreme stress is allow yourself to relax. Sit idle for a while. Sip some tea. Go for a walk and leave your phone at home. Light a candle and take a bath and let worries arise and drift away like clouds. Allow yourself to surrender control in order to be more in command. As Kahlil Gibran illuminated, a whole world of happiness and relaxation can live within you, even when the outside world is going crazy. Use this time to cultivate that inner light.

For more ideas on how to relieve stress, check out our post on “Overcoming Overwhelm in a Fast-Paced World.”

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