101 Inspiring Quotes on Stress

I’ve often shared the habits and techniques I use to handle stress in my life.

But this week I’d like to do something different.

I’d like to share other people’s perspectives and quotes on stress.

And what to do about that stress so that you can live a healthier, more focused and confident and at the same time more relaxing life.

Here are 101 timeless thoughts on stress and how to handle it from the people who came before us (and some from people who are here with us now).

Helpful and Inspiring Quotes on Stress

30 Inspiring Quotes on Stress

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”
– Sydney J. Harris

“One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren’t enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.”
– Viggo Mortensen


“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.”
– David Allen

Quote on Stress by Lee Iacocca

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

Doing something that is productive is a great way to alleviate emotional stress. Get your mind doing something that is productive.”
– Ziggy Marley

“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”
– Bruce Lee

Quote on Stress by William James

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
– William James

“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.”
– John Newton

“It’s a good idea always to do something relaxing prior to making an important decision in your life.”
– Paulo Coelho

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”
– Ovid

“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.’
– Eckhart Tolle

Quote on Stress by Elbert Hubbard

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”
– Elbert Hubbard

“Its not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.”
– Hans Selye

“There are thousands of causes for stress, and one antidote to stress is self-expression. That’s what happens to me every day. My thoughts get off my chest, down my sleeves and onto my pad.”
– Garson Kanin

Quote on Stress by Nelson DeMille

“Somehow our devils are never quite what we expect when we meet them face to face.”
– Nelson DeMille

You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.”
– Wayne Dyer

“Breath is the power behind all things…. I breathe in and know that good things will happen.”
– Tao Porchon-Lynch

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.”
– David Mamet

Quote on Stress by Leo F. Buscaglia

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
– Leo F. Buscaglia

“Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it.”
– Brian Tracy

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”
– Lou Holtz

“I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth diminishing your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.”
– Steve Maraboli

“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 Bernstein

Quote on Stress by Katrina Mayer

“The day she let go of the things that were weighing her down, was the day she began to shine the brightest.”
– Katrina Mayer

“Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.”
– Hermann Hesse

“If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved then worrying will do you no good.”
– Shantideva

“These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.”
– Najwa Zebian

Quote on Stress by Oprah Winfrey

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”
– Oprah Winfrey

“Don’t try to force anything. Let life be a deep let-go. God opens millions of flowers every day without forcing their buds.”
– Osho

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

“Don’t believe every worried thought you have. Worried thoughts are notoriously inaccurate.”
– Renee Jain

“If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you’re needing is not to be in a different place but to be a different person.”
– Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Quote on Stress by George Bernard Shaw

”People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.”
– George Bernard Shaw

“In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life—no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”
– Chinese proverb

“The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.”
– James Allen

Quote on Stress by Terri Guillemets

“Give your stress wings and let it fly away.”
– Terri Guillemets

“Just when you feel you have no time to relax, know that this is the moment you most need to make time to relax.”
– Matt Haig

“That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.”
– Chinese Proverb

“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.”
– Hans Selye

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Quote on Stress by Abraham Twerski

Times of stress are also times that are signals for growth, and if we use adversity properly, we can grow through adversity.”
– Abraham Twerski

“The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about your circumstances.”
– Andrew Bernstein

“How we perceive a situation and how we react to it is the basis of our stress. If you focus on the negative in any situation, you can expect high stress levels. However, if you try and see the good in the situation, your stress levels will greatly diminish.”
– Catherine Pulsifer

“A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety. “
– Aesop

Quote on Stress by Doug Larson

“If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.”
– Doug Larson

“If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you’ll die a lot of times.”
– Dean Smith

“Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith.”
– Henry Ward Beecher

“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
– Benjamin Franklin

Spanish Proverb on Stress

“How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward.”
– Spanish proverb

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

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
– John Lubbock

“Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.”
– Robert Eliot

“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

Quote on Stress by Mahatma Gandhi

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Stress Relief Quotes to Help You Relax

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every once in a while, do you just like to take your time with what you’re doing?”
– Fred Rogers

“When you have a moment, just listen to the beauty of silence. It has so much to say.”
– Armin Ganguly

“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”
– Brené Brown

“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”
– Jean Shinoda Bolen

“90% of what you’re stressing about right now won’t even matter a year from now. Take a deep breath.”
– Mel Robbins

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
– Anne Lamott

Quote on Stress by Maxime Lagace

“Stress and confusion come from being busy. Peace and clarity come from slowing down and stilling your waters.”
– Maxime Lagacé

“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.”
– Brian Andreas

“We should always be asking ourselves: “Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?”
– Epictetus

“If you feel “burnout” setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself.”
– Dalai Lama

“Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence.”
– Eckhart Tolle

“When you find yourself stressed, ask yourself one question: Will this matter in 5 years from now? If yes, then do something about the situation. If no, then let it go.”
– Catherine Pulsifer

“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
– Eleanor Brownn

“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”
– Edward Stanley

“If you feel lost… sit down, close your eyes, breathe, put your hands on your heart, repeat forever.”
– Courtney Carver

“Self-care is so much more than a beauty regimen or an external thing you do. It has to start within your heart to know what you need to navigate your life. A pedicure doesn’t last, but meditating every day does.”
– Carrie-Anne Moss

Quote on Stress by Greg McKeown

“Don’t spin your wheels trying to get everything done. Focus on getting the right things done instead.”
– Greg McKeown

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”
– Jack Kornfield

“The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy.”
– Hermann Hesse

“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.”
– Steve Maraboli

“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.”
– Joan Borysenko

“Keep good company, read good books, love good things and cultivate soul and body as faithfully as you can.”
– Louisa May Alcott

“When we commit to action, to actually doing something rather than feeling trapped by events, the stress in our life becomes manageable.”
– Greg Anderson

“To be a good parent, you need to take care of yourself so that you can have the physical and emotional energy to take care of your family.”
– Michelle Obama

“Let go of what has passed. Let go of what may come. Let go of what is happening now. Don’t try to figure anything out. Don’t try to make anything happen. Relax, right now, and rest.”
– Tilopa

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”
– Dolly Parton

Zen Proverb on Stress

“You may have a million desires to be in other places, doing other things, but you are not there, you are here.”
– Zen proverb

“To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.”
– Jill Bolte Taylor

“There are two medicines for all ills: time and silence.”
– Alexander Dumas

“Resistance creates suffering. Stress happens when your mind resists what is. The only problem in your life is your mind’s resistance to life as it unfolds.”
– Dan Millman

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
– Maya Angelou

“When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits – anything that kept me small. My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.”
– Kim McMillen

“When you feel overwhelmed, start eliminating all the non-essential things from your life. Clarity brings calm.”
– Darius Foroux

Famous Quotes About Stress

“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.”
– George Burns

“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.”
– Bertrand Russell

Quote on Stress by Albert Einstein

“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”
– Albert Einstein

“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”
– Winston Churchill

“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.”
– Fred Rogers

“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down. “
– Lily Tomlin

“We get such a kick out of looking forward to pleasures and rushing ahead to meet them that we can’t slow down to enjoy them when they come.”
– Alan Watts

“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.”
– Kahlil Gibran

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
– Arnold Schwarzenegger

“More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More love, less hate.”
– Roy T. Bennett

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
– Confucius

“This too shall pass.”
– Persian Proverb

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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehacker, HuffPost and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Nice quotes for getting out of stress and be relaxed.! I love reading quotes!

    • Anonymous

      My mom always said if you do what’s best for you it will be best for everybody !!! If you do what’s best for you it brings peace which affects the people around you if you don’t do what is best for you it creates frustration anger which can affect the people around you ..

    • Yawer

      I like quotes about stress

  • All of these quotes are inspiring and out of them my favorite is number 14.

  • sarah

    They are all awesome and true. Great teachings

  • Patricia Challans

    Really good to read through then, some very simple but effective quotes

  • Don Gray

    Loved the quotes.

    Thank you

  • Daisy

    Those were great and well needed! Winnie the Pooh quote, chuckle chuckle?.

  • Anna

    I am not better than anybody, I am not worst than anybody. I am as good as everybody. That will save you being stressed out!

  • Harun

    When things go wrong don’t go with them

  • Debra Schnoor

    The quote from Tao Porchon-Lynch about breathing and letting good things happen is my favorite, because they do when you look for them.

  • Debra Schnoor

    The quote from Tao Porchon-Lynch is encouraging to me.

  • Stress is a common factor. How we react to stress may also increase it.
    Be calm and good to yourself.

  • Manalebish

    Very helpful as always.

  • The only way to achieve happiness is to cherish what you have and forget what you don’t have

  • Amanda

    “Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” – this is my favorite because it is familiar to me and this is what causes my stress.

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