Books

13 Short, Calming Quotes To Ease Your Anxiety When The World Is Too Much

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It probably comes as no surprise that recent data indicates that Americans are becoming more and more anxious. Considering the news cycle, how could one not be anxious? If the weight of the world feels overwhelming and you just want to make it through the day, these calming quotes from books might help. (And if you're looking for more specific advice on coping with anxiety, here's an excellent Bustle article you can read.)

Many book-lovers will tell you that there's no better cure for stress and anxiety than losing yourself in a good book. In fact, researchers have proven that reading can greatly reduce stress. But if you don't feel like you have time to pick up an entire book (or you're too anxious to do so) you can get a dose of relief with some excellent quotes from books by Jhumpa Lahiri, Tina Fey, and more.

No matter what it is that's got you feeling overwhelming, taking a few seconds for yourself is certain to help you feel (even just a little bit) better. Here's a little reminder from me to you that you are kind, intelligent, and capable, and you can get through today. So, if your day has been hella stressful, take a deep breath and read these 20 literary quotes:

“I was a little excited but mostly blorft. 'Blorft' is an adjective I just made up that means 'Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.' I have been blorft every day for the past seven years.”

― from Bossypants by Tina Fey

“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.”
“To those who’ve survived: Breathe. That’s it. Once more. Good. You’re good. Even if you’re not, you’re alive. That is a victory.”

― from The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

― from What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

“It was so risky and so scary, and yet at the same time, so beautiful. Maybe the truth was, it shouldn't be easy to be amazing. Then everything would be. It's the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth.”

― from Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

"I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart: I am, I am, I am. "

― from The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it."

― from Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou

"Be brave, America. Be soft. Remember to twist the value sometimes and release all the pressure inside. What you've been through doesn't have to be what you are or who you become.”

― from America #3 by Gabby Rivera

“The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it's as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.”

― from Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett

“The more I feel imperfect, the more I feel alive.”

― from In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

“You have to care about your work but not about the result. You have to care about how good you are and how good you feel, but not about how good people think you are or how good people think you look.”

― from Yes Please by Amy Poehler

"Right now I'd like all my troubles to stand in front of me in a straight line, and one by one I'd give each a black eye. ”

― from The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

"Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

― from The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

"Life offers up these moments of joy despite everything."

— from Normal People by Sally Rooney

"The lows don’t last any longer than the highs do. Like clouds on an overcast day, sometimes we have to face the fact that what happens to us in life isn’t controllable, and if we wait a while, don’t take it personally, and decide to enjoy ourselves anyway, the sky will eventually clear up."

— from In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It by Lauren Graham

"The present changes the past. Looking back you do not find what you left behind."

— from The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

"Never fight to injure, fight to uplift. Fight because you know that in this life, you deserve safety, joy, and freedom. Fight because it is your life. Not anyone else’s. I did it, I am here. Looking back, all the ones who doubted or hurt or nearly conquered me faded away, and I am the only one standing. So now, the time has come. I dust myself off, and go on."

— from Know My Name by Chanel Miller

"Something about memory. It takes you back to where you were and lets you just be there for a time."

— from Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

"We can’t stop living. Which means we have to live, which means we are alive, which means we are humans and we are human: some of us are unkind and some of us are confused and some of us sleep with the wrong people and some of us make bad decisions and some of us are murderers. And it sounds terrible but it is, in fact, freeing: the idea that queer does not equal good or pure or right."

— from In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

"I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again."

— from We Are Okay by Nina LaCour