In Practice

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Anxiety Quotes: The Ten Best Quotes About Overcoming Anxiety

Quotes about anxiety that have validity.

These famous anxiety quotes encapsulate the principles of two leading psychological therapies for overcoming anxiety - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

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1.  You don't have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you. - Dan Millman. 

Research has shown that attempting to control unwanted thoughts, typically results in increased intrusions of those thoughts. 

2. The perfect is the enemy of the good. - Voltaire 

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Do the right thing - the thing that is most consistent with your personal values in a particular moment, even if it's not the perfect thing.

For example, say a friendly hello rather than avoid someone because you've forgotten their name.

3. Don't believe everything you think. - unknown.

If you're feeling anxious or ashamed, ask yourself what thought or assumption is driving that feeling. Frequently, the thought will be flawed.


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4. The only way out is through. - Robert Frost

The best way out of anxiety is often to expose yourself to the things you are afraid of. 

5. Act the way that you want to feel. - Gretchen Rubin 

If you want to feel confident, act confident. For example, stand up straight.

If you want to feel calm, act calm. For example, don't do excessive reassurance seeking or  excessive checking.

6. If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got. - Steven Hayes.

This anxiety quote encapsulates the principle that becoming less anxious involves acting differently. If you change your behavior, your thoughts and feelings will change. You can't wait for your thoughts and feelings to change, you need to change your behavior first.


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7. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

8. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. - Wayne Dyer 

9. If you aren't willing to have it, you will. - Steven Hayes The majority of things people with anxiety do to try to escape from it, generate further stress and anxiety.

For example, avoidance coping, or trying to block out thoughts, which as mentioned in #1 tends to increase intrusions of those thoughts. 

10. (Slow breathing) is like an anchor in the midst of an emotional storm: the anchor won't make the storm goes away, but it will hold you steady until it passes. - Russ Harris

If you liked this article

If you liked this article, you'll probably like this one on 50 Common Cognitive Distortions.

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You can read my prior articles for Psychology Today here.

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If you liked these anxiety quotes, you might like fellow PT blogger Stephanie Sarkis's collection of worry quotes.  

photo credits: Pink Sherbet Photography photopin cc

Alice Boyes, Ph.D. translates principles from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and social psychology into tips people can use in their everyday lives.

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