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9 Quotes To Calm a Troubled Mind

Overthinking. Anxiety. Restlessness. Whatever we call it, we’ve all had moments when our ruminations turn into something more difficult to control. When life’s external pressures get to us, we may begin to doubt ourselves, our minds racing from one thought to the next. And the more time we spend stuck inside our heads, the harder it is for us to be present in our lives.

Most of us have heard of the “fight or flight” adrenaline response our bodies use to react to stressful or scary situations, but there’s also a third possible reaction: “freeze.” And when anxious or unhelpful thoughts have us feeling “frozen” or stuck, it’s crucial to try to keep moving — any direction but backward!

Grounding ourselves is a great first step, whether that involves stepping outside for some fresh air, calling a loved one, going for a swim, or finding another way to reconnect with ourselves and the world around us. We can also learn to identify what we have the power to change and to let go of what we don’t; just know that this process is slow and requires lots of patience. We may not be able to quiet our thoughts overnight, but the more consistent our efforts, the easier it will become.

The next time you find your head crowded with troublesome thoughts, we hope these quotes bring you some peace and relief — as well as some strength to move forward.

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing. / And gave it up. And took my old body / and went out into the morning, / and sang.
Mary Oliver

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You cannot wait for an untroubled world to have an untroubled moment … In the meantime, it is best to grab what wonderful moments you find lying around.
Lemony Snicket

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That's all you can do in this world, no matter how strong the current beats against you, or how heavy your burden … You keep going.
Robyn Schneider

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I realized that I don't have to be perfect. All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect, and beautiful journey of my life.
Kerry Washington

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Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything — anger, anxiety, or possessions — we cannot be free.
Thích Nhất Hạnh

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I drew a little green monster on my shoulder that … tells me all these things that aren't true. And every time I listen to it, it grows bigger. If I listen to it enough, it crushes me. But if I turn my head and keep doing what I'm doing — let it speak to me, but don't give it the credit it needs — then it shrinks down and fades away.
Emma Stone

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Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.
William S. Burroughs

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Does it change a thing / Dwelling down each road of possibilities? / … / Don’t worry / Little worrier / Don’t hurry the hurt / Let the moment burn / And just take your time / This is your life.
Kina Grannis

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I now understand that life, and living it, is more about being present. I’m now aware that the not-so-happy memories lie in wait; but the hope and the joy also lie in wait.
Viola Davis

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Featured image credit: TheaDesign/ iStock

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About the Author
Paola Bennet
Paola Bennet is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She writes a fortnightly newsletter that treasures the mundane, called Small Histories. Find her on Instagram @paolafbennet.
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