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 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Stress & Relaxation

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.   —ღ Terri, March 2021

Take-it-easy and Live-long are brothers. ~German proverb

The natural role of twentieth-century man is anxiety. ~Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead, 1947

Of the power of mind, over body... I have seen some striking instances, and can safely affirm, that mental agitation is a strong, predisposing cause of disease. ~"An intelligent correspondent," quoted by Georg Ernst Stahl (1659–1734), quoted by John Sinclair (1754–1835)

Stress should be a powerful driving force, not an obstacle. ~Bill Phillips

The man who does not relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on. ~Elbert Hubbard, "Richard Wagner," Little Journeys to Homes of Great Musicians, 1901

I don't like the word "stress." It's a Madison Avenue word. It's something that can be cured with flavored coffee and bath bubbles. ~Aaron Sorkin, The West Wing, "Night Five" (S3, E14, 2002)

Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness. ~Richard Carlson

There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them. ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, 1963

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.  ~Attributed to both Jim Goodwin and Sydney J. Harris

Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live.  ~Margaret Fuller

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.  ~Ovid

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

No one can get inner peace by pouncing on it.  ~Harry Emerson Fosdick

We live longer than our forefathers; but we suffer more from a thousand artificial anxieties and cares. They fatigued only the muscles, we exhaust the finer strength of the nerves. ~Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

Give your stress wings and let it fly away. ~Terri Guillemets

Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow. ~Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You

The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it.  ~Author Unknown

Maturity is achieved when a person accepts life as full of tension.  ~Joshua L. Liebman

There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.  ~Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

There are an enormous number of managers who have retired on the job.  ~Peter Drucker

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.  ~Bertrand Russell

Stress is an ignorant state.  It believes that everything is an emergency.  ~Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind

Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.  ~Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne

Some of the secret joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by inventing some imaginary letters along the way.  ~Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You

Half a loaf is better than nervous prostration from overwork. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor

And there are myriads more who have lost the look of peace and wear the tensed look of fear and misgiving, who trail their heavy lives as a convict drags his ball and chain, wearing the grey prison pallor, and looking away with lusterless, longing eyes to the green fields of being. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: VIII," A Soul's Faring, 1921

On even the most stressful days, magic is still sitting quietly in the corner, waiting to be noticed. ~Dr. SunWolf, 2015 November 30th tweet,

In all human activities, particularly in all matters of business, times of stress and difficulty are seasons of opportunity when the seeds of progress are sown. ~Thomas F. Woodlock (1866–1945)

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring — it was peace.  ~Milan Kundera

Sometimes it seems your ever-increasing list of things to do can leave you feeling totally undone.  ~Susan Mitchell and Catherine Christie, I'd Kill for a Cookie

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.  ~Jennifer Yane

There is more to life than increasing its speed.  ~Mohandas K. Gandhi

It is indisputable that many lives are prematurely sacrificed by a too restless intellect and brain — the action thereof literally rushing a man into his grave. All through America, especially North and East, not only among the writers, lawyers, editors, preachers, &c., but through the ranks of the masses, there is altogether too much brain action, sapping the foundation of life, and of the enjoyment of life. The intellect is too restless. The parent bequeaths the tendency to the child — and he, when grown up, has it in increased force. Some direct it toward money-making, others to religion, and so on. It eats into the whole temperament, and produces reaction; then for fits of "the blues," and an unhappy life.... The homely advice to "take things easy," applies with particular force to this sort of persons.... A little calmness and coolness puts to flight three-fourths of the evils of their lives. ~Mose Velsor (Walt Whitman), "Manly Health and Training," New York Atlas, 1858 December 19th  [Thanks, Zachary Turpin! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

The only liberty an inferior man really cherishes is the liberty to quit work, stretch out in the sun, and scratch himself.  ~H.L. Mencken

God didn't do it all in one day.  What makes me think I can?  ~Author Unknown

      In no epoch has, what for want of a better expression, I will term "mental excess," been more prevalent than in this. Newspapers, medical and lay, have frequently of late pointed out the evils of our present system of stuffing our youth and making all boyhood and girlhood one long period of cramming for examination. The examinations have become almost encyclopedic in their range. The whole system tends to confuse and distract the mind, to unfit it for the work of the world, to stunt originality, and to induce what has not inaptly been termed "brain-fog."
      Next comes the high pressure, the fever and fret of professional and business life, the haste, competition, and all-pervading disquiet, which has had no parallel in other times. The over-work connected with business, the severe mental labour of the professions, the anxiety, excitement, and harass of the mercantile world, all these are tangible factors of mental disease. It behooves us, I think, as physicians, to inculcate some pause and leisure in life, and to encourage the tendency which happily exists in this Colony to indulge in out-door sports and amusements of every kind. ~F. Norton Manning, M.D., "The Causation and Prevention of Insanity," 1880

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

Stress is the trash of modern life — we all generate it but if you don't dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life. ~Terri Guillemets

If we don't go crazy once in a while, we'll all go crazy. ~M*A*S*H, "Bulletin Board," 1975, written by Larry Gelbart & Simon Muntner  [S3, E16, Hawkeye —tg]

The field of consciousness is tiny. It accepts only one problem at a time. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
~William Henry Davies

Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness. ~George MacDonald

A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.  ~Aesop, Fables

Taking time out each day to relax and renew is essential to living well. ~Judith Hanson Lasater

Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.  ~John De Paola

Stress is something that we are not always conscious of; it can exist on a cellular level and hide, masked by our ingrained insensitivity. ~Garri Garripoli, Qigong: Essence of the Healing Dance

[W]hen you're dealing with stress, the problem may not be the stressful situation, as much as the effort to avoid that situation and the feelings it arouses. ~Ted A. Grossbart

Releasing the pressure, it's good for the teapot and the water. Try it sometime. ~Jeb Dickerson, @JebDickerson

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

Like steam from a cup of hot tea that fogs our glasses, false urgency of matters at hand blurs our vision to important things in the distance. ~Terri Guillemets

Each day should have a clearly marked emergency exit sign. ~Dr. SunWolf,

If your teeth are clenched and your fists are clenched, your lifespan is probably clenched. ~Terri Guillemets

When Mozart was composing at the end of the eighteenth century, the city of Vienna was so quiet that fire alarms could be given verbally, by a shouting watchman mounted on top of St. Stefan's Cathedral. In twentieth-century society, the noise level is such that it keeps knocking our bodies out of tune and out of their natural rhythms. This ever-increasing assault of sound upon our ears, minds, and bodies adds to the stress load of civilized beings trying to live in a highly complex environment. ~Steven Halpern  #hsp

...the wind tunnel of daily life... ~Terri Guillemets, "Blows," 2001

There are times in life when there's absolutely nothing you can do, also known as a chance to relax. ~Robert Brault,

Stress flails itself down trying to block every path of happiness. ~Terri Guillemets

Loafing needs no explanation and is its own excuse. ~Christopher Morley

Modern stress —
      toxic evil.
Toxic stress —
      modern evil.
~Terri Guillemets

It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do.  ~Jerome K. Jerome, The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow

Harvest a moment to be free. ~Terri Guillemets, "Escape," 2018, blackout poetry created from Danielle Steel, Fairy Tale, 2017, page 92

There is precious little hope to be got out of whatever keeps us industrious, but there is a chance for us whenever we cease work and become stargazers. ~H.M. Tomlinson

We need rests called naps
      And rests called play,
We need little moving rests
      Called getting away.
~Terri Guillemets

I crowded far too many tasks into Yesterday. Today is now demanding music, chocolate truffles, and sporadic dancing, as compensation. ~Dr. SunWolf, 2015 tweet,

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles.  ~Doug Larson

The healthy being craves an occasional wildness, a jolt from normality, a sharpening of the edge of appetite, his own little festival of Saturnalia, a brief excursion from his way of life.  ~Robert Maclver

Tension is who you think you should be.  Relaxation is who you are.  ~Chinese Proverb

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 blue sky, is by no means waste of time. ~John Lubbock, "Recreation," The Use of Life, 1894

I try to avoid stress — it makes me feel like I'm rubber-stamping all my organs "Urgent!" ~Terri Guillemets

A life spent in constant labor is a life wasted, save a man be such a fool as to regard a fulsome obituary notice as ample reward. ~George Jean Nathan

Is everything as urgent as your stress would imply? ~Terri Guillemets

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

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Last saved 2021 Jun 04 Fri 10:27 PDT

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