The He Said, She Said About Anxiety Quotes

Medically reviewed by Laura Angers Maddox, NCC, LPC
Updated April 1, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

If your mind is swimming in anxious thoughts, how about replacing them with a quote about anxiety? A change in perspective can help, and what better way to shift your perspective than by reading uplifting anxiety quotes from people who understand what you’re feeling?

Anxiety quotes

The following quotes have one thing in common: they were spoken by successful people who battled anxiety.

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Soren Kierkegaard

“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” - Soren Kierkegaard

To understand why Soren Kierkegaard wrote this quotation about anxiety, you must understand a bit about his life. A 19th-century Danish philosopher and social critic, Kierkegaard is widely regarded as the first existentialist philosopher. He was a trailblazer, an intellectual, and a lone wolf. Because of this, he was all too familiar with loneliness and anxiety.

Kierkegaard's contribution to the world was his enduring philosophical and religious principles. His ideas posed significant challenges to those of atheist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche long after Kierkegaard had died. His works are still widely read today.

Anis Mojgani

"Will it make me something? Will I be something? Am I something? And the answer comes: already am, always was, and I still have time to be." - Anis Mojgani

Like Kierkegaard’s anxiety quotes, modern slam poet Anis Mojgani questions his authenticity and personal success in his poem Here Am I. The struggle to prove oneself commonly plagues many people who have anxiety.

But within this same anxiety and depression-related quote is hope. Mojgani realizes that he is already something and has always been something. When someone with anxiety realizes that they have innate value, which is not dependent on material goods or achievements, it can be a breakthrough that diminishes anxiety faster.

Anais Nin

"Anxiety is love's greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic." - Anais Nin

As Anais Nin pointed out in this social anxiety quote, anxiety affects, hampers, and even ends relationships. Born in France to Cuban parents, this 20th-century writer struggled at times to express her thoughts and feelings.

To overcome her tendency toward silence, she visited two counselors who practiced Freud's psychoanalysis method. Both counselors eventually became her lovers. The counseling seemed to help, as she claimed she was "reborn" as a feminine artist. She eventually became a somewhat controversial psychoanalyst herself.

No stranger to anxiety and depression, Nin voiced her concerns about how anxiety affects relationships. Anxiety can strangle and suffocate a partner as the other tries desperately to hold on.

Many people who experience anxiety may have unhealthy attachment styles, feeling their emotions depend on their partner's. Unfortunately, this can turn the relationship into a nauseating roller coaster ride.

Emma Stone

“The first time I had a panic attack, I was sitting in my friend’s house, and I thought the house was burning down. I called my mom, and she brought me home, and for the next three years, it just wouldn’t stop.” –Emma Stone

Emma Stone discusses the real phenomenon of panic attacks, which can occur with a condition called panic disorder, listed as an anxiety disorder in the DSM-5. Panic attacks come with real physical symptoms and intense fear, which can make individuals feel that they are dying or in danger when they are safe.

Knowing the symptoms of panic attacks can help you know if you’re experiencing one. As panic attacks accompany physical symptoms like a racing heart rate, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, and other concerning symptoms, reaching out for support from a medical professional or therapist may be beneficial.

Mary Oliver

"I worried a lot… Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, can I do better? … 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

Like Lindbergh, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver garners strength from natural surroundings. A native of a small town in Massachusetts, Oliver spent many days wandering with her dogs through the evergreen forest by her humble home, searching for inspiration from her environment.

Through her poetry, Oliver has revealed that her childhood was less than perfect. In fact, she carried quite a bit of trauma with her throughout her life. But, like many people with anxiety, she found comfort and solace in nature.

If you are experiencing trauma, support is available. Please see our Get Help Now page for more resources.

Mindfulness walks, in which a person activates all five senses to truly feel the present moment, as Mary Oliver did to write her poetry, can be a very effective way to manage anxiety.

Amit Ray

"If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath." - Amit Ray

From this anxiety quote, it is clear that Indian author and spiritual master Amit Ray understands the power of the breath. Research shows that people can control bodily processes that were once thought to be beyond conscious control through deep breathing.

Deep breathing can slow the mind, calm the nervous system, influence the heart rate, increase oxygen in the bloodstream, and facilitate critical metabolic processes. Because of this, breath is a powerful weapon to manage anxiety. It’s a hugely beneficial tool to lean into before a stress level break happens.


"Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems." - Epictetus

The ancient Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus is responsible for this quote about anxiety, though you could easily place it among other anxiety quotes written or spoken today. In terms of anxiety, not much has changed in the span of two millennia. Much of human anxiety, both now and two thousand years ago, centers on things that have not happened and will never happen.

Abraham Lincoln

"We live in the midst of alarms; anxiety beclouds the future; we expect some new disaster with each newspaper we read." - Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was all too familiar with anxiety and depression. Even before he presided over the young nation and led it into its first and only civil war, Lincoln had bouts of depression.

In this anxiety disorder quote, Lincoln reminds us that the mind is affected by society. News and worldwide events can cause anxiety.

Modern minute-to-minute television on online news coverage can be even more stressful than Lincoln's daily or weekly newspapers. People with anxiety need to be aware of how the news and media affect them and watch carefully how it affects their emotions.

Learn how to manage anxiety effectively

Coping with anxiety

These anxiety quotes, spoken or written by highly successful people, show that anxiety does not have to rule your life. If you need help dealing with your anxiety symptoms, talking to an online therapist can help.

Online therapy has many benefits for people with anxiety. If you are overwhelmed with finding a therapist to go and talk to, making multiple phone calls to try to find an open appointment, or meeting with a new person face-to-face, online therapy is a great option. By connecting with a licensed counselor through BetterHelp, you can get matched with someone who can begin working with you right from the comfort of home or anywhere else with an internet connection.


Online therapy is effective, too. Research shows that online cognitive behavioral therapy is beneficial for various mental health conditions, including general anxiety disorder, social anxiety, panic disorders, and depression. If online therapy sounds like a good fit for you, reach out to a BetterHelp counselor to get started.
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