Got Anxiety? Quotes, sayings and proverbs to help change perspective |

Got Anxiety? Quotes, sayings and proverbs to help change perspective

Barry C. Barmann, Ph.D.
Mary B. Barmann, MFT

The majority of the articles we have written over the years concerning anxiety and worry have been focused on issues such as the factors that act to trigger and/or maintain anxiety, methods for better managing chronic worry, as well as various treatment approaches for specific anxiety disorders.

In this article, we decided to take an entirely different approach concerning the topic of worry. Rather than give you our advice regarding different approaches for managing this exhausting emotional state, we decided to present you with various quotes, sayings and proverbs; some designed to be inspirational in nature, and others directed at finding the humor in worry.

As a whole, these words are an attempt to help you to view worry from a different perspective. We are hopeful that you will find at least one, or perhaps a handful, of these quotes and sayings, to be helpful the next time you need to slow down your worry engine.

Due to our Irish-Scottish heritage, we decided to begin with the following:


In life there are only two things to worry about.

Either you will be rich or poor.

If you are rich, there is nothing to worry about.

But if you are poor, there are only two things to worry about.

Either you will be healthy or sick.

If you are healthy, there is nothing to worry about.

But if you are sick, there are two things to worry about.

Either you will live or you will die.

If you live, there is nothing to worry about.

If you die there are only two things to worry about.

You will either go to heaven or to hell.

If you go to heaven, there will be nothing to worry about.

If you go to hell, you’ll be so damn busy shaking hands with all your friends,

you won’t have time to worry!



In addition to this Irish perspective, the following are some additional thoughts on the topic of worry:

“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.” ― Mark Twain

“If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.” — E. Joseph Cossman

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”— Elbert Hubbard

“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere” — Erma Bombeck

“A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work.” — John Lubbock

“It’s OKAY to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.” ― Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

“Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” — Anonymous

“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.” — Charles Schultz

“Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due.” — William R. Inge

“They say people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of snakes. It doesn’t seem to make sense. I mean, you don’t see someone walking through the desert, suddenly shouting, ‘Watch out! A podium!’” — Anonymous

“There is a great difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees a problem, and a concerned person solves a problem.” — Harold Stephen

“One cannot change the past, but one can ruin the present by worrying over the future.” — Anonymous

“Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up.” — Anonymous

“How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.” — Thomas Jefferson

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? To the average person this means, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” — Jerry Seinfeld


Humor can be used to relieve tension and find more enjoyment in daily life. Although anxiety disorders and chronic worry are no laughing matter, funny quotes and anecdotes concerning this condition can bring some levity to an otherwise serious topic.

Those who suffer from a specific anxiety disorder, or chronic worry in general, should obviously seek the help of a trained mental health professional who is a specialist in this area.

However, learning to laugh about your situation and the mistakes that you make along the way, can also prove to be a helpful adjunct to taking part in a structured therapeutic treatment protocol.

Barry C. Barmann, Ph.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Nevada and California. His wife, Mary B. Barmann, MFT, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California. Visit to learn more.

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