25 Most Meaningful Quotes On Stress In Life

Quotes on Stress In Life
Quotes on Stress In Life

Before we go into the 25 memorable and meaningful quotes on stress, we’ll go over a quick primer on stress science. By the way, we also have a short video on seven sayings on stress at the end of this post — do check that out.

What Is Stress

Stress is the body’s preparation to a danger that needs an immediate change in our behavior and physiology.

In 1926, Hans Selye, called the Father of Stress, coined the term “stress” while he was still a second year medical student at the University of Prague.

Later, in 1974, Selye defined stress as:

The non-specific response of the body to any demand.

— Hans Selye

Stress is our “fight or flight” response system — so that either we fight or we escape. The system lights up when we perceive something as a threat to our survival.

The perceived threat is called a stressor. Every stressor causes an arousal.

1. Yerkes–Dodson Law

In 1908, researchers Yerkes and Dodgson laid out a law that says the arousal strength and the task performance have a relationship such that there is an optimal level of arousal for optimal performance.

According to this law, if the arousal is either more or less than the optimal level, then task performance suffers.

So, for performing at your best, you need to have the right amount of stress — neither more, nor less.

25 Most Meaningful Quotes On Stress In Life - Yerkes Dodson Law 1
Yerkes-Dodgson Law: Peak of the hump = Optimal performance

2. Stress Response: Brain & Hormones

A stressor can be real or imagined. But our stress system acts the same way: it jolts our nervous and hormonal systems into action to get us ready for that danger.

In brain, the main parts playing role in setting up a stress response are:

The brain also helps the process with two main of its chemicals, called neurotransmitters:

And the prime-time hormones that feature in this fray are:

  • CRF,
  • ACTH,
  • adrenaline,
  • vasopressin and
  • cortisol

Before stress happens, and after stress ends, the body is in homeostasis (a steady internal state).

3. Types of Stress

American Psychiatric Association (APA) recognizes two stress disorders:

  1. Acute Stress Disorder — can cause numbing, detachment, memory loss, emotional freezing.
  2. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — can cause anxiety, avoidance, sleeplessness, re-experience of the trauma (as rape, war, abuse, torture).

Stress is our body’s natural reaction we cannot sidestep. We always have to have some stress to keep us going.

Stress is not something to be avoided. Indeed, it cannot be avoided.

— Hans Selye

Stress that’s good is called eustress, and one that’s bad is called distress. We need eustress to perform at our best, as the Yerkes-Dodgson law makes clear.

Stress in itself is not a disease. And, all stresses do not have negative effect.

But prolonged stress (chronic stress) can harm and invite a host of diseases. Research shows almost every system in our body can be affected by chronic stress.

Chronic stress has been linked to diabetes mellitus, asthmatic attacks, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, stomach ulcers, depression, social withdrawal, and even suicide.

4. Symptoms of Stress

Stress can affect how you feel emotionally, mentally and physically, as well as how you behave. Some common signs of bad stress are:

  • Anger, irritability, hostility
  • Fatigue, lethargy, mental slowdown
  • Lack of interest, drive, or energy
  • Sleep disorders – insomnia, daytime sleepiness, broken sleep
  • Headache, body aches, muscle tension
  • Tummy upset, eating disorders, weight gain or loss
how to beat stress
10 Natural Ways To Beat Stress

25 Most Meaningful Quotes On Stress In Life

We also made a short, 45-second video from 7 quotes on stress in life. The link appears at the end of this article.


Its not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.

– Hans Selye


Doing something that is productive is a great way to alleviate emotional stress. Get your mind doing something that is productive.

– Ziggy Marley


Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.

– Eckhart Tolle


Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.

– David Allen


Remember that stress doesn’t come from what’s going on in your life. It comes from your thoughts about what’s going on in your life.

– Andrew Bernstein


Give your stress wings and let it fly away.

– Terri Guillemets


Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.

– Hans Selye


I think that we have to realize that times of stress are also times that are signals for growth, and if we use adversity properly, we can grow through adversity.

– Abraham Twerski


The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about these circumstances.

– Andrew Bernstein


The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.

– Thomas Paine


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

— William James


You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.

― Steve Maraboli


In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.

― Fred Rogers

stress science
Memorable Quotes On Stress


The mind can go either direction under stress—toward positive or toward negative: on or off. Think of it as a spectrum whose extremes are unconsciousness at the negative end and hyperconsciousness at the positive end. The way the mind will lean under stress is strongly influenced by training.

― Frank Herbert


Events may create physical pain, but they do not in themselves create suffering. Resistance creates suffering. Stress happens when your mind resists what is… The only problem in your life is your mind’s resistance to life as it unfolds.

― Dan Millman


Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.

― Jane Wagner


The biggest enemies of willpower: temptation, self-criticism, and stress. (…) these three skills —self-awareness, self-care, and remembering what matter most— are the foundation for self-control.

― Kelly McGonigal


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.

― Danzae Pace


Being under stress is like being stranded in a body of water. If you panic, it will cause you to flail around so that the water rushes into your lungs and creates further distress. Yet, by calmly collecting yourself and using controlled breathing you remain afloat with ease.

― Alaric Hutchinson


Mental health awareness doesn’t mean fighting stress, anxiety, depression and other everyday mental health issues, rather it means consciously modulating the habits that intensify those issues. Once you are in control of your habits, instead of letting your habits control you, you would automatically be in a much better shape, both mentally and physically.

― Abhijit Naskar


Stress is negative thoughts going through our brain that we can’t get passed. Most of the time we’re over thinking a problem that hasn’t even happened yet, or a problem we have no control over. Let it go! Right here; right now that’s all that matters. Clear space in your mind for the positive things you have to do today, and the wonderful people that surround you.

― Ron Baratono


If the mind can cause stress, the mind can alleviate it. It’s within our power to choose one thought over another — to choose optimism over pessimism.

― Ernest Cadorin


The more stress you accumulate, the heavier it becomes. If you accumulate too much, the weight of carrying it can break you.

― Oscar Auliq-Ice


Is this stress I’m feeling mine, or someone else’s?

― Matt Purcell


When your conscientiousness impels you to take on more than you can handle, you begin to lose interest, even in tasks that normally engage you. You risk your physical health. ‘Emotional labor,’ which is the effort we make to control and change our own emotions, is associated with stress, burnout, and even physical symptoms like and increase in cardiovascular disease.

― Susan Cain

Final Words

And now, a few quotes from here in a video form to help you breeze through your work-stress:

Quotes on Stress in Life
Stress Quotes

• Now we’re on stress, why not find out the 10 Practical And Natural Tips To Beat Stress?

• • •

Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Dr Sandip Roy – medical doctor, psychology writer, happiness researcher. Founder of Happiness India Project, and chief editor of its blog. He writes popular-science articles on positive psychology and related medical topics.

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