11 Empowering and Inspirational Quotes for Depression and Anxiety

A painting of a woman in an orange dress who appears to be suffering from depression or anxiety and who could benefit from inspirational quotes

If you have depression and anxiety you’re probably looking for ways to feel less alone. While there is no magic quote that will make depression and anxiety vanish, sometimes quotes can shift your perspective enough that you start to feel better. With that in mind, these empowering and inspirational quotes for depression and anxiety can give you that emotional boost you’re looking for.

Everyone has a different response when they read a quote. Maybe, just maybe there are quotes that help you feel understood. Or that provide hope. Maybe even a shift in perspective. Or how about a smile or chuckle?

Pay attention as you read this collection of 11 empowering and inspirational quotes for depression and anxiety. Notice which ones make you feel understood or hopeful. Be mindful of any other way your perspective shifts even a smidge.

1.“The way you tell your story to yourself matters.”

– Amy Cuddy

2.”What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.”

– Lao Tzu

A photo of a butterfly representing an inspirational quote for anxiety and depression

3.“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

–Dalai Lama

4.“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also harder to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say ‘My heart is broken.’”

― C.S. Lewis, “The Problem of Pain”

5.“Slow breathing is like an anchor in the midst of an emotional storm: the anchor won’t make the storm goes away, but it will hold you steady until it passes.”

-Russ Harris

Take a breath. Diaphragmatic breathing is one way to feel better fast. Try it before and after repeating inspirational and empowering quotes for Depression and Anxiety.

6.”Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” 

—Leonard Cohen

7. “Imagine you’re 90 years old. You’re looking back on your life, as it is today. Finish the following sentences:

–Russ Harris

  • I spent too much time worrying about…
  • I spent too little time doing things such as…
  • If I could go back in time, I would…”

Find inspiration and empowerment in recognizing that in this very moment, even with Depression and Anxiety, you have the power to choose.. to look back, look ahead, and/or be where you are, now.

8.“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”

Og Mandino

9. “When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don’t see the one that has opened for us.”

Alexander Graham Bell

Every ending also means a new beginning. The beginning may emerge by navigating Depression or Anxiety.

10. Acceptance doesn’t mean putting up with or resigning yourself to something. It (acceptance) is about embracing life, not merely tolerating it. Acceptance literally means “taking what is offered”. It doesn’t mean giving up or admitting defeat. (Nor does it) mean just gritting your teeth and bearing it.

It means fully opening yourself to your present reality – acknowledging how it is, right here and now, and letting go of of the struggle with life as it is in this moment.”

–Russ Harris

11. “No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.”

–The Buddha

Experiencing joy and suffering, and everything in between, is what being human means.

Along the way, there may be bumps in the road. When those bumps are in the form of depression or anxiety, remember to pause and become conscious of your breathing.

And, remember Dalai Lama’s words and be sure there is no mosquito in your bed.

I am Dr Elayne Daniels, a licensed psychologist practicing in the Boston, MA area. I integrate eastern and western tradition with traditional forms of psychotherapy to help people live a life they enjoy.

If you need immediate help, consider these resources:

How to Overcome Poor Body Image and Body Dissatisfaction

Tips for how to overcome poor body image and body dissatisfaction tend to be generic. Or at least limited.

Suggestions such as valuing what is inside and not just what you look like on the outside. Focusing on what your body can do instead of how it looks. Or that how you look is not that important.

These ideas can feel oversimplified. Like “just do this and you will feel better.”

Except it is not that easy or simple.

What I’ve found helpful to overcome poor body image and body dissatisfaction is to widen the lens.

Widening the lens is about taking a step back to shift perspective. A pivot of this sort can help create more flexibility in how you think and feel about your body.

Let’s talk first about why poor body image and body dissatisfaction are important.

And why overcoming them is actually one of the most powerful, revolutionary declarations of (your) worth.

Even just thinking about these ideas can be helpful in the process of overcoming poor body image and body dissatisfaction.

What is body image?

We all have a body and therefore a body image.

Body image is the relationship you have with your body. It includes thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and behaviors. In other words, body image is how you see, feel, think about and perceive your body. Appearance has a lot to do with body image. Especially in Diet Culture. (Don’t know what Diet Culture is? Check this out.)

Body image ranges from negative to positive.

Body image concerns can affect every one of us – regardless of age, gender, or culture. The concerns often begin at a young age and continue throughout life. Especially in Diet Culture.

Most people’s body image is either positive or negative. Rarely is body image somewhere in the middle, especially for females, and increasingly for people of all genders. Particularly in Diet Culture. (Are you starting to see a trend here with the impact of Diet Culture?)

Positive body image is when you feel comfortable in your body, accept your body and weight, and know that weight and appearance don’t define your worth as a person.

Negative body image includes evaluating your body critically and emphasizing what you consider to be flaws. Depression, shame, sadness, and jealousy often accompany negative body image.

Poor body image is one of the best predictors of anorexia or bulimia.

One of the main causes of poor body image is comparing your body to someone else’s.

Body image can be viewed as a state or trait.

Body image as a state refers to the idea that a person’s relationship with her body changes across contexts. As in depending on the situation. A person may have negative body image, for example, at the beach in a bathing suit. Her body image may be better when she is wearing an oversized sweat shirt and yoga pants.

Body image as a trait refers to body image as a consistent, stable quality across situations. Whether a person is at a beach in a bathing suit or in an oversized sweatshirt and jeans at school, body image is similar.

Most people think of body image as a trait. However, it can be state dependent. Meaning how a person feels about their body may depend on the context. There are even questionnaires that specifically focus on body image in a variety or situations. Examples are the Situational Inventory of Body Image (SIBID) or the Body Exposure during Sexual Activities Questionnaire (BESAQ).

Efforts to improve body image affect mental health and well being

The Body Positive movement (aka BoPo)

BoPo promotes size diversity, body love, and improved body image, regardless of age, form, gender, race, or abilities. Its tagline is “all bodies are good bodies”, while challenging the ways society presents and views the physical body.

A criticism of the BoPo movement is that emphasis remains on appearance. And on the ‘how you look =self worth’ link.

Maybe we do not have to love our bodies in order to improve body satisfaction?

There are other options for navigating poor body image and diet culture without introducing a new standard of beauty.

Say what? Well, how about taking less of a leap. Instead of BoPo, what if the goal were Body Neutrality.

The Body Neutrality movement

Why continue to feed into society’s obsession with beauty?

The concept of body neutrality is that you don’t have to like how you look in order to honor your needs. That there is more to your body and to you than just how your body looks.

What if you weren’t as concerned about your body size or shape?

In a paper published in the 1990s, I asked the same question. There’s no denying that culture has taught us to obsess over our appearance in all ways – whether it’s telling us we need to be photoshopped, that our booty should be more lifted, or that stretch marks and curves are what makes a “real woman.”

Frankly, it can be a relief to duck out of the obsessively body-centric conversation altogether.

Just think – how much more brain power and energy we could devote to other worthy causes. How much more could we just plain relax and find inner peace, if our appearance wasn’t constantly taking up center stage?

When you approach your worth from a different lens you become closer to unconditionally accepting who you are. Inside AND out.

You are more than flesh and bones. See yourself as the entire, soul-filled wonder you are.

Dr Elayne Daniels is a psychologist and coach specializing in helping people transform their relationship with their own body. Please join me – and be a part of this revolution!

What It REALLY Means If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Anxiety or Depression

A woman peering through leaves of a branch appears depressed and anxious, as if looking to better understand what her diagnoses mean.

By Dr. Elayne Daniels | August 19, 2021 |

Have you been diagnosed with anxiety or depression? If so, do you know what it really means?

For starters, you now know that what you’re feeling has a name. You also know you aren’t alone. It is an actual ‘thing.’ And maybe, just maybe, there is a silver lining.

A diagnosis of anxiety and/or depression is increasingly common, especially post-global pandemic.

But what does it really mean to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression?

One thing it might mean is that you recognize you haven’t been feeling ‘yourself.’ It could also reflect observations from  family and friends that you don’t seem like your (regular) self.

Perhaps you’ve met with your primary care doctor and/or a mental health professional; perhaps a psychiatrist, social worker, or psychologist. And perhaps that person has diagnosed you with anxiety or depression.

A diagnosis puts you one step closer to healing.

How can you ‘fix’ a problem if you don’t know what the problem is? 

A diagnosis can be clarifying.

Thank goodness you asked for help. That in and of itself is a win!

As the saying goes, you gotta name it to tame it.

Being diagnosed with anxiety or depression can be the start of actually feeling better than you have in a long time. (Hello, silver lining.)

A diagnosis helps you know what you need to feel better. More emotional support? Therapy? Medication? Perhaps some combination?

This video clip speaks to the value of treatment.

There are treatments available for anxiety and depression.

Providers of a variety of disciplines are available to offer you their expertise and recommendations.

We’re definitely not talking about a “one size fits all” approach.

Some interventions target both disorders. 

For example, many different forms of psychotherapy are available to treat anyone diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression. 

For instance, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a method of treatment with high success rates for people with both anxiety and depression or with symptoms of one or the other. 

Certain medications, such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), have antidepressant and antianxiety effects.

People diagnosed with anxiety or depression are more likely to have first-degree relatives with mental health challenges. 

Whether or not those mental health problems were identified ‘back then’ is a different story. 

At least in modern day, people are generally more comfortable seeking help than were their predecessors.

Fortunately, stigma surrounding mental health is beginning to lessen, especially post-COVID. (You’re part of a stigma-reducing force, effecting change in the world.)

Bottom line: Treatment improves prognosis.

That said, sometimes successful treatment is a bit of “trial and error”. For instance, maybe the therapist you meet with is not a good match for you. 

The chemistry isn’t there. Or the therapy approach doesn’t jive with your style. 

Perhaps the therapist’s office or mannerisms make it hard for you to feel comfortable.

Medication may be another source of “trial and error”. 

Neurochemical advances make the selection of medication a bit less daunting. 

Tests are available in which you send saliva to a lab, and a report comes back, indicating which medications are likely a good match for your particular brain chemistry

Regardless of the type of formal treatment, you can try lots of things on your own to help yourself. The hardest part can be finding the wherewithal to try them.

Ironically, the very things you know would help can be just too hard to motivate yourself to do. Perhaps you don’t have the motivation (in the case of depression) or are too stressed-out (in the case of anxiety).

Additional suggestions if you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety or depression:

  1. Attend to the basics: sleep, nourishment, movement, and emotional support.
  2. Practice doing experiments: Check in with yourself just before and then after an activity (e.g. a 10 minute walk). Chances are you will feel better after than before the activity.
  3. Self-validate: Recognize your efforts and give yourself credit. Be on your own side.
  4. Remind yourself you are not alone: Anxiety and depression are part of shared humanity.

Building blocks of physical and emotional health really do matter. Depression or anxiety can be a nudge to strengthen your self-care.

Pursuing help for an anxiety or depression diagnosis is an empowering form of taking charge of your life. Maybe even a wake-up call to enhance meaning and quality. 

Take some breaths and just one step at a time, remembering that every step in the right direction is progress. 

I am Dr Elayne Daniels, a psychologist in the Boston area who helps HSPs, people with eating disorders, and/or those with anxiety or depression to move forward in their lives and THRIVE!