Stress makes us lose perspective, while inspirational quotes can help us get it back. So here are a few quotes to keep around when the going gets rough...

When you're going through hell, keep going. -- Winston Churchill

When you don't see where you're going, when you don't think you can stand it one second more, if you only keep putting one foot in front of the other, chances are, you'll come out on the other side. Either that, or you come across a road sign that will point you in the direction that will get you out.

Do what you say you value. -- Roger Mellott

Much of our stress comes from a conflict of values -- we know we shouldn't be doing something, yet we do it -- and stress about it. If we align ourselves with what's important to us, and act accordingly, things will be a lot less stressful.

Despair says I cannot lift that weight. Happiness says I do not have to. -- James Richardson

Another way to approach perspective. We look at what seems like an insurmountable obstacle and feel despair because we can't see a way to get across it. Yet we forget that sometimes we can simply go around it instead, and sometimes, there may even be a door. Either that, or we might be able to stay right where we are and be all the happier for it.

Do you want the problem or do you want the answer? -- A Course in Miracles

If we focus on the problems we have, we'll probably get stuck there. Instead, we might want to focus on how to get where we want to go.

If you think you need to get it all done before you can be happy, consider that on the day you die, you will have email in your inbox. -- Robert Holden

Doesn't this one make you smile? We take ourselves and especially our to-do lists far too seriously. The next one fits right in:

Don't take life too seriously. It's not permanent. -- On a Coffee Mug by OZ

Indeed it isn't. Horace came up with "Carpe diem" and told us to seize the day. We're only here for so long, and we shouldn't allow needless stress to ruin what time we do have.

The purpose of life is not to arrive safely at death. -- Alan Cohen

This one accompanies a picture of two unicyclists riding on tightropes across an abyss, all the while playing music and enjoying themselves. Sometimes we're stressed because we've been taking chances. It's scary to jump off a cliff into the unknown. It's scary to take that road less travelled (thank you, Robert Frost). Yet what's the alternative?

A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for. -- William Shedd

Like the ship that would be so much safer in the harbor than out on the ocean, we're not supposed to always play it safe. Sometimes, stress may be a sign that we have taken risks, the kinds of risks that move us forward. But that doesn't mean we have to let stress get the best of us. Looking at the above quotes should help us put things in perspective and help us reclaim a little inner calm. That, and taking a deep breath.

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