More often than people realize, psychological distress is caused by some combination of lack of meaning, lack of social engagement, and lack of spirituality. These and other existential issues aren’t always discussed in Western therapies, but that doesn’t make them any less real.
However, eastern philosophy has delved deep into these topics. They encourage us to ask deep questions about life so we can experience peace and stillness.
One of the biggest contemporary problems in society is dealing with anxiety. Below we’ve selected eastern philosophy’s top quotes that will help soothe your soul so you can experience peace.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu
“It is not the failure of others to appreciate your abilities that should trouble you, but rather your failure to appreciate theirs.” – Confucius
“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.” – Alan W. Watts
On comparing yourself
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.” – Lao Tzu
On the present moment
“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu
“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” – Alan W. Watts
“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.” – Alan W. Watts
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha
On your dreams
“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.” – Lao Tzu
“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” – Confucius
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
“Silence is a true friend who never betrays.” – Confucius
When you someone good
“When you see a good person, think of becoming like her/him. When you see someone not so good, reflect on your own weak points.” – Confucius
We’re all connected
“You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.” – Alan W. Watts
Embrace all emotions
“Experience life in all possible ways — good-bad, bitter-sweet, dark-light, summer-winter. Experience all the dualities. Don’t be afraid of experience, because the more experience you have, the more mature you become.” ― Osho
“Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.” – Osho
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Buddha
Our real purpose in life
“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – The Dalai Lama
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
Originally published on The Power of Ideas.