Our minds can be easily distracted by the simplest of things—a notification on our phones, a particularly shiny object, 24/7 access to Google. But while we may not be able to fully control our thoughts and feelings, we can use mindfulness as a way to calm them, accept them, and work with them. And what better way to inspire us to be more mindful than by dipping into a mindfulness quote or two?
Whether you’re angry, struggling to accept negative emotions, or simply want to be more present in your everyday life, there’s bound to be a mindfulness quote to inspire you right now.
A Mindfulness Quote for Your Every Mood—Even the Bad Ones
Read on for a mindfulness quote to fit whatever mood you find yourself in.
When you feel empowered and in control…
2. “What mindfulness does is create some space in your head so you can, as the Buddhists say, ‘respond’ rather than simply ‘react.’ In the Buddhist view, you can’t control what comes up in your head; it all arises out of a mysterious void. We spend a lot of time judging ourselves harshly for feelings that we had no role in summoning. The only thing you can control is how you handle it.”
—Dan Harris, journalist and author in 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works
3. “Being mindful means that we suspend judgment for a time, set aside our immediate goals for the future, and take in the present moment as it is rather than as we would like it to be.”
—Mark Williams, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Founding Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre in The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness
4. “The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion.”
—Thích Nhất Hạnh, Zen Master, peace activist, and author in The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
When you’re going through a rough patch…
6. “Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”
―James Baraz, meditation teacher and author of Awakening Joy
7. “Come to realize that thoughts come and go of their own accord; that you are not your thoughts. You can watch as they appear in your mind, seemingly from thin air, and watch again as they disappear, like a soap bubble bursting. You come to the profound understanding that thoughts and feelings (including negative ones) are transient. They come and they go, and ultimately, you have a choice about whether to act on them or not.”
—Mark Williams, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Founding Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre in Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World
When you’re feeling the love…
9. “Practice sharing the fullness of your being, your best self, your enthusiasm, your vitality, your spirit, your trust, your openness, above all, your presence. Share it with yourself, with your family, with the world.”
—Jon Kabat-Zinn, scientist, author, and founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
When your rage comes out…
11. “When anger manifests in us, we must recognize and accept that anger is there and that it needs to be tended to. At this moment we are advised not to say anything, not to do anything out of anger. We immediately return to ourselves and invite the energy of mindfulness to manifest also.”
—Thích Nhất Hạnh, Zen Master, peace activist and author in Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames
When you need a little inspiration in your ordinary…
13. “Is there any waking moment of your life that would not be richer and more alive for you if you were more fully awake while it was happening?”
—Jon Kabat-Zinn, scientist, author, and founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness
14. “We can’t change every little thing that happens to us in life, but we can change the way that we experience it. That’s the potential of meditation, of mindfulness. You don’t have to burn any incense, and you definitely don’t have to sit on the floor. All you need to do is to take 10 minutes out a day to step back, to familiarize yourself with the present moment so that you get to experience a greater sense of focus, calm, and clarity in your life.”
—Andy Puddicombe, former Buddhist monk and founder of Headspace, in his TED talk All it takes is 10 mindful minutes
15. “The feeling that any task is a nuisance will soon disappear if it is done in mindfulness.”
—Thích Nhất Hạnh in The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
When you’re feeling introspective…
17. “The paradox here is that mindfulness is just about being really interested in getting close and personal with what’s actually happening in our bodies and minds from moment to moment… And what happens when we get curious? We start to notice that cravings are simply made up of body sensations—oh, there’s tightness, there’s tension, there’s restlessness—and that these body sensations come and go…
In other words, when we get curious, we step out of our old, fear-based, reactive habit patterns, and we step into being. We become this inner scientist where we’re eagerly awaiting that next data point.”
—Judson Brewer, psychiatrist and expert in mindfulness training for overcoming addictions, in his TED Talk A simple way to break a bad habit
Your turn: What mindfulness quote left the biggest impression on you? Tell us how you plan on using this wisdom to bring a little more awareness to your days.
Ready for more mindfulness? Check out these mindfulness meditation exercises.
Author: Tania Braukamper
Tania Braukamper is an Australian-born writer and photographer. She believes in curiosity, kindness, and adventure as a state of mind.