Category: <span>Personal Growth</span>

happy trendy black woman sitting on stairs and laughing

15 Quotes to Calm Your Anxiety When Stressed Out

Cheerful stylish African American lady. Able to manage stress and anxiety.  Happy.

These 15 anxiety quotes are meant to encourage you and help calm that feeling of overwhelm when anxious or feeling like life is out of control. Understanding how your mind works and how you talk to yourself when stressed out is key to reducing Anxiety in your life. 

We all have that humble inner voice that tells us what we should be doing with our lives and who we ultimately want to be. Unfortunately, many women push this inner voice aside and instead listen to the one that says things like, “You can’t do this”, “How am I going to make money from this?”, “What will people think of me?” “I feel like a fraud,” “This is too difficult”, and “What if I fail?”. 

That critical voice is like a neon yellow highlighter finding all the negatives. Its presence can be painful, limiting, and paralyzing. What you may not know is it is often connected to anxiety or depression and fuels destructive habits shortchanging your progress, and the progress of the other 40 million adults in the United States alone that are diagnosed with Anxiety or Depression (and that’s just those who know). 

The Thought, Attitude & Action Connection

Anxiety is pretty common, and a hallmark trait is the fear-based worry thoughts that hold women hostage creating doubt, imposter syndrome, and not much action. See your thoughts, attitude and actions are strongly related, and you can take a look at an example of that hereNegative self-talk triggers emotions like worry, anger, or sadness, kicking up a negative or defeated attitude, which then causes you to engage in self sabotaging behaviors with things like procrastination or avoidance. Sounds familiar?

Learning to correct negative thinking patterns and your response starts with understanding the source of these unhelpful stories running around in your mind and beginning to seize control of your inner mean girl. If you want to take a closer look at what this means for you, download the free inner critic workbook to help you calm your inner critic. 

I’m curious, what would you be doing if you didn’t second guess yourself? Or talk yourself out of amazing opportunities? Share those thoughts in the comments below

Retraining Your Brain

As you ponder the impact of your inner mean girl, please note the good news- changes made to your brain by negative thought processes are reversible. While we use strategies based on cognitive behavior therapy to do this with clientsyou can start to do some of this work yourself simply by introducing more positive comments to your life. The research has found the more you engage in positive thought work, the more it stimulates the front of your brain or the pre-frontal cortex- positive self-talk is like a workout for your mind. 

And real talk, reading something positive is just uplifting and is a powerful way to help you feel calm and in control when stress or Anxiety threatens to overwhelm you. 

Managing Stress

Navigating anxiety, stress and overwhelm in the moment is critical. Here are a few ways some of our clients do that:

  1. Embrace mindfulness or regular meditation practice (try apps like stop, breathe, think or
  2. Schedule breaks within the day
  3. Brain dump to-do lists and work on the top 3 items at a time instead of being overwhelmed by EVERYTHING on the list
  4. Eat junk free snacks throughout the day to support a consistent mood 
  5. Learn to say “no” and assert boundaries with significant others 

Embracing the positive

Using affirmations, mantras, the above approaches, and working with a therapist or a business mindset coach may be the missing element to fighting against your mind and consistently showing up for your self and your business. As you continue to work on yourself, here are a few positve quotes to get some perspective on your Anxiety and soothe your soul!

Quotes to Navigate Anxiety and Lift Your Spirits

This one is one of my favorites from the Inner Critic Workbook for Ambitious Women:

1. “Thoughts are not facts or realities. They do not define you” ~Amanda Fludd

anxiety, dealing with stress

2. “I give myself permission to suck…I find this hugely liberating” -John Green

3. “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.”

—Charles Spurgeon

4. Trust yourself. You’ve survived a lot, and you’ll survive whatever is coming. – Robert Tew

5. Smile, breathe, and go slowly. — Thich Nhat Hanh  

6.”You can have it all. Just not all at once.” ~Oprah

And another from the Queen herself: 

7. “The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free.” – Oprah Winfrey

8. “You dream. You plan. You reach. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits.” – Michael Phelps

  1. “Just believe in yourself. Even if you don’t pretend that you do and, and some point, you will.” Venus Williams

10. “The only person who can stop you from reaching your goals is you.”

— Jackie Joyner-Kersee 

11. “You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.

– Dan Millman

12. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”. Isiah 41:10

13. “Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.” – Roy Bennett

14. “It’s OKAY to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.” – Mandy Hale

15. “The way you tell your story to yourself matters.” – Amy Cuddy

That said, continue to challenge that inner critic and the mean girl stories it tries to tell you. It’s most likely not true, and you are more powerful than your mind will have you to believe. 

If any of these quotes or parts of this blog resonated with you, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Also, if you like any of the images featured in this post, sharing it through your favorite social media platform like Pinterest or tagging @amanda.fludd on Instagram is appreciated.

Related Articles:

Calming the Anxious Mind

Getting Clear on Goals to Reduce Overwhelm

Ending Self Criticism and Liking Yourself More

Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R is a Licensed therapist and coach for high-achieving women. It’s important to note when resolving complex thoughts, it can be challenging, and it is helpful to enlist the support of a therapist or a coach. If you are unsure what you need, reach out, and we can help you figure that out.

Note: There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you decide to buy to support our tea drinking habits at no cost to you. 

motivation, how to find your purpose

4 Clever Tips To Find Your Purpose and Redefine Yourself

Discovering who you are is a way to understand your purpose and reduce the anxiety and disconnect you feel in your life.

Do you ever wonder why you’re here? Or reached a point in life that you question, is this all life is about?” It’s like getting to the end of the action-packed ride you waited an hour for only to come off like, “that’s it?” 

This is the same feeling many of us experience who have checked all the boxes, aligned with cultural or familial expectations, and did “all the things” only to one-day wake up with a life that’s far from what they expected.

Before we hit this realization, it sometimes gets lost in a tirade of energy-sucking complaints. It may start with minor things in life, like why won’t he pick up the laundry off the floor? To forever late to everything, or dreading going into work- finding yourself more reactive, envious, or defensive to others, to escalating unhappiness. This dynamic is more about our own avoidance of what we don’t like about ourselves. Let that marinate.

When you are out of Alignment

When we are out of alignment with what we want in life or are living in a way this is not an expression of who we are (our likes, values, etc.), it is sometimes projected outwardly as complaints, victimization, or blaming other people for something you instead need to address within yourself.  

For me, purpose is redefining who you are or who you thought you needed to be. It’s finding what you love, and that’s the work I love to do with the women I work with. After all, you were created with a unique set of gifts, passions, and talents that no one else in the world can duplicate! You have to find space for that in your life, which is sometimes outside the expectations that have guided your life so far.  

Your success is connected to how you leverage your strengths and navigate your own wants and everyone else’s expectations. Taking the time to discover your purpose allows you to redefine yourself in a way that brings you greater self-fulfillment and promotes emotional wellness.

When you’re doing what you feel like you must have been born to do, you can create a life you enjoy every day.  

Your goals will have more meaning to you, and challenges will be naturally easier to overcome as you operate with intention and expectation instead of out of obligation and dread. This process for finding your life purpose enables you to tune in to your inner self and figure out what drives you. Take the time to find your purpose – your life will undoubtedly change for the better!

Do Not Disturb. It’s Time To Get Honest With Yourself  

For this process, an open mind is optional but helpful. Some of this may seem too deep — too personal. You may ask yourself how it has anything to do with my career, purpose, or having a business. But ultimately, all of this is connected.  You will need piece of paper, something to write with, and a stretch of quiet time (anywhere from 15mins to 1 hour), so throw up that Do Not Disturb Sign on the office door and let’s do some work.

As you are doing this exercise, try to empty your mind as much as possible. A great way to help you do that is with a mindfulness practice, as the less cluttered your mind is, the easier the process will be.

Redefining Yourself and Finding Your Purpose

Rediscovering and reinventing yourself is a natural part of self development. It’s essential for honest and valuable growth.

1.    Focus on your intention. Write at the top of your paper: “Finding my purpose.” This simple act sets your intention in your mind for the next hour (or whatever time you decide. You can always start with a smaller period of time and repeat the exercise when you have more time).

2.    Begin listing your thoughts – even if it’s doubts about this process. As you clear your mind and focus on this process, write whatever comes to mind, no matter what it is. If you think to yourself, “This isn’t going to work,” then you would write, “This isn’t going to work.”

3.    Brainstorm.  List what you think your purpose or gifts, strengths, and talents may be. Feel free to incorporate a few of these questions below to help generate some ideas. Keep writing until you believe you’ve arrived at your purpose. Eventually, you will see connections. And likely notice the connection between the things you enjoy doing and the things you were meant to do in your life.

· What is the most important priority in your life? Family? Work? or something else?

· What brings you joy in those spaces, or what do you find challenging at the moment?

· Is there someone triggering you in those spaces? What types of stories are you telling yourself about this person/situation? 

· What are your talents and abilities? What are you good at? (Try to get a list of 5 – 10, but don’t overthink it).

· What are your weaknesses? (Be kind to yourself here. It shouldn’t exceed your strengths list).

· Which skills would you like to develop further? Why?

· What are you passionate about / what do you love to do?

· What are you not so passionate about / what do you hate doing?

· Do you get joy from helping others? Who?

· Based on your knowledge, experiences, and what you like to do, who do you like to help? 

· What problems do they have?

· What have you always wanted to do, but you haven’t done it yet?

· Who do you most enjoy being around? Adults? Children? Why?

· Do you like to travel?

· Do you want more excitement in your life?

· What are your favorite books or movies? Why?

· How do you feel about your relationships?

· What or who kicks up your anxiety or perfectionism the most? What insights can you gather from that dynamic?

· What do you value?

· How important is money?

· What are three things you would do over differently if it were up to you?

4.    How will you know you’ve arrived at purpose? You’ll know. It will be the answer that fills you with the most emotion. It may even bring you to tears. The idea will resonate with you completely; simply continue writing whatever comes into your mind until you reach that point.

A few of your answers may repeat itself and that’s ok. You may also notice a bunch of nonsense, but our brain can get distracted or be a little cluttered, and this exercise sometimes exposes that. Howeve, your brain will expose your innermost dreams as well. There may be a few answers that feel good, but remember you are looking for the most meaningful to you.

When you see good ones but not “it,” this means you’re close but not entirely on target yet. You’re looking for that one idea that feels overwhelming to you. In this exercise, it’s common to take several ideas before your purpose takes shape, even as many as 400 ideas. Keep writing!

How can my life purpose benefit me?

Hopefully you’ve discovered your purpose, or have a good sense of it. Now the work is to honor it. To do that, keep it in mind consistently as you make decisions in your life. Ask yourself, “Is this in alignment with my purpose or values?” A life lived like this, with direction and intentionality, is a life with less overwhelm and more joy.

So don’t wait any longer; schedule a time to do this exercise when you know you’ll have some peace and quiet. Understanding the core reason you’re here and ensuring that it aligns with the life you have created is a beautiful gift to yourself

Psychotherapist, Mental Health Trainer, Black Therapist, Coach
Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R Therapist, Mindset Coach for Women in Business and Corporate Mental Health Consultant
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and purchase an item I will receive a commission at no cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

overthinking, anxious thinkin

Simple Ways to Calm an Anxious Mind

Do constant worries and anxious thoughts plague you? These three simple tips can help calm your anxious mind and lower your anxiety.

faceless unhappy woman covering face
Photo by Liza Summer on

At any time in the day, do you have at least five things going on in your head and three things happening at your desk simultaneously? When we are constantly trying to problem solve, fix, plan, save or organize something, it can be the gateway to anxiety in your life (well disguised as multitasking or being somebody’s hero). 

I see a lot of professional and ambitious women who are constantly on the go and pride themselves on their ability to multitask. They are often surprised that they are overwhelmed, always overthinking, stressed, physically a hot mess, and anxious. Does that sound like you?

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

  • Feeling nervous, restless, or tense
  • Having a need to constantly be doing something
  • On the verge of panic or afraid, you will have a panic attack
  • Constant worry, overthinking, or feeling like you always need to be doing something
  • Trouble focusing or making decisions
  • Disrupted relationships (passive aggression, easily reactive, anxious attachment, fear of rejection)
  • Avoiding things that trigger anxiety (projects, pending deadlines, socializing, etc.)
  • Headaches, stomach issues, tiredness, shortness of breath, butterflies in your stomach, sweaty palms, or everything
Free Child Anxiety Test

What anxiety steals 

Anxiety not only affects the mind but the bodies of individuals. The most concerning part for the clients I support is it’s a feeling that keeps you from being present in your everyday life. It’s sometimes a false sense of doing, but in fact, you have accomplished much of nothing and drained yourself physically and mentally. 

You can inadvertently be involved with multiple projects and ideas, but not giving each the full attention it needs- so really making little progress, missing mistakes, and not as efficient as you could be. You could also be responding to internal fears and avoidance that your busyness gives you the luxury of avoiding. On a day-to-day basis, anxious overthinking, constantly doing, and this drive for constant achievement can make you overlook the details of life. Details like your strengths, success, reasons to smile and celebrate, social connections, opportunities to help and serve- the things that give life meaning and value. 

Let’s dive in deeper. How often have you worried, dreaded things that never happened, or thought yourself out of doing something? How often do your worst fears come true? How much time and energy did you spend on those what-if scenarios that could happen in the future? Facts- it only robbed you of the present.




When you are overly focused on future fears, it contributes to anxiety. When we look back too much on past issues and what could’ve been, it kicks up depression, both of which don’t allow you to enjoy what is.

What can you do to calm your anxiety?

The first step is recognizing that you have anxiety. That drive you wear as a badge, the trouble turning your mind off at night, those heart palpitations and GI issues, yup, that’s anxiety and anxiety is exhausting. 

It’s valuable to learn to live in the moment and stop waiting until everything is perfect before doing the things we feel we need to do. Mindfulness and the power of stillness and awareness is one way to calm the anxious body and mind. 


Tip 1: Infuse Mindfulness Into Your Life

You can improve your health every day by taking time to pause and create space for yourself. By starting a mindfulness practice, you will notice that you can calm your anxious mind. You may first notice how hard it is to sit still or be comfortable with “doing” in a different way. Still, you can interrupt the endless loop of anxious thoughts and worries by being fully engaged in the present moment. 

Mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgment. That means noticing what you are doing and where you are, without worrying about the future or the past.

Let’s practice: I invite you to take three deep breaths. After each breath follow the instruction.

First breath: Bring your full attention to the breath in your nose and out your nose or mouth. Whatever feels right at this moment. 

Second breath: Relax the body. Drop your shoulders.

Third breath: Ask yourself: What’s important right now? 

To be clear, the practice of slowing down doesn’t stop the thoughts. Thoughts will come and go while you tune into your breath or your focal point, but the key is to notice and let it go. It’s about not entertaining the bazillion ideas that come to mind. Attachment to these thoughts and outcomes is often where our pain and distress are often rooted. 

When I was walking out of the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew that if I didn’t leave behind my bitterness and hatred, I’d still be in prison.”

Nelson Mandela, after being release from prison

Tip 2: Add a Guide to Strengthen Your Experience

Left up to our devices we sometimes deviate from the plan. An easy way to stay on course is to introduce a guided practice. I often use Stop, Breathe, Think on youtube for guide exercises with clients and they also have an app. is also another great option, and to add tapping which is another way to use your brain to reduce stress. Try this example by black Psychologist Damon Silas.  


Tip 3: Practice often 

Being Mindful is a practice that gets easier the more you do it. So get creative, and RIGHT NOW, think of 5 places or times you can intentionally pause to engage in this practice. My top 3 places:

  1. With clients in session 

(Join our next pay what you want mindfulness session for Minority Women who lead here)

  1. In the car before I go into the house after work
  2. After a workout or before bed  

The most important thing you can do is give yourself a moment to breathe and be still. Learning how to become still is a gift in itself. 

Don’t forget to share where or when you will practice mindfulness in the comments below.

Amanda Fludd, Psychotherapist, Mental Health Trainer & Mindset Coach

Intimacy, communication, anxious

Do We Need Therapy? Couples Edition.

The secret’s out, therapy can be a life-changing experience for individuals and couples navigating new or established relationships. Couples therapy aims to help a couple improve or better understand their style of relating and connecting. Healthy relationships don’t necessarily just happen; it results from applying skills like boundaries and practical communication approaches, which sometimes requires a professional.  

Couples therapy can be helpful because an objective party can potentially close the gap between you and your partner. It can be used for new couples, couples preparing for marriage, married couples, and even couples considering divorce.

Why should you participate in couples therapy?

Communication. The number one reason most couples go to therapy is for support with communication. As you may know, communication is a key element in any relationship’s success, but especially for intimate relationships.  

Have you ever had a conversation with your partner that immediately turned to arguments or quickly escalated into a shouting match? Maybe you’ve left an encounter feeling manipulated or dismissed? Or worse, feeling alone or disappointed with the quality of your relationship. 

That is where couple’s therapy can come in to lend the tools to navigate the intense emotions that come into communication dynamics. The goals are to help create space to explore more understanding and empathy between partners and foster fulfilling partnerships. For minority couples, therapy is an excellent resource for validating the black and brown experience, with opportunities to experience restorative conversations. 

For example, historically, many Black men have learned messages that certain emotions are not ok to express and are a sign of weakness. This is similar for many minority groups who culturally may not have been taught how to be vulnerable or have that role modeled in their lives. Black women may be more open with their emotions but are also taught to be superwomen and hide their struggles, even when overwhelmed and falling apart. These dynamics within a relationship can easily lead to misunderstandings and conflicts.  

Expressing your feelings doesn’t diminish your masculinity or weaken your strength as a woman

You need to know that expressing yourself doesn’t diminish your masculinity or weaken your strength as a woman. Relationship dynamics can challenge that at times, and we can’t stress enough, you are not alone in that experience.  

Trauma. Trauma is a profound loss of control. By the time we come into adulthood, most of us have had to experience at least two traumatic events, if not more. Events such as a significant loss, experiencing a parent incarcerated or subjected to alcohol or substance use, sexual trauma, lingering intergenerational family trauma, witnessing community trauma, experiencing abuse or neglect.  

Trauma directly impacts our ability to trust and connect with others. It affects intimacy, one’s ability to know and express your emotions, and even your ability to be emotionally available to others. Couples therapy can be a valuable tool for couples where one or both partners are looking to heal. 

Passion/ Sex Related Issues. Sex is still a taboo topic in most cultures and most relationships. Couples who struggle in the bedroom need not be ashamed. Many factors can affect a couple’s sex life. At times there are emotional aspects of that (such as trauma mentioned above or other fears or anxieties) that can be addressed with the support of a couple’s therapist. 


Infidelity. Infidelity often alters the trajectory of a relationship and can lead to issues related to trust, intimacy, and forgiveness. Many couples seek therapy as a sincere effort to save the relationship and heal from the damage infidelity can cause, or even to resolve these issues and amicably separate.  

While there are many other reasons to engage in couple’s therapy, like boundary issues, differing parenting styles, navigating the health of a spouse, finances or just wanting core skills to support your relationship- whatever the reason it can be especially validating to hear from a professional.  

If you are experiencing any of the above or other relationship concerns, please contact the practice as we have several openings for couples. Additionally, keep an eye out for future couples’ workshops hosted at Kensho Psychotherapy Services, where couples can come together to learn tips and strategies to make their relationships stronger. 

Written by Alyssa Heavens, MFT Intern and edited by Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R, Psychotherapist, Clinical Supervisor & Mental Health Consultant 

My Thoughts Nurture and Support My Success

If you have a tough inner critic or get caught in worry, stress, near debilitating anxiety, overwhelm or wrestle with your self-worth, then you know some of the symptoms of negative thinking first hand. Unfortunately, negative thinking can paralyze your best efforts. This piece will explore the topic of negative thinking and what you can do to change your thinking to promote a life and business that’s more fulfilling, joyful, and meaningful.

The next move you make in your life will be a reflection of what you think will happen. 

Most people don’t realize they are responding to fear (or others know they are clearly panicking) and catapulting themselves into worse-case scenarios. Scenarios that aren’t true but are pretty freaking believable like:

  • I’m not good enough to be here (ignoring your experience and degrees)
  • This isn’t going to work 
  • I failed, the business failed, I’m a failure
  • I can’t let people who depend on me see how I feel; they’ll never trust my ability to lead

“We spend all our time and money and energy trying to change our experience on the outside, not realizing that the whole thing is being projected from the inside out.”—Michael Neill, Author

If you don’t check your thinking style, it can have a strong and sometimes devastating impact on your relationships, health, business, and life.


The Link Between Thoughts, Feelings, And Behavior 

Your thoughts influence your mood and contribute to your actions. That makes our thoughts pretty darn powerful. Yet, like most people, you probably don’t spend a great deal of time reflecting on the way you think. After all, who thinks about such an automatic thing as thinking?

I do. 


My thoughts have a tremendous impact on my actions and my life, so I refuse to maintain a thought that takes me further from the life I have in mind. However, the reality is we live in a world of thought, with an average of 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts each day- mostly nonsense, with a dash of irrational thoughts. This makes the ability to reframe counterproductive thoughts an essential skill to overall wellbeing and positive outcomes. 


I often see this connection play out with clients who come in saying, “I don’t think I can take this business to the next level.” That assumption is a catalyst for feeling defeated, contributing to her second-guessing her years of skill and consequently avoiding the tasks she needs to grow her business. That shift in effort prevents her from really seeing the potential of her business and herself. So basically, if you think you are a failure and repeatedly engage in the same thought patterns and reactions, your behaviors align, and you are more likely to fail. 

Positive Thoughts Lead to Success

Most of us have heard that we are what we eat. In the same way, we are what we think. Thoughts are energy. They are vibrations. They are manifestations. They are statements about our world. Suppose you want a better life, a more prosperous, accessible, and successful life? In that case, it’s strongly connected to your ability to maintain a positive mindset. 


Do you have a problem with a part of your life? You have a problem with your mindset, and the real problem is your thoughts about that part of your life.


English philosopher James Allen wrote: “As a man thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.”

The good news is that you can choose what thoughts you act on, so invest that mental energy carefully. I have several goals that are important to me. Before I choose a course of action, I ask myself what do I really think about this task and what actions will support my goals. I favor actions that nurture my goals. I avoid thoughts that lead to actions that make my goals less likely to happen. 


A positive thought approach allows me to embrace a more favorable perspectiveIt supports and uplifts me. With that in mind, I take responsibility for my thoughts and my future.


Do your thoughts support what you want? Let’s assess. 

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. Are my thoughts predominantly positive or negative? How could I increase the number of positive thoughts I think about daily?
  2. What are some of the labels I’ve placed on myself? (I’m not good enough, I’m a terrible leader, I don’t have sufficient skills, I’m not the expert in the room, I can’t be a mom and boss) How accurate are these ideas?
  3. What would happen if I focused on maintaining positive thoughts? How would my life change?
  4. What do I think I accomplish by thinking negatively?


 Your thoughts have the power to nurture and support the life you want. 

Save this article. 

Reread it often. 

Pay attention to the thoughts you give attention to. Remind yourself that your thoughts become your beliefs, and those beliefs shape your life and how you experience it.

You are what you think.


Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R is a passionate advocate for positive workplace culture, supporting the ambitious mindsets of women, and improving mental health in all settings. The goal is to simply help you get out of your head, stress less, and focus on your success. 

woman dealing with disappointment

How Does Disappointment Impact You Emotionally? 

Dive into our latest blog where we tackle the real deal – handling disappointment like a pro. Life’s got its twists, …

permission for self care, to unplug and redefine mental health

Redefining Mental Health

Redefining Mental Health is understanding the complexities of mental health, recognizing whats in our control and learning …

anxious, communication

What You Need to Know About Mental Health and How to Protect It

Improve your understanding of mental health. Is your mental health protected? How much do you really know?