Catastrophic thinking ― assuming the worst-case scenarios ― starts with sweating the small stuff. Blowing things out of proportion will only increase anxiety and stress, and that’s not a healthy state of mind.
This compilation of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff quotes will help you gain a helpful perspective if you’re always worrying excessively about things that don’t matter.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Quotes for Looking at the Bigger Picture
Want to live more intentionally? Focus on the big picture in life! This means identifying your priorities to allow you to make the most of your time and energy.
If you don’t figure out what’s important to you, you risk spending a chunk of your valuable time splitting hairs on little, everyday irritations, worrisome thoughts, and stuff that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
Living “happily ever after” doesn’t necessarily mean not having a single worry for the rest of your life. However, it is deliberately choosing to avoid distractions (because they are not worth your energy) and joyfully doing the best you can one day at a time.
As you ponder the following quotes, I suggest asking yourself what really matters most to you and finding ways to prioritize those things.
- “Here’s a two step formula for handling stress. Step number one: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Step number two: Remember it’s all small stuff.” – Tony Robbins
- “Don’t sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff.” – Richard Carlson
- “If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.”
– George F. Burns
- “I don’t, as my mom would say, sweat the small stuff in our relationship. Because when I think of day-to-day irritations that you might have with the one you love, they’re nothing compared to the bigger task at hand.” – Michelle Obama
- “Life is too short to worry about stupid things. Have fun. Fall in love. Regret nothing and don’t let people bring you down.” – Anonymous
- “I do my best to look at the bigger picture and not sweat the small stuff. I make it a point to have alone time. I value that some of life’s best moments happen over a meal with your family or a glass of wine with your friends. And when life seems like a lot to bear, I dance around like a kid until I laugh.” – Candice Accola
- “Ask yourself this question; will this matter a year from now?” – Richard Carlson
- “If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.” E. Joseph Cossman
- “What cancer does is, it forces you to focus, to prioritize, and you learn what’s important. I mean, I don’t sweat the small stuff. I used to get angry at cab drivers. It’s not worth it… And when somebody says you have cancer, you realize it’s all small stuff.” – Joel Siegel
- “Imagining yourself at your own funeral allows you to look back at your life while you still have the chance to make some important changes.” – Richard Carlson
- “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”
– Winston Churchill
- “You’re dealing with immense, acute amounts of fear, which makes the rest of life a little bit easier. You don’t sweat the small stuff so much.” – Tanc Sade
- “What I try to encourage individuals to do is don’t sweat the small stuff, sweat the big stuff.” – Chip Giller
- “Worry a little bit every day, and in a lifetime, you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.” – Mary Hemingway
- “I always say to myself when things get too hectic, ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff!’” – Josie Ho
- “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”
– Erma Bombeck
- “If I could summarize my suggestions to parents over the past twenty-five years, it would be: worry less, criticize less, preach less, listen more, have more fun, be more honest with your own feelings, develop your own joys and friendships, and don’t sweat the small stuff (which is nearly everything). The goal is not to be a perfect parent because no such thing exists. The hope is to be a good enough parent so that your child leaves home a responsible adult who can take care of him or herself.” – Charlotte Sophia Kasl
- “There is a much bigger picture we are all striving for. To sweat the small stuff just stresses you out for no reason.” – Laura Prepon
- “Remember: Life is short. Break the rules (they were made to be broken). Forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile. The clouds are lined with silver, and the glass is half full (though the answers won’t be found at the bottom). Don’t sweat the small stuff. You are who you are meant to be. Dance as if no one’s watching. Love as if it’s all you know. Dream as if you’ll live forever, Live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean
- “Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.” – Mike Davies
- “When you let go of your expectations, when you accept life as it is, you’re free. To hold on is to be serious and uptight. To let go is to lighten up.” – Richard Carlson
- “There are two rules in life: Rule #1: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule #2: Everything is small stuff.” – Finn Taylor
- “I used to say… ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff ― not even the big stuff.’ At the end of the day, none of it matters but your own joy, your own spiritual journey that you go on, God, your loved ones, your friends, and your animals. These are the things you’ve got to cherish and love and embrace.” – Christina Applegate
- “We forget that life isn’t as bad as we’re making it out to be. We also forget that when we’re blowing things out of proportion, we are the ones doing the blowing.” – Richard Carlson
- “Worry gives a small thing a big shadow.” – Swedish Proverb
- “That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.” – Chinese Proverb
- “The key to a good life is this: If you’re not going to talk about something during the last hour of your life, then don’t make it a top priority during your lifetime.” – Richard Carlson
- “People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.” – George Bernard Shaw
- “So many people spend so much of their life energy ‘sweating the small stuff’ that they completely lose touch with the magic and beauty of life.” – Richard Carlson
- “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”
– Elbert Hubbard
- “If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you’ll die a lot of times.”
– Dean Smith
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Quotes for Slowing Down
One of the secrets to living a happy life is to be content with what you have and where you are. Stressing over things that don’t really matter isn’t worth your time and effort.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean settling for less.
It is okay to stretch yourself, get out of your comfort zone, and strive to be the best you can be. But don’t forget the value of being content while being eager for more.
Remember that you might be sweating the small stuff if you feel life isn’t fair to you. The grass might appear greener on the other side, but the reality is that you might put yourself under unnecessary pressure if you are so much in a hurry.
When it feels like things aren’t happening as fast as you want, the following Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff quotes will remind you to slow down and appreciate where you are.
- “I look at my cancer journey as a gift: It made me slow down and realize the important things in life and taught me to not sweat the small stuff.” – Olivia Newton-John
- “We live our lives as if they were one big emergency! We often rush around looking busy, trying to solve problems, but in reality, we are often compounding them.” – Richard Carlson
- “We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.” – John Newton
- “One of the mistakes many of us make is that we feel sorry for ourselves, or for others, thinking that life should be fair or that someday it will be. It’s not, and it won’t. When we make this mistake, we tend to spend a lot of time wallowing and/or complaining about what’s wrong with life. ‘It’s not fair,’ we complain, not realizing that, perhaps, it was never intended to be.” – Richard Carlson
- “We tend to believe that if we were somewhere else ― on vacation, with another partner, in a different career, a different home, a different circumstance ― somehow we would be happier and more content. We wouldn’t!” – Richard Carlson
- “But here I am in July, and why am I thinking about Christmas pudding? Probably because we always pine for what we do not have. The winter seems cozy and romantic in the hell of summer, but hot beaches and sunlight are what we yearn for all winter.” – Joanna Franklin Bell
- “Even though we often mess up, most of us are doing the best that we know how with the circumstances that surround us.” – Richard Carlson
- “It’s a long way back to Eden, Sweetheart, so don’t sweat the small stuff.” – Stephen King
- “Something wonderful begins to happen with the simple realization that life, like an automobile, is driven from the inside out, not the other way around. As you focus more on becoming more peaceful with where you are, rather than focusing on where you would rather be, you begin to find peace right now, in the present. Then, as you move around, try new things, and meet new people, you carry that sense of inner peace with you. It’s absolutely true that ‘Wherever you go, there you are.’” – Richard Carlson
- “If we would just slow down, happiness would catch up to us.” – Richard Carlson
- “You learn to be comfortable in your own skin, and your body changes throughout life, so you can’t sweat the small stuff.” – Chanel Iman
- “Indeed, the important question in terms of becoming more peaceful isn’t whether or not you’re going to have negative thoughts ― you are ― it’s what you choose to do with the ones that you have.” – Richard Carlson
- “I live every day to its fullest extent, and I don’t sweat the small stuff.” – Olivia Newton-John
- “Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.”
– Dale Carnegie
- “It’s not that the grass is greener on the other side; it’s that you can never be on both sides of the lawn at the same time.” – Laura Fraser
- “True happiness comes not when we get rid of all of our problems, but when we change our relationship to them when we see our problems as a potential source of awakening, opportunities to practice, and to learn.” – Richard Carlson