50+ Anxiety Tattoo Ideas: Tattoos for Mental Health

Those of us who struggle with our mental health, an anxiety disorder, mental illness, panic attacks, the stigma of anxiety, and other mental health issues, have to overcome more than most. A tattoo can be a constant reminder of what you’ve been through and how strong you are. 

If this is your first tattoo, check out our guide to Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Tattoo (and Never Thought to Ask). Make sure you talk to the tattoo artist and that they understand your vision for your ink. You’ll want to work with someone whose style and artistry you love to get the best tattoo experience. After all this new tattoo will be on you forever (unless you attempt getting it removed). If you’re nervous about getting your first tattoo, take your best friend! 

Consider the placement of your tattoo as well. A lot of people opt for a wrist tattoo but your finger, ankle, foot, back, shoulder, and ribcage are all also good options. Just keep in mind that some places may be more painful than others. Your personal pain level tolerance can play a role in this choice too. If you want to test out a few spot options, consider getting a few temporary tattoos of your tattoo to help you pick the best spot.

Stylistically, many tattoos that represent mental health often have simple serif fonts, like a typewriter. But of course you can pick whatever matches your personal style! There are so many beautiful tattoos out there to choose from or create.

Anxiety Tattoo Ideas: Tattoo Ideas for Mental Health

Semicolon Tattoo Ideas

Project Semicolon is a social media movement for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. The idea is that a semicolon indicates a sentence isn’t over — and neither are you!  Semicolons work in a variety of tattoo ideas, including the ones below.

Many people are inspired by the semicolon because it indicates a turning point in their mental health journey. They decide they’re no longer going to be defined by their mental health. Or they have overcome something significant in their mental health journey and these tattoos symbolize mental health recovery.  There are some amazing tattoos out there that hold important significance to those who wear them, all incorporating the semicolon idea in a different way. 

Your semicolon tattoo can be a reminder that this too shall pass. You’ve made it through 100% of your worst times.

Words that can use the semicolon in them by replacing the letter “i” with a semicolon:

  1. Warrior
  2. Fighter
  3. Happiness
  4. Continue
  5. Resilient
  6. Inhale
  7. Rise
  8. Fight
  9. Listen
  10. Believe
  11. Ataraxia (meaning inner tranquility)

All of these words are powerful reminders that you are strong. They remind us to take a moment and breathe. 

Other phrases that are complemented by the semicolon:

  1. Still here
  2. I will rise
  3. Be still
  4. Happiness is here
  5. Worth fighting for
  6. Grow through what you go through
  7. Peace is in me
  8. I am strong
  9. Weakness is not the absence of strength
  10. I will find strength in pain

You might choose to put the semicolon before or after any of these phrases. You could also incorporate it within the phrase or combine two of the phrases.

For example, I really like: Grow through what you go through; peace is in me. 

Symbols that represent mental health and growth:

  1. Butterfly
  2. Hamsa
  3. Lotus flower
  4. Green ribbon
  5. The flannel flower
  6. Heart
  7. Cross
  8. Dragonfly
  9. Anchor
  10. Serotonin molecule

Depression Tattoos

The depression awareness color is lime green. So you could incorporate lime green into your tattoo to represent your relationship with depression. This kind of color is hard to maintain in a tattoo though, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when it comes to your design.

You can still bring awareness through other aspects of your tattoo design like symbols and phrases. Here are a few phrase ideas.

  1. No rain no flowers
  2. Always keep fighting
  3. Strength
  4. Broken crayons still color
  5. Keep going
  6. I am enough
  7. Good days are coming
  8. Hope
  9. It’s always darkest before the dawn
  10. Stay strong

Mental Health Awareness Tattoos

The symbol for mental health awareness is the green ribbon. This symbol can be great as a tattoo on its own. Some people may choose to combine it with a phrase.

There are also many different symbols and words/phrases that can have a mental health meeting. Here are a few ideas if you are looking for inspiration.

Symbolic Meaning

Tattoos and symbols have different meanings for different people. Don’t let that deter you from getting the tattoo you want. No two mental illnesses can be represented the same way, and the perfect tattoo is just what feels right for you.

Small Tattoos for Anxiety

Anxiety is another mental illness that tattoos can be beneficial for. You’ll see that a lot of these ideas are calming and centering and can be therapeutic tattoos or positive tattoos that really help.

One of the symptoms of anxiety is a racing mind. So tattoos like the phrase “breathe” or the pause symbol can serve as a reminder when those anxious thoughts start overwhelming your mind.

If you are getting an anxiety tattoo to serve that purpose, you’ll want to choose an area where you can easily see it. That is something to keep in mind before you go to your tattoo appointment.

  1. Breathe
  2. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (based on the soothing method: 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, one thing you can taste)
  3. Inhale, exhale
  4. Ellipses
  5. Mind Over Matter
  6. Fear is a liar
  7. It Gets Better
  8. Pause Symbol
  9. Mental health ribbon

In Summary: Anxiety Tattoo Ideas

There are a lot of different options for mental health tattoos. Once you decide on the content of the tattoo you’ll want to move on to the design, Pinterest is great for examples of anxiety tattoos. There are so many great tattoo ideas—are there tattoo ideas that I missed? If so let me know your tattoo ideas in the comments. And remember, the best ideas are the ones that resonate with you; and you are not alone in your journey.

About the Author

Nicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.

Website: genthirty.com