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50+ Anxiety Tattoo Ideas For Purposeful Body Art

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.

50+ Anxiety Tattoos To Represent Your Mental Health Journey

21 Semicolon Tattoo Ideas – Words and Phrases

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:

Certainly! Here’s how each of these words can work well as a semicolon tattoo, along with an elaboration on their significance:

  1. Warrior: A semicolon tattoo paired with the word “Warrior” can symbolize resilience and strength in the face of mental health challenges. It represents the individual’s ongoing battle with their inner demons and their determination to keep fighting and moving forward.
  2. Fighter: Combining a semicolon with the word “Fighter” embodies the spirit of perseverance and courage in overcoming obstacles. It signifies the individual’s readiness to confront their struggles head-on and continue striving for mental well-being.
  3. Happiness: A semicolon tattoo alongside the word “Happiness” can serve as a reminder of the individual’s ongoing journey towards finding joy and contentment in life. It symbolizes their commitment to mental health and their belief in the possibility of happiness despite past struggles.
  4. Continue: Pairing a semicolon with the word “Continue” emphasizes the importance of resilience and persistence in recovery. It represents the individual’s decision to keep moving forward, even when faced with setbacks or challenges.
  5. Resilient: A semicolon tattoo combined with the word “Resilient” celebrates the individual’s ability to bounce back from adversity and thrive despite difficult circumstances. It symbolizes their inner strength and capacity to endure.
  6. Inhale: Pairing a semicolon with the word “Inhale” can serve as a reminder to pause, breathe, and practice mindfulness in moments of stress or anxiety. It symbolizes the importance of self-care and staying grounded in the present moment.
  7. Rise: A semicolon tattoo alongside the word “Rise” represents the individual’s journey of overcoming adversity and emerging stronger than before. It symbolizes their resilience and ability to rise above their struggles.
  8. Fight: Combining a semicolon with the word “Fight” emphasizes the individual’s determination to confront their mental health challenges and work towards healing. It signifies their courage and willingness to persevere.
  9. Listen: Pairing a semicolon with the word “Listen” highlights the importance of active listening and empathy in supporting others with mental health struggles. It symbolizes the individual’s commitment to being there for others and offering a listening ear without judgment.
  10. Believe: A semicolon tattoo alongside the word “Believe” signifies the individual’s faith in their ability to overcome obstacles and create a better future for themselves. It represents hope, optimism, and the power of belief in one’s own resilience.
  11. Ataraxia (meaning inner tranquility): Combining a semicolon with the word “Ataraxia” represents the individual’s pursuit of inner peace and tranquility amidst life’s challenges. It symbolizes their commitment to cultivating a calm and balanced state of mind, even in the face of adversity.

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. 

anxiety tattoo ideas
anxiety tattoo ideas dragonfly

Each of these symbols represent something that has to do with mental health. If you struggle with anxiety specifically, see what resonates with you:

  1. Butterfly: The butterfly symbolizes transformation and growth. It starts as a caterpillar, goes through a period of struggle inside a cocoon, and emerges as a beautiful butterfly. This metamorphosis represents personal growth, resilience, and the ability to overcome challenges, which are essential aspects of mental health.
  2. Hamsa: The Hamsa hand is an ancient Middle Eastern symbol that is believed to provide protection from the evil eye and bring happiness, health, and good fortune. It is associated with spirituality, positivity, and warding off negative energies, promoting mental well-being.
  3. Lotus flower: The lotus flower grows in muddy waters but emerges pristine and beautiful. It symbolizes purity, enlightenment, and the journey of overcoming obstacles to reach a state of mental clarity and peace.
  4. Green ribbon: The green ribbon is often used to raise awareness about mental health issues. It symbolizes hope, support, and solidarity with those who are struggling with mental health challenges. By wearing or displaying the green ribbon, individuals show their commitment to promoting mental health awareness and support.
  5. Flannel flower: The flannel flower is a native Australian wildflower that symbolizes healing, renewal, and resilience. Its delicate appearance belies its hardiness, reflecting the idea that growth and mental health can thrive even in challenging environments.
  6. Heart: The heart symbolizes love, compassion, and emotional well-being. Cultivating love and compassion for oneself and others is crucial for maintaining good mental health and building strong relationships.
  7. Cross: The cross is a symbol of faith and spirituality for many people. It represents hope, redemption, and the belief in something greater than oneself, providing strength and comfort during difficult times.
  8. Dragonfly: In many cultures, the dragonfly is a symbol of transformation, adaptability, and self-realization. Its ability to move gracefully between the elements of air and water represents the interconnectedness of mind and emotions, fostering growth and mental balance.
  9. Anchor: The anchor symbolizes stability, security, and resilience. In the context of mental health, it represents the ability to stay grounded and anchored during turbulent times, providing a sense of stability and support.
  10. Serotonin molecule: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation, happiness, and well-being. The serotonin molecule symbolizes the biological basis of mental health and the importance of chemical balance in promoting emotional stability and mental wellness.
anxiety tattoo ideas
anxiety tattoo ideas

18 Tattoo Ideas That Represent Depression Along With Anxiety

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: This phrase embodies the concept of growth and resilience through adversity. Just as flowers need rain to bloom, individuals may face difficult times before experiencing growth or positive change. For someone struggling with depression, this tattoo can serve as a reminder that challenges are part of the journey toward healing and growth.
  2. Always keep fighting: This tattoo embodies the idea of perseverance and resilience in the face of depression. It serves as a constant reminder to keep pushing forward, even when times are tough, and to never give up hope for a better future.
  3. Strength: A tattoo simply depicting the word “strength” can serve as a powerful affirmation for someone battling depression. It symbolizes inner strength and resilience, reminding the individual of their ability to overcome obstacles and endure difficult times.
  4. Broken crayons still color: This phrase celebrates resilience and the ability to find beauty and joy even in the midst of brokenness or adversity. For someone struggling with depression, it serves as a reminder that their worth and creativity remain intact, despite their struggles.
  5. Keep going: This tattoo serves as a simple yet powerful reminder to keep moving forward, one step at a time, even when faced with challenges or setbacks. It embodies the idea of resilience and determination in the face of depression.
  6. I am enough: This phrase serves as a reminder of self-worth and self-acceptance, which can be particularly challenging for individuals struggling with depression. It affirms that one’s value is inherent and independent of external achievements or expectations.
  7. Good days are coming: This tattoo offers hope for a brighter future, even in the midst of darkness. It serves as a reminder to hold on during difficult times, knowing that better days lie ahead.
  8. Hope: A tattoo simply depicting the word “hope” can be a powerful symbol for someone struggling with depression. It serves as a beacon of light in dark times, reminding the individual that there is always hope for healing and recovery.
  9. It’s always darkest before the dawn: This phrase captures the idea that hope and renewal often emerge from the darkest moments. It serves as a reminder to hold on during difficult times, knowing that brighter days are on the horizon.
  10. Stay strong: This tattoo serves as a simple yet powerful reminder of resilience and perseverance in the face of depression. It encourages the individual to stay strong and resilient, even when faced with challenges or adversity.
anxiety tattoo ideas

Depression is a complex and multifaceted condition, and its representation can vary greatly depending on individual experiences and perspectives. While there isn’t a universally recognized symbol for depression, some images and symbols are commonly associated with the condition:

  1. Darkness: Darkness is often used metaphorically to represent the feelings of sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness that accompany depression. Images of nighttime, shadows, or blackness may convey the sense of being trapped in a dark mental state.
  2. Heavy chains or weights: Symbolizing the burden and weight that depression can place on an individual’s mind and spirit, chains or heavy weights can represent the feelings of being weighed down or trapped by the condition.
  3. Storm clouds or rain: Stormy weather can symbolize the turbulent emotions and inner turmoil experienced by individuals with depression. Rain may represent tears or the emotional pain associated with the condition.
  4. Isolation: Symbols of isolation, such as barren landscapes, solitary figures, or empty rooms, can represent the social withdrawal and feelings of loneliness often experienced by those with depression.
  5. Brokenness: Broken or fragmented imagery, such as shattered glass, cracked mirrors, or fractured objects, may symbolize the sense of brokenness or fragmentation that individuals with depression may feel within themselves.
  6. Empty or desolate landscapes: Barren landscapes devoid of life or color can symbolize the emotional emptiness and numbness often associated with depression.
  7. Choking vines or suffocating imagery: Symbolizing the feeling of being overwhelmed or suffocated by negative thoughts and emotions, imagery of constricting vines or suffocating environments may represent the experience of depression.
  8. Caged birds or trapped animals: Symbolizing the feeling of being trapped or confined by depression, imagery of caged birds or trapped animals may represent the sense of helplessness and lack of control often experienced by individuals with depression.

It’s important to note that while these symbols may resonate with some individuals who have experienced depression, they may not capture the full range of experiences associated with the condition. Additionally, symbols can be interpreted in different ways by different people, so what may represent depression for one person may not resonate with another.

anxiety tattoo ideas
anxiety tattoo ideas

10 Small Tattoos for Anxiety To Place Anywhere

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.

Here are 10 small tattoos for anxiety:

  1. Breathe: A tattoo of the word “breathe” serves as a gentle reminder to practice deep breathing exercises during moments of anxiety. Deep breathing techniques can help calm the nervous system and reduce feelings of stress and tension, making this tattoo a practical and soothing reminder to focus on the breath during anxious moments.
  2. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1: This tattoo represents the grounding technique used to manage anxiety by focusing on the present moment and engaging the senses. By identifying and acknowledging five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste, individuals can bring their attention back to the present and away from anxious thoughts, making this tattoo a helpful tool for managing anxiety.
  3. Inhale, exhale: A tattoo of “inhale, exhale” serves as a reminder of the importance of mindful breathing in managing anxiety. It encourages individuals to focus on their breath, inhaling deeply to calm the mind and exhaling slowly to release tension and anxiety.
  4. Ellipses: The ellipsis tattoo can represent the idea of unfinished thoughts or ongoing struggles with anxiety. It symbolizes the uncertainty and open-ended nature of anxiety, serving as a reminder that healing is a continuous journey rather than a destination.
  5. Mind Over Matter: This tattoo embodies the idea of mental strength and resilience in overcoming anxiety. It serves as a reminder that while anxiety may feel overwhelming at times, individuals have the power to control their thoughts and emotions, ultimately triumphing over their fears.
  6. Fear is a liar: This tattoo challenges the negative thoughts and beliefs often associated with anxiety. It serves as a reminder that fear is not always based in reality and can be deceptive, empowering individuals to challenge and confront their anxious thoughts.
  7. It Gets Better: A tattoo of “It Gets Better” offers hope and reassurance to individuals struggling with anxiety. It serves as a reminder that while anxiety may feel insurmountable in the moment, there is hope for a brighter future and that things will improve with time and effort.
  8. Pause Symbol: The pause symbol tattoo represents the importance of taking breaks and practicing self-care in managing anxiety. It serves as a reminder to pause, breathe, and take time for oneself when feeling overwhelmed by anxiety.
  9. Mental health ribbon: A tattoo of the mental health ribbon symbolizes solidarity with individuals struggling with mental health issues, including anxiety. It serves as a reminder of the importance of raising awareness and reducing stigma surrounding mental health.
  10. Arrow: An arrow tattoo can symbolize resilience and forward movement in the face of anxiety. It represents the individual’s ability to persevere and overcome obstacles, pointing towards a future of growth and healing.
arrow anxiety tattoo idea
50+ Anxiety tattoo ideas for meaningful body art

Does Your Tattoo Need To Have 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.

Whether or not a tattoo needs to have symbolic meaning is entirely subjective and depends on the individual getting the tattoo. Some people choose tattoos purely for aesthetic reasons, while others prefer tattoos with deep personal or symbolic significance.

For many people, tattoos serve as a form of self-expression, allowing them to communicate their values, beliefs, experiences, or identity. In such cases, having a tattoo with symbolic meaning can hold great significance and serve as a constant reminder of something meaningful in their lives.

There’s no requirement for tattoos to have symbolic meaning – it’s your body! Some people may simply appreciate the beauty of a particular design or find joy in the process of getting tattooed without attaching any deeper meaning to it. Ultimately, the decision to imbue a tattoo with symbolic meaning is a personal one, and there’s no right or wrong approach.

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.

Summing Up These Anxiety Tattoo Ideas

So, there you have it—some anxiety tattoo ideas to consider! Whether you’re looking for a symbol of resilience, a reminder of self-care, or a source of comfort during tough times, there are plenty of options out there. Remember, your tattoo doesn’t have to have a deep meaning if you don’t want it to. What matters most is that it speaks to you and brings you a sense of peace and empowerment.

So go ahead, embrace your journey, and wear your anxiety tattoo proudly as a badge of honor. You’re not alone, and you’re stronger than you know. Keep taking care of yourself, one inked reminder at a time.

50+ Tattoo  ideas representing anxiety

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.