I have a pretty severe fear of needles. An appointment to get my blood drawn sounds like the worst possible scenario, getting vaccinated requires hours of mental prep, and the idea of needles in general is panic attack-inducing for me.
But for some reason, getting a tattoo is more exciting than it is terrifying. At least — it is now, after I’ve collected eight tattoos. As someone who lives with generalized anxiety and has a history of debilitating panic attacks, my tattoos have become a source of confidence for me over the years.
I love the idea of having a visual history that represents beauty and artistry in my life, a sticker sheet of hope and individuality I can literally point to and smile when the going gets particularly tough.
One of my tattoos is a series of contour line drawings of faces that was initially inspired by a Maggie Rogers lyric I listened to over and over when I was going through a relentless bout of anxiety.
The lyric is from her song “Back In My Body,” where she writes about the “poem of her mind.” The faces were an abstract representation that I worked with along with my tattoo artist to depict that visual in a way that made sense to me.
It is extremely specific to my experience and probably wouldn’t make sense to anyone else who saw it (in fact, someone once asked if my tattoo was supposed to be an abstract drawing of The Golden Girls, and as much as I love Betty White, no it isn’t). However, the tattoo means a lot to me and is something I have definitely referred back to when signaling my inner peace.
That being said, I know how tricky it can be to nail down a visual representation of some elusive feeling that is so compelling you want it on your body forever. Hopefully, this article can be a good place to start!
We’ve brainstormed a list of anxiety-related tattoos (some popular, some creative) to give you a launchpad for a special design that might help you also find your way back to your body. Check them out below!
Explore these meaningful anxiety tattoos ideas to support mental health —
General Anxiety Tattoos
Anxiety Has Not Gotten Me Down
You Are Not Alone
Sitting On a Falling Chair
“I got a new tattoo last week ✒️
As some of you know I have struggled with panic attacks and anxiety most of my adult life and at my worst walking felt like you were sitting on a falling chair, but always.
This tattoo means a new start, one where life doesn't feel so hard 🚀”
— Sara Vieira
Seven Purple Stars
Explore our complete list of semicolon tattoo ideas in our other article
More Word Ideas
You Belong Here
All In My Head
Little Mix Quote
Panic Attack-Related Tattoos
Ariana Grande — Breathin
More Symbols for Anxiety Awareness
Heart On My Sleeve
Green & Teal Awareness Ribbon
Learn about all of the awareness ribbon colors and meanings