Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or trepidation about what’s to come. The first day of school, going to a job interview, or giving a speech may cause most people to feel fearful and nervous. Everyone experiences anxiety, but some live with it daily and suffer from anxiety disorders.
Examples of anxiety disorders include panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. These are very serious and can make it impossible for an individual to carry out their daily routines. For some, a helpful practice is to get a tattoo that expresses their feelings around anxiety. These designs include all sorts of subject matter ranging from funny to sad. We all process experiences differently so it should come as no surprise that people have many different ways of expressing themselves. We took a deep dive into mental health tattoos that specifically deal with anxiety. Here are 25 of our favorites.
In Your Head
The tattoo artist who completed this tat wrote that she and her client discussed, “How we both often are perceived as lovely joyful successful women and how sometimes it is hard to share and let others know of our darker sides.” This tattoo was a way for her client to express some of her hidden emotions, the artist explained.
“Not broken, just bent” is how the tattoo artist described this gorgeous floral design. We love the way the words “not broken” form the stem of one of the flowers.
The photorealistic tattoo connotes anguish. This stunning work is as beautiful as it is painful to look at.
Everything Is Fine
“Got anxiety?” the person with this tattoo wrote. “Dress it up in rainbows and glitter because [f**k] it, you’re fab.” Well, that’s one way to go about it!
The artist who completed this haunting tattoo calls the design, “faces of anxiety.” Many people with anxiety suffer in silence and feel like they’re wearing a mask to make it seem like they are just fine for others.
This is somehow the perfect visual metaphor for the way anxiety can feel, like you’re screaming on the inside. The juxtaposition of emotions is rather chilling.
Being mindful and staying present can be near impossible if you have thoughts racing through your head making you feel disjointed and scattered. This broken skull is a fitting visual for that sensation.
Cuts Like a Knife
We did not expect to see an anxiety dagger, but people never disappoint. This handsome tattoo lets others know that they’re not alone.
Don’t lose your head! This exploded head speaks for itself, but we will say the dotwork shading is really great here.
We’re big fans of the sketch trend that people are tattooing these days. Here, we find a person trying to resist their fears.
“My little buddy might be whispering in my ear from time to time,” the person captioned this photo. “But at the end of the day, he can’t hurt me #anxietymonster.”
Anxiety can feel like a storm ravaging your thoughts. This tattoo perfectly illustrates that sentiment.
We’ve seen a few of these “glitch font” tattoos and we think they’re very cool. This design is right on the nose.
The artist explained that this tattoo was based on a Never Stay Dead design. Sometimes it can feel like the whole world is “laughing at you.” The anxiety monster is real.
This absolutely breathtaking watercolor tattoo is so raw and full of emotion. The use of color here is really remarkable.
Ridding yourself of anxiety and finding peace can be a difficult undertaking. We like this thoughtful design and the way it acknowledges overcoming your fear.
Mental health tattoos are so wonderful and this one contains one of our favorite sayings: “It’s ok to not be ok.” Simple and to the point is the name of the game.
Many tattoo artists create flash or pre-designed tattoos that are available for clients. This anxiety tombstone is a riff on a classic tattoo that’s been popular for decades. “Today we put to rest something that affects us all!” the artist wrote.
Doing the Best
It’s all you can do! And, at least this person is trying.
Semicolon tattoos express solidarity with others who might be going through some mental health struggles. Here, it’s paired with the instructions to keep breathing.
If this tattoo is based on an actual cat, we would like to meet her. Somedays you feel like an anxious cat and that’s just fine.
This tattoo is a touch creepy, but it does get the message across. If eyes are the windows to the soul, then that soul is pretty anxious.
Kawaii tattoos are all the rage right now. They are based on the Japanese concept of childlike cuteness where everything can be bedazzled. Here, the word anxiety looks far more appealing than it actually is.
Nothing on the Mind
Nothing to see here, just a person’s brain being turned into a nest of birds. The person joked in the caption, “always calm.”
This black and grey tattoo reveals a dazzling, colorful cosmos for the face to represent a troubled mind. This tattoo is one of many that show the mind exploding but few capture it so beautifully.
There you go! 25 anxiety tattoos that deal with the difficulties of living with constant stress. We hope you feel inspired by these designs and will get your very own tat.