Can Tattoos Help Your Anxiety?
Can Tattoos Help Your Anxiety?
The stigma related to having mental health problems can seem limiting. Some people may feel stifled and struggle with not being able to talk about the things that hinder them or cause them to struggle from day to day. One way that some people speak out against mental health stigma is to adorn themselves with mental health related tattoos. It's a concept that's come to be known as tattoo therapy.
What Kinds of Tattoos?
This concept is not an old one. Have you ever heard of the semicolon project? People would put a semicolon somewhere to remind them that there's hope and love for those struggling with mental health, suicidal ideations, drug/alcohol abuse, and self harm.
Some individuals choose to put the molecule sign for serotonin, because it's a reminder for them that they have low levels of this hormone in their bodies. This is a reminder that it's not their fault and not something that they can control. However, it's still manageable.
Tattoos can remind someone of the battle that he or she has been fighting and the places they've struggled through. It also is a powerful reminder that you've survived some of the hardest fights. One of these examples includes the following phrase: "My story isn't over yet". It can also be a reminder of calming techniques when you are having an anxiety attack, such as "just breathe".
Tattoos can be used for daily affirmations of things that you need to remind yourself, such as "I am enough", "I am worthy", or "I am amazing". Other things that have been used frequently with tattoos include messages such as: "This too shall pass" or "I am going to be okay".
Tattoos can let the world know what is going on inside you. Sometimes, because someone cannot see what anxiety is doing internally to you, it may feel like they don't understand you. You might feel invalidated.
Some people choose tattoos that are not as obvious, including soothing images, such as a waterfall, a favorite image, or sunset. Usually, the picture reminds the person that things will get better.
Other people use tattoos to include hidden messages to remind themselves of the struggle that they continue to have. For example, to people passing by the message might read one thing but to the person who is reading it upside down, it could read something entirely different. An example would be "awake" and "alive".
For some people, tattoos can represent closure for people. It can also represent that anxiety is only a part of them and does not represent everything about them. Finally, tattoos can represent encouraging or assuring thoughts.
Still Need Something Extra?
Even if tattoos aren't your thing, there are so many different ways you can express yourself and your struggle. Trust me. Getting that stuff out is going to be soothing and therapeutic. If you want to check out my group, I have some neat ideas to share to help with anxiety. However, if you need something a bit stronger, come schedule a talk to strategize what the next step might be. Do you want to change? If so, schedule a free consultation with me.