The Coolest Way to Deal with Depression and Anxiety: Getting a Tattoo

If you’re suffering from depression or anxiety, you may have considered getting a tattoo to help relieve your symptoms. Now there’s one more reason to go through with it: new research has shown that getting tattoos can actually help with managing depressive and anxious thoughts. Here’s why.

Learn about the meanings behind some popular tattoo designs

If you’re considering getting a tattoo to deal with depression or anxiety, it’s best that you know exactly what they mean. For example, some designs are meant to evoke fear in others because of their association with gangs or prison. Some tattoos might be well-meaning but insensitive—like one that says momma loves me. And many tattoos simply don’t make sense for anyone suffering from mental illness (like quotes from famous people). The best way to find out what your tattoo means is by doing some research on your own, talking about it at length with your artist, and showing them any important symbol associated with your experience (if applicable). You might also want to seek out professional help before deciding on a specific design or artist.

Choose a design that really speaks to you

With so many tattoo options out there, it can be hard to choose just one. Consider your future self’s taste. If you’re 50 now, do you think you’ll still love what you got when you’re 80? As far as location goes, listen to your doctor about whether tattoos are safe for where on your body. If not, rethink where you want it—and give yourself ample time for that area of skin to heal between tattoos. (It takes six weeks.) And do plenty of research on your artist and their portfolio before settling on someone for life.

Don’t stress about it too much, get something that makes you happy now.

Life is too short for more than one reason. Waiting for happiness to fall in your lap means you’ll be waiting forever, so why not just go ahead and grab it? Getting tattoos that express your feelings or help you deal with problems, such as depression or anxiety, can improve your mental health. When it comes down to it, who cares what other people think about how you deal with your own emotional issues? It’s 100% up to you. Life is filled with ups and downs; when times are tough, don’t stress out. Grab a pen (or tattoo needle) and make life easier on yourself by dealing with hard times however you see fit. After all, life shouldn’t be hard—it should be easy!

Get professional help if you need it

Remember, it’s much easier to get professional help now than it is later on, when you can’t see past your own problems. Talking about your feelings with others can be immensely therapeutic—and often much cheaper than trying to solve everything on your own. So don’t wait for things to get worse or have no idea how bad they could actually become. Now is as good a time as any, so seek out help if you need it. You’ll be glad you did down the road.

Give yourself time. Tattoos are forever!

When you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, nothing seems easy. Anything new seems daunting. It can be helpful to understand that you are giving yourself time because it shows that you care about your health and well-being. Any self-improvement takes time, so if you feel like something isn’t working as fast as you want it to—don’t beat yourself up! You have time to give yourself space from what is causing anxiety or stress in your life. If getting a tattoo doesn’t seem right for you, maybe try something else! There are tons of different ways for dealing with mental illness, so don’t limit yourself by thinking it has to be one thing.

Check out your artist’s portfolio before getting your tattoo done.

With so many tattoo artists out there, it can be hard to know what you’re getting yourself into. But don’t just pick any old artist; make sure you check out his or her portfolio. It doesn’t matter if they have tattoos of your favourite cartoon characters or intricate designs—if their work looks amateurish, unprofessional, or even downright gross, keep looking. The design is just as important as who’s designing it, so make sure that they have an artistic style that suits you (or at least won’t scare you away).

And always remember, getting inked is YOUR choice. If anything you choose feels wrong, then it probably is.

This is probably THE most important thing to remember. You are in charge of your body, you are in charge of what you do with it and you can change your mind about something at any time. Once that needle hits your skin, there’s no turning back (barring laser removal). It will be there until it wears off or until you decide to get rid of it. So if anything makes you feel uncomfortable or unsure, take yourself out of that situation right away! If a tattoo artist refuses to listen when you express discomfort about their work, walk away. And make sure that if something does end up making you feel worse instead of better, then make sure YOU’RE still in control by removing it as soon as possible so it doesn’t drag on for longer than necessary.

Take care of your new body art and they’ll last longer!

The thought of someone permanently inking a design onto your body might be stressful, but you’ll be able to breathe easier when that fresh tattoo heals up. That’s because tattoos don’t just look great — they’re also a highly effective way to deal with mental health issues. While there are no magic wands for anxiety or depression, tattoos can help alter how you feel about yourself. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people who feel overwhelmed by depression or anxiety get soothed after inking up their skin. The feeling of getting inked is empowering, and many people report feeling calmer after getting an emotional expression out on their body.

Consider showing off your tats in social media!

Nothing says, I’m handling it like getting a tattoo in order to help yourself better handle depression or anxiety. But that’s just one of many reasons people choose to get inked. Whatever your reason, you’re going to want people to know—and they’ll probably be interested. Posting your new ink on social media is an easy way of telling your friends that you’ve taken an actionable step toward living a happier life.