Content warning: The following text contains a discussion about suicide and information some readers may find triggering or distressing. We urge you to call your local suicide prevention hotline for help, support, or immediate assistance. Here’s a list of all international suicide prevention hotlines you can contact for emergency assistance or immediate help and counseling.
Focus on one’s mental health and self-care has never been more important than in these testing and pretty strange times. The world is changing right in front of our eyes and is becoming something completely different compared to the world we knew. Taking care of our minds, emotions, and overall mental well-being is sometimes difficult to achieve.
Many believe that the only way to take care of oneself is by visiting a therapist once a week. Others try to shift their focus from mental to physical through working out. There is also the artistic output some people rely on for mental healing.
And, all of these people would be completely right. All of these healing channels can be incredibly helpful and lead towards transformation. Utilizing different ways and mediums to improve one’s mental well-being is always recommended.
So, why are we talking about this? Well, in the following paragraphs we’re going to talk about a particular, artistic, and creative way of improving one’s mental health, which is for some people tattooing. Now, getting a tattoo, though it may not seem like it, can be a therapeutic act. With it, people regain a sense of control, a sense of finally overcoming obstacles, and truly doing something (visible) for themselves. A tattoo is physical proof of one’s life battles as well as the power and strength it took to win.
Tattoos can be a good aid in one’s mental health recovery, which is why we decided to gather some of the best mental health tattoos you can get inspired by. Therefore, without further ado, let’s jump right in!
Inspiration Mental Health Tattoo Designs
A semicolon tattoo is, at first glance, a simple, punctuation symbol tattoo. However, there’s more to it than what meets the eye. A semicolon tattoo is actually a rather prominent design that symbolizes the survival of trauma or mental illness. The symbol itself symbolizes that ‘it’s not the end’; just as a sentence continues after the semicolon, so will live after mental illness and trauma.
The story with this tattoo design started with Project Semicolon; a social media movement started in 2013 by Amy Bleuel. Amy has decided to establish a platform and a movement where she can inspire people going through mental illness, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm to keep fighting. Having struggled with mental illness herself, after her father had committed suicide, Amy wanted to offer support and solidarity. Unfortunately, Amy has tragically died in 2017, but her movement and idea keep living on, helping millions of people around the world.
So, if you’re looking for a simple, small design that truly carries significant and deep meaning, then definitely check out some of the semicolon tattoo images we’ve prepared for you.
Inspirational Quote Tattoo
Sometimes, all you need to help you move forward are a few, encouraging words. Nothing more, and nothing less. Getting help and staying motivated doesn’t have to be complicated; people can find strength and inspiration even in the most mundane things. So, don’t just write off a quote tattoo design; it is truly one of the best mental health tattoos you can get.
Now, here’s the deal. You can go with a popular, meaningful quote and a design choice, right? Or, you can go with a quote personal to you, something someone important to you has said, or something you’ve read somewhere. Some, you don’t even need a quote; one word can sometimes be just as powerful, if not more.
New Beginnings Tattoos
Mental health illness and overall poor mental health can make you feel stuck, and from such a place it can be even harder to start living your life again. In such cases, we can all look towards things in life which represent rebirth, renewal, and overall new beginnings. For example, each year the seasons change, and with each new season, the winter passes, and the spring and summer awaken nature; everything grows again and starts living its full potential.
Because being surrounded with such ideas and symbolism is super important when it comes to recovering from a mental illness, we’ve decided to mention some of the best ideas for ‘new beginnings’ mental health tattoo designs;
- Phoenix tattoo design – for thousands of years, this mythological bird stands for ‘rising out of the ashes’, and ‘starting from the beginning’. It stands for rebirth and new beginnings. Sure, sometimes it is hard to start fresh, but let the phoenix remind you that even though you may not be able to have a new start, you can always change the way your story ends.
- Butterfly/caterpillar tattoo design – nature is filled with symbolism of ‘new beginnings’; all we need to do is actually observe it and think about it. For example, the symbolism of a caterpillar and butterfly is inexhaustible when it comes to the topic of rebirth and starting fresh. Both also symbolize personal transformation and prove that you can truly become your best self, despite any of the obstacles life throws at you.
- Lotus tattoo design – the majority of Eastern religions, like Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism, see the lotus as a symbol of rebirth, growth, and spiritual/personal evolution and transformation. Because lotus grows from the bottom of a pond, pushing through mud, rocks, and stones to blossom on the surface creates a perfect metaphor for anyone out there struggling with mental health and self-value. Getting a lotus tattoo can serve as a daily reminder that the struggle you’re going through right now is contributing to your personal growth, so you can become the best possible version of yourself.
- Koi fish tattoo design – Koi fish is one of the best-known fishes in the East. Maybe you’ve heard of it in the traditional Japanese and Chinese myths and stories, in which the fish struggles to overcome obstacles, but in the end, manages to survive and live forever. Because of that, this fish symbolizes endurance, overcoming obstacles and hardships, surviving, and managing to live a good life after all that has happened.
Other Inspirational Tattoos
Any tattoo design, if it speaks to you and your experience, can be inspirational and motivational. It can be difficult to recommend tattoo designs to the general public because not everyone relates to the same stuff. That is why we also wanted to include paragraphs dedicated to random, potentially inspirational, and motivational tattoo designs.
These designs are seemingly all over the place, sometimes even funny and cartoonish, silly and downplaying the seriousness of the topic. Despite all of that, they still show off strength, endurance, survival, battle with oneself, and everything related to mental health as creative and part of your personal story. Make sure to check them out and hopefully you’ll be inspired by the designs.
We cannot finish this article without mentioning the power of faith in battling mental illness. Faith doesn’t have to necessarily be religious; sometimes all you need is to have faith in yourself. Not everybody is religious, or spiritual, but we all experience hope, hopelessness, faith, or faithlessness, depending on personal circumstances. Lack of faith can be something we can use to change, then grow personally and thrive.
Lack of faith shows that we want to be in control of our own destiny, further proving that maybe a lot of the problems stem from an overwhelming need for self-sufficiency. Hopelessness and lack of faith generally lead to dark places. So maybe, once in a while, you can look down at your tattoo and be reminded to at least have some faith in yourself.
We would really like to thank all of our readers and everyone who has gone through this article. Battling mental illness and living with poor mental health can be devastating for every single person out there. Hopefully, our little article will help you find a way to cope with your current obstacles. Of course, getting a tattoo won’t solve the problems you have to face, but it can surely help you overcome them. A tattoo can be a great reminder of who you were/are, how far you’ve come, how much you’ve grown, and how great you truly are. So, never give up, believe in yourself, and trust the process of recovery!