Getting a tattoo can be a revitalizing process. Many people ink these creations to their bodies to commemorate life events, whether it be the end of something or a beginning. You will often hear people who are coming out of a bad relationship talk about getting a tattoo and people will often mutter about how getting a tattoo was part of someone’s midlife crisis.

But, getting a tattoo can be a process that reinvigorates and improves one’s mental health and quality of life.

Impulsivity

You may be asking how the simple act of getting a tattoo can drastically improve someone’s mental health. That is a complicated answer that starts with impulsivity.

The act of getting a tattoo is often one of impulsivity. The adrenaline and endorphin rush that crawls through your veins as the needle permanent inks a design to your skin creates an experience like no other. In a world where we are told not to be impulsive and to think through every action, getting a tattoo is not one of those moments that you should ever overthink. In our daily lives, we are taught to evaluate every situation. We seek approval before we do anything and purposely overthink our situations. We are taught never to be at risk because we “might regret it”. And, while there are very real and very powerful times in which someone might regret a tattoo, getting tattoos to commemorate your mental health is not one that you will ever regret. The act of impulsiveness tattooing a design on your skin can do wonders for your mental health.

Self-Care

Often times, those suffering depressing are searching for a reason to get out of bed in the morning, and, looking after a new tattoo can be a draw-out process. For those who suffer from mental health deficits, this is actually quite a good thing. The process of caring for a new tattoo doesn’t just allow a person to take care of the ink on their skin, but it also enables them the ability to take care of themselves! Looking after a new tattoo requires bathing in a specific way, exposing the skin to fresh air, putting lotion on your skin. These are all things that those suffering from depression and anxiety often forget to allow them in their times of need. By taking care of the tattoo, they can improve their mental state and practice all important self-care.

Commitment

Getting a tattoo for one’s mental health is a large commitment. Not only does the tattoo often commemorate something to the survivor, but it can also be a contract that they will not slip into their darkness again. By having this permanent reminder, people are able to remember, not only where they have come from, but they are also enabling them to remember the power that it took to survive. It can be a strong reminder of what you are working toward. Tattoos are permanent. They are not sticky notes that you attach to the fridge or mirror every day. These are forever in your body, allowing you to overcome your mental health demons. Unlike other messages that you can send yourself, a tattoo is impossible to escape from. If you know someone who has gone under the needle for the sake of their mental health, you may also want to note the placement of their tattoo. These tattoos are often in very public, very easily accessible places, such as their wrists or hands. This has allowed their symbols of pride to always be on display for themselves. It allows them to be consistently reminded what they need to do to take care of their own health.

Comradery

Tattoos are part of a mental health movement. Many people with mental health feel that they are alone and that others cannot possibly understand their struggles. That’s why movements that involve these permanent images are so powerful.

You may have seen the tattoos before that are telltale signs of someone who has suffered from mental health issues or who knows someone that has. Eternity signs, the word “love” inked to a wrist, a semi-colon. These tattoos started as part of powerful movements to encourage those suffering from depression and other mental health disorders to seek help and understand that they are not alone. When a fellow survivor sees these symbols, they are able to identify a friend and it drives home that they are not alone in the problems that they have faced.

Raises Awareness

Along with these tattoos being part of many large movements, tattoos are a way to help end the stigmas surrounding mental health. Tattoos are great conversation starters, especially those that are exposed. When people point to a tattoo that helps you to commemorate your commitment to being a better you, it allows you to talk about the struggles that are related to mental illnesses.

After being a conversation starter, we can openly talk about our paths and process the information. It helps others to understand that mental health is necessary for everyone. Tattoos are so public that they can help to counter any shame that might be associated with the struggles with mental illness.While many people debate the health benefits of tattoos, one thing is sure: they can dramatically improve the quality of your mental health. For those who suffer from anxiety, depression, or any number of other illnesses, these tattoos can be a stark reminder of where you have come from and where you are now. Sometimes, these permanent symbols are just what we need to make sure that we get through our day and other times they serve such a purpose as to allow us to breathe and take care of ourselves.

Tattoos are becoming more and more popular in society. These inked art pieces are helping to end the stigma surrounding mental illness and allowing many to improve their quality of life. So, if you are ever thinking about getting a tattoo to commemorate how far you’ve come with your anxiety or the debilitating depression that you suffered only last year, give it a try. The impulsivity might make all the difference!

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