To some, it’s a sign of rebellion; to others, a sign of individuality and to the rest, a sign of a person who’s on the “wrong side of the tracks.” Whatever way you look at it, tattoos aren’t actually that bad. In fact, you may find that a tattoo could actually be beneficial to both your physical and mental health.
How Tattoos are Good for Your (Mental) Health
What, tattoos are good for your mental health? What a bunch of bologna!
OK, OK. So, no scientific studies have proven this yet, but many people agree that their tattoo has improved their mental health. To the right person, the enjoyment of a unique piece of artwork tattooed on their body makes them feel good about themselves. According to Kathy Foust of Indiana, “even the act of getting a tattoo is mentally inspiring.”
Of course, tattoos don’t have to be visible to provide a mental boost. Kenzy England out of Bonham, Texas, states very clearly that her tattoo, located on her left shoulder blade, is rarely seen unless she wears a shirt that exposes it. However, that tattoo still gives “a boost of confidence that I hadn’t had before.” She adds that “it was my way of reclaiming who I am and it’s a reminder of my self-power and strength.”
So if you stop to really think about it, if you’re feeling good about a well-inked tattoo (especially one that’s been well thought out and was obtained while sober), then that means those feel-good endorphins are pumping through your body. Simply put, if you’re the right person, a tattoo could actually improve your mental health.
How Tattoos Make You Take Better Care of Yourself
Tattoos can help you put you into the habit of taking better care of yourself, which of course, affects your physical health.
Some people will work to maintain their current healthy weight in order to prevent any stretching or disfiguration of the tattoo due to weight gain. Others are noting that they take better care of their skin in order to preserve the look of their tattoo.
That seems to be the general trend, in fact. People who get tattoos generally want to preserve the look of their tattoo. That means taking better care of it: moisturizing the skin, wearing sunscreen and skipping the tanning beds.
Jody Morse of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania noted that her tattoo helped her realize another dangerous addiction: tanning beds. “I was a tanorexic before I got my tattoo, and I initially stopped using tanning beds because I didn’t want to risk my tattoo fading. Now I’ve stepped back from my tanning addiction, I realize how much I’m helping my skin.” She also notes that getting a tattoo and subsequently quitting tanning may have also helped cut her risk of developing skin cancer.
But, it doesn’t end there. Recent studies have found that tattooing is a more effective way of administering vaccines. Yup, that’s right!
Though this does not involve permanent ink, a group of German scientists found that administering vaccinations using a tattooing needle rather than a standard needle and the intramuscular injection method “resulted in a stronger antibody response,” (in comparison to the traditional intramuscular injection).
In other words, one day even the most anti-tattooing of people will themselves be getting tattooed vaccinations.
So, next time you see someone with a tattoo, don’t look down on them. We all have our own reasons for our body modifications or lack-there-of. Chances are, the people you’re looking at feels pretty darn good about themselves.