6 Non-Cliché One Word Tattoos

Surrender Tattoo @vicky.ink

Words have a huge impact on us. Many people can remember a certain line in their favorite movie that made them either howl with laughter or cry their eyes out. A few words from friends and family members can help us pluck up the courage to do something we never thought we could have. 

Our language has power, so it makes sense that people have decided to get permanent words inked on their skin. 

Phrase and word tattoos can serve as a reminder of a special time, special someone, or favorite book, and even a single word can help you continue to put one foot in front of the other. 

Stay Tattoo @tientattoo_

One word tattoos can be so simple, yet so powerful – a lot of deep meaning can be captured in just a word. 

While such a simplistic tattoo can seem easy, it’s not. There are no other tattoo design elements to hide behind, so you’ve got to choose a word that is very significant to you and one that you won’t think of as cliché or boring a few weeks down the road. 

Here are six single word tattoos to get inspired by for your next minimalist tattoo:

1. Breathe

Are you taking shallow breaths? It’s normal – without realizing it, many people default to short, shallow breaths. But, taking a few moments to concentrate on your breath and breathe deeply has so many amazing benefits. 

“Wherever the benefits arise from, deep, controlled breathing, which involves filling the lungs to the max and goes by various names like belly or diaphragmatic breathing, has been linked to improved cognitive performance and lower stress levels. Deep breathing for as little as 10 minutes a day may lower blood pressure,”

Breathe Tattoo @kyla_rose_tattoo

This one word tattoo can hold significance to people who get anxious. Controlled breathing – taking air slowly into the belly, and then exhaling fully – can help ward off a panic attack. 

A “Breathe” tattoo can be a powerful reminder to take a step back from stressors, be in the present moment, and focus on something that is in your control: Your breath. 

2. Self-Love

The term “self-love” is often associated with facemasks, bubble baths, and candles. And if this is your favorite way to take care of yourself, then amazing! However, self-love can go beyond spa days. 

It can mean boundaries and putting your needs and goals in front. If you’ve confused loving yourself with being selfish, you may need a reminder that there is nothing wrong with putting your well being first – in fact, it’s often essential. 

Self Love Tattoo @inked.by.kass

“…without self-love, you’re likely to be highly self-critical and fall into people-pleasing and perfectionism. You’re more likely to tolerate abuse or mistreatment from others. You may neglect your own needs and feelings because you don’t value yourself. And you may self-sabotage or make decisions that aren’t in your own best interest,”

Psych Central

If you’re looking for a reminder to move away from perfectionism and people-pleasing, a self-love tattoo could be for you. 

3. Courage

Really think about this: Do you hold yourself back? Do you love the cozyness of your comfort zone? Do you love it so much that you’re stuck in a situation that in all honesty isn’t all that comfortable? 

That’s the funny thing about comfort zones: You think you’re comfortable so you forgo the idea of doing anything risky to jeopardize this space, but you’re actually made uncomfortable by not stepping into your full potential and stretching your abilities. 

Courage Tattoo @studiodaveink

Fear holds many back. And what is the antidote to fear? Courage. Self belief. Taking chances doesn’t mean living without fear, it’s about making your courage bigger than your fear. 

A “Courage” tattoo can be the perfect inked reminder to not allow fear to make all your life decisions for you. 

4. Resilient 

Many people get tattoos as a reminder of overcoming something. It’s not a permanent note to yourself of the difficult time necessarily, it’s more about remembering that you’re resilient and are fully capable of overcoming tough times. 

Resilient Semi Colon Tattoo @ouch818

Tattoos are no longer seen as a sign of nonconformity for many people, but a self empowering process and symbol. In fact, Mic has found that getting a tattoo for some women is an act of reclaiming their bodies and celebrating themselves,

“Chicago tattoo parlor Ink180, for example, specializes in transforming scars women incurred after belonging to gangs, surviving domestic violence or sex trafficking. Breast cancer survivors are also using the power of tattoos to reclaim their bodies by transforming scars from mastectomies or reconstructive surgery into beautiful designs.”

Resilient Script Tattoo @slumbunnyink

“Resilient” tattooed on the wrist can be a potent reminder of your ability to thrive past challenging times. 

Read more about tattoos that empower. 

5. Worthy

The idea that they’re unworthy of different, better things can keep many people stuck in a life that they don’t love. 

Self-worth plays a huge role in our lives by impacting the way we allow others to treat us, how we treat ourselves, and the opportunities we go for. 

Worthy Tattoo @taylarepperly

“Self-worth is at the core of our very selves – our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are intimately tied into how we view our worthiness and value as human beings,”

Positive Psychology

How much money you have, your career, and how you look should never determine your self-worth.

A “Worthy” tattoo can be a reminder to not fall into the trap of chasing high status and money in an effort to increase your worthiness, and to instead focus on the fact that you are inherently worthy of amazing things and you deserve to go after them. 

Tiny Worthy Tattoo @ewetattoo

Focus on what truly matters: kindness, compassion, empathy, and respect for others and yourself (all amazing one word tattoo options, too). 

6. Passion

This intense enthusiasm is often used to describe a romantic relationship, but this word can transcend this box. 

Each day can be infused with a little bit of passion, whether it be the way you approach your job or how you enjoy your lunch. 

Passion Tattoo stealherstyle.com

All too often we just go through the motions of life: Wake up, work, eat, sleep. It’s easy to forget to take a moment, appreciate the beauty of the day, and allow some enthusiasm to bubble. 

“Passion” can be an amazing one word tattoo to get inked as a reminder to live life in the driver’s seat instead of going on autopilot. 

These six words (and so many more) prove that you don’t need to go big with a tattoo to make a statement.

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