Anxiety art (A guide)

Anxiety art

In this brief post, we have compiled a list of anxiety art which expresses the way most of us who suffer from anxiety feel. 

This anxiety art should encourage you to relate and understand that there are many other people out there who may also suffer from anxiety and have used anxiety art to express themselves.

Below each anxiety art, we will briefly explain what we see.

If you have any anxiety art you want to add to this list then please send in your suggestions in the comments below.

Anxiety art

Anxiety art

Anxiety art: In this art we see a lot of very scary looking hands reaching out to a character which is almost crouching to avoid the hands. The black and white used in this art make us see that life sometimes can really be black and white. It can feel like we only have one of two options. To be brave and courageous or to cower underneath the shadow of anxiety.  Interestingly the anxiety art portrays that the man or woman doesn’t close off all his or her eyes, he or she only blocks one-off with his or her hand, maybe he or she is looking for his or her opportunity to escape or maybe they just like to see what’s about to get them. I guess we can take some positives from this cloudy anxiety art piece.

We couldn’t locate the artists for this magnificent piece.

Anxiety art

Anxiety art: In this anxiety art we see a character which has its eyes both covered with its arms and its hair extended almost as if it has been shocked by electricity causing its hair to stand out. Anxious people often close their eyes and try to avoid people or issues in front of them. It is very common to see this done and so this art piece represents almost any anxious person you may have come across. I can’t see many positives in this piece aside from its colour.

I also couldn’t make out who painted this piece.

Anxiety art

Anxiety art: In this anxiety art we see a lady who has her lips puffed out, almost as if she is sighing about something which has just occurred. She has her palms placed against her cheeks, pushing them up, almost as if in shock of what may have just happened.

The negative contrast used in this piece of work makes us think about the sadness that is anxiety and how it can lead us to depression if not managed correctly.

This piece was signed off as “RAM 2016”

Anxiety art

Anxiety art: In This anxiety art we see someone who has their mouth open and a bunch of words stuck in there, maybe these words are being shouted as the mouth is open much wider than it would be if one was simply speaking in a normal voice. In Fact, it seems like a scream.  The words in her mouth are: CALM THE —- DOWN AND CHEER THE —- UP- Art therapy for anxiety & depression by Maggie Mclean.

Interestingly she has one eye open and the other eye closed. This is a common theme for people who are anxious and scared about something. They will tend to close one eye and open the other almost as if they are looking for their opportunity to escape or for some reason they want to see and confront their fears, or at least some part of their mind wants to.

Anxiety art

Anxiety art: In this anxiety art we see the frame of what looks to be a man but rather than soft bits we see the wiring and the ends have been done in a manner where they would certainly hurt anyone who came to close. The tips have also been done with a tool which can easily be removed. We even see some of these tools above the structures head, almost as if they have just popped off as soon as the structure was placed on the surface.

What I get from this art is the fact that there are a lot of people with anxiety who are hard to help, who often push people away because of their anxiety and who may be unreliable friends. On the other hand it also reflects how carefully we should treat those who have anxiety to ensure we don’t cause them to fall apart. We must be conscious and considerate towards their strengths and weaknesses.

We couldn’t locate who created this piece.

Anxiety art

Anxiety art: In this anxiety arrt we see a hand which comes in front of a character’s face and shuts his lips. We don’t see any more details as to where this hand has come from but we could guess it comes from their head. Again the black and grey contrast reflects the mood of people who suffer from anxiety may be feeling and how easy it is to go from feeling anxious about having depression or even severe anxiety.

This piece was created by ARAMIS NIETO.

Anxiety art

Anxiety art: In this anxiety art we see a woman looking into the distance but covering most of her face with a book and that book we see the same image. We could imagine that this sequence goes on for as long as the eyes can see. People who have anxiety will naturally shy away from things that bring them out of their comfort zones and prefer to stay away from any limelight. This means they spend most of their time observing others rather than participating.

Anxiety art

Anxiety art: In this anxiety art piece we see a character with many faces screaming in a dark background. This art reminds me of many anxiety sufferers who suffer in silence and hence the screams are only in their heads and neve out loud. Suffering in silence means that they rarely ever get help and their friends or family are not even aware that they carry such a burden. If you are reading this and you suffer from anxiety then sharing with your family is one of the best things you may be able to do for yourself. Your family and friends will be able to help you and will hopefully be considerate to your dilemma.

Anxiety art

Anxiety art:

In this anxiety art piece we see a woman who looks broker as she has a lot of cracks on her face neck and shoulder. Oddly enough her ears seem perfectly fine and even bigger than normal ears. It may be because she spends so much time listening and absorbing information which makes her even more anxious. 

Her eyes are pointed downwards which implies she is low on confidence or not ready to face her challenges. 

From her head rises the root of a three which has a broken clock. To me this signifies the amount of time she has suffered or how much time she may have left before she reaches her breaking point, if she hasn’t already reached it as suggested by the broken clock.


In this section, you will find anxiety art, you will also find over 200 art therapy prompts and and art therapy ideas.

Anxiety clipart 

Anxiety art (A guide)

This anxiety clipart is extremely representative of how anxiety takes control over one’s mind, making you think of negative scenarios and making it impossible to control your thoughts. 

This anxiety we feel is not just a mental state, but we live it in our whole body: our heartbeats harder, our breathing is difficult or very fast, we feel our muscles tense, we sweat, our stomach tightens. Living these things, it is often difficult for us to stay in one place, we feel like doing something, talking to someone, going somewhere, moving from one corner of the room to another.

Anxiety art (A guide)

This anxiety clipart represents a person who feels overwhelmed by the racing thoughts and the confusion generated by anxiety. The arms above the head are an attempt to protect oneself from the feeling of emptiness and the frightening images that are often generated by anxiety.

Anxiety art (A guide)

When we have anxiety, our mind seems to be flooded with worries (“What if it happens?” “What if I suffer?” “If I can’t?”), with frightening images (“A dog will bite me! ” I will fail the exam! ” Everyone laughs at me! ”), with unpleasant memories (“ Oh, that’s how it happened then… ” I don’t want to remember how bad it was when… ”) or repeated doubts (“Maybe I didn’t make sure enough that…” “Maybe I didn’t do well…” “Maybe I should have said something…”). This anxiety clipart surely describes all these anxiety symptoms.

Anxiety art (A guide)

The evolution of anxiety disorders is chronic, and in the absence of proper treatment, people suffer major long-term costs, such as the increased risk of somatic diseases and high comorbidity with other mental health problems (eg depression, alcohol abuse or other substances), high rate of disability, academic failure, unemployment or low performance at work.

This anxiety clipart describes a person who is affected by anxiety, who feels overwhelmed and in pain.

Anxiety art (A guide)

This anxiety clipart represents a person with social anxiety. Social phobia is characterized by a strong fear of being judged by others or fear of being put in an embarrassing situation. 

Social situations are often avoided or endured with great difficulty because the person feels overwhelmed by worries and physical symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, rapid breathing, trembling of the voice, redness of the face.

Anxiety art (A guide)

Anxiety is a natural emotion, which helps us prevent the occurrence of threatening situations. For example, we are preparing to go on a trip to the mountains. But anxiety has its costs. 

They are primarily related to the energy we consume while keeping our mind and body in a state of continuous activation. It is costly for our minds to keep worrying, to anticipate unwanted scenarios, to look for solutions, to make sure things are going well, and so on. This anxiety clipart represents a person overwhelmed by negative scenarios and thoughts.

Anxiety art (A guide)

This anxiety clipart represents someone trying to calm down during a panic attack. Panic disorder is characterized by recurrent panic attacks and increased avoidance of situations that can trigger these attacks. During a panic attack, people feel like they have a heart attack, go crazy or suffocate, without being able to identify a specific reason. 

The symptoms of a panic attack are palpitations, chest pain, sweating, tremor, suffocation, fear of death, fear of losing control, feelings of unreality and more.

Anxiety art (A guide)

This anxiety clipart shows yet another expression of anxiety. We can also correlate anxiety with OCD. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by the persistent appearance of unwanted thoughts or images that the person has great difficulty getting out of his mind and that produce intense states of fear or guilt (these are obsessions – for example, the obsession to be contaminated).

Often, in order to reduce negative emotions or to neutralize obsessions, the person resorts to certain behaviours, which are performed in a ritualized way, a certain number of times, in certain places (these are compulsions – for example, excessive hand washing or surrounding objects).

Anxiety art (A guide)

I think this anxiety clipart best describes the fear that an anxious person feels. Generalized anxiety is characterized by excessive or unrealistic worries that persist over a long period of time, and the person has great difficulty controlling them. In adults, these concerns can have as a starting point the health, money, career or safety of others. 

In addition to recurring concerns, persistent physiological symptoms such as muscle aches, insomnia, dizziness and agitation, irritability or exhaustion also occur.

Anxiety art (A guide)

This anxiety clipart demonstrates another effect of anxiety. In the long run, anxiety and excessive worries can make us believe that our lives are full of troubles, that we are always threatened, that our future is dark. Although it is natural to give priority to things that threaten our lives, if our mind is only concerned with the negative aspects and ignores the opportunities and joys of life, then we condemn ourselves to live in an unjust and fierce world.

Anxiety drawings 

Anxiety art (A guide)

This anxiety drawing best represents the wish of someone suffering from chronic anxiety, that would wish to just turn off their emotions, worries, doubts and negative thoughts. 

Pathological anxiety is characterized by intense anxiety, difficulty relaxing and exhaustion, persistent, exaggerated worries, terrible thoughts or scenarios that are constantly repeated, the constant pressure to always check or avoid a wide variety of situations.

Anxiety art (A guide)

This anxiety drawing shows how hard it is to carry this invisible luggage all around you, and not being able to just leave it behind because somehow it just became part of you.  Anxiety becomes heavy luggage when the costs far outweigh the benefits. 

For example, people with anxiety problems often report that they cannot relax, that they always feel tense or have muscle aches, that they do not sleep well or that they have frequent migraines, that they always feel restless and that they can no longer enjoy life etc. 

Because of these things, these people often feel exhausted, have a low performance at work or are dissatisfied with the way they live their lives.

Anxiety art (A guide)

This beautiful anxiety drawing represents how difficult it is to find your true self while suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The costs of anxiety are so high that they cause severe deterioration of social life and/or work capacity, cause suffering and strong dissatisfaction with oneself or one’s life.

Anxiety art (A guide)

I can definitely say that this anxiety drawing is one of the most representative of the feeling of anxiety. Anxiety is characterized by intense anxiety, difficulty relaxing and exhaustion, persistent, exaggerated worries, terrible thoughts or scenarios that are constantly repeated, the constant pressure to always check or avoid a wide variety of situations. And this anxiety drawing perfectly describes these symptoms.

Anxiety art (A guide)

This anxiety drawing is very sad, direct but also extremely honest. The costs of anxiety are so high that they cause severe deterioration of social life and/or work capacity, cause suffering and strong dissatisfaction with oneself or one’s life.

Anxiety art (A guide)

Extreme worries or fear most of the time or repeated panic, irrational feelings of fear, dread or danger; Common physical symptoms such as agitation, insecurity and trembling, nausea, hot flashes, dizziness, difficulty breathing or frequent urination in the absence of a rational threat – all are symptoms of anxiety that are so well described by this anxiety drawing.

Anxiety art (A guide)

This anxiety drawing represents how anxiety can overwhelm a person. Psychologically, anxiety can be manifested by:

  • Worry about the near future or the distant future. People up to the age of 65, especially those who live alone and have more stressors in their lives, are at risk for anxiety.
  • Uncontrollable thoughts about something that might not go well
  • Restless thoughts and uncontrollable repetitive behaviours that aim to reduce the anxiety triggered by those thoughts.
Anxiety art (A guide)

Another anxiety drawing that represents the racing thoughts, doubts, worries and negative scenarios that constantly goes through one’s head. 

Anxiety art (A guide)

This frightening anxiety drawing portrays the true face of anxiety, which is often felt as a terror to one’s own person and life itself.

Difficulty falling asleep due to negative thoughts or other physical symptoms. Waking up at night with difficulty falling asleep are common problems reported by people with anxiety.

Anxiety art (A guide)

I really like this anxiety drawing because it’s like a metaphor. Racing thoughts and worries are like bees that never stop buzzing. The head feels like a hive, heavy, full, overwhelmed and almost impossible to calm down.

Anxiety (painting)

Anxiety art (A guide)

This is the very famous anxiety painting called the Scream. The author of the painting is Edvard Munch. The painter managed to portrait so well the anxiety of the modern world.

Anxiety art (A guide)

And here we have another anxiety painting by the impressionist Edward Munch. The painter suffered several traumatic experiences in his childhood, the aftermath of which we can easily see in these famous paintings.

Anxiety art (A guide)

This anxiety painting belongs to Helena Wierzbicki. It is painted with acrylic colours on a canvas, and it represents an abstract female figure. The combination of the colours red, blue and yellow seem to be the best in expressing the pain, anguish and overwhelming feeling of anxiety. 

Anxiety art (A guide)

The author of this anxiety painting is Allatief All. To quote the painter: 

This painting is about me and other people who have anxiety which is difficult to interact with the social, so we become introverted and spy the outside situation. It’s not a nice condition, but it’s also not easy to step out the door of our nest. We do want to talk to many people and go outside, but our mind thinks a lot when we hear even one word which then trembles and makes us get back to our nest.”

Anxiety art (A guide)

The author of this anxiety watercolour print is Ellen Nichols. The painting illustrates a person crying, feeling overwhelmed and tired – just like anxiety makes us feel most of the time.

Anxiety art (A guide)

This social anxiety painting belongs to Marla Edwards. This piece is about how people with social anxiety can perceive others in a crowded or public place. They feel trapped, surrounded, and paranoid that everyone is watching and judging them.

Anxiety art (A guide)

This anxiety painting belongs to Reddit user: u/r_thomas_art. I absolutely love the way he used the colours to express the painful and devastating feeling of anxiety.

Anxiety art (A guide)

This anxiety painting is called ‘The Anxiety of Saint Joseph’ by James Tissot (1836-1902).

In this morning’s painting, ‘The Anxiety of Saint Joseph,’ Tissot portrays Saint Joseph at his carpenter’s table, with tools scattered around him. His shop is small and cramped, with planks and pieces of wood everywhere, and shavings piled up on the floor.

The windows look out onto the busy, bustling streets of Nazareth, where people are going about their daily business. But in the middle of all this, Saint Joseph stands bent over his table. His bearded chin rests in his hand, his face caught in deep thought.

Tissot presents Saint Joseph as a man who speaks to our own time – a man for our age, this age of anxiety.

Anxiety art (A guide)

This anxiety portrait is painted by Kevin M Gavaghan, a young painter who expresses his daily struggles with anxiety and Tourette’s syndrome through his paintings. If you are interested in Kevin’s art, you can learn more about the artist and contact him here.

Another anxiety painting by Kevin that we like:

Anxiety art (A guide)

Art therapy prompts 

  1. Practice drawing or building everything that comes to mind;
  2. Different combination of colors or techniques
  3. Different combinations of shapes
  4. Natural studies; landscapes, portrait, human body, textures
  5. Studies by favorite artists.
  6. Draw with a non-dominant hand
  7. Abstract shapes
  8. Lots of words
  9. Your school
  10. Teacher and favorite subject
  11. The cartoon
  12. Your family
  13. Planet in 2055
  14. An event that marked you
  15. Someone special in your life
  16. Someone you haven’t talked to in a long time
  17. If you had a superpower, what would it be? Just draw it!
  18. Your favorite place in the entourage
  19. Your favorite artist
  20. If Facebook were a person
  21. If you could fly the way you see the world
  22. Your hometown
  23. The city where you live now
  24. Favorite bird
  25. Your pet
  1. Favorite coffee
  2. Favorite emotion
  3. The most difficult emotion to control
  4. Your job
  5. If Youtube were a person
  6. Draw your favorite flowers
  7. Illustrate what sadness looks like for you
  8. Draw based on a photo
  9. Draw a city that starts with the same letter as your name
  10. Draw what hope looks like to you
  11. The interior of your living room
  12. A plant in your home
  13. Kitchen utensils, such as a whisk or a ladle
  14. A self-portrait
  15. A family photo that you love
  16. A famous person you admire
  17. Your feet (or someone else’s feet)
  18. Your hands (or someone else’s hands)
  19. A necklace, ring, or other type of jewelry — combine them in a still life
  20. A furry friend (here is a good idea to work with a photo)
  21. A bouquet of flowers (try using colored pencils)
  22. Trees seen from your window
  23. The facade of your favorite building
  24. The objects on your coffee table
  25. Your most striking shoes
  1. A small animal
  2. Fresh fruit cut in half (citrus works well)
  3. House keys with your keychain
  4. A cup of coffee and a dessert from a local cafe
  5. An interesting object on your shelf
  6. Your favorite wild animal
  7. Someone’s head seen from behind
  8. Draw someone on public transport
  9. Play with perspective: See a building or bridge from below
  10. Wrinkled fabric
  11. A landscape you love (like a place you went on vacation)
  12. A copy of your favorite painting or sculpture (extra points if you are in a museum)
  13. Recreate scientific illustrations of insects or animals (such as John James Audubon’s)
  14. Your close eye
  15. An object on a glass plate
  16. What are you wearing today
  17. The view from your window
  18. What you see from the rearview mirror of your car
  19. Your dinner yesterday …
  20. … Before you prepared it (the ingredients)
  21. An accumulation of fungi
  22. A collection of your favorite objects
  23. An historic event
  24. Something that upsets you
  25. Something that makes you happy
  1.  Draw your best friend
  2. Illustrate a children’s book
  3. Draw on a tote bag
  4. Draw words in a foreign language
  5. Favorite part of your body
  6. A famous speech
  7. A dream that you recently had
  8. A random person
  9. Have a trip to your favorite city
  10. Your favorite store
  11. Your favorite clothing item
  12. Give life to your slippers
  13. Draw your favorite weather
  14. The place where you last read
  15. Favorite character
  16. Imagine that objects could talk
  17. Imagine a world without technology
  18. Draw what love means to you
  19. Draw as you see the check
  20. Draw an ideal world
  21. What does the fire look like?
  22. A secret place
  23. A hidden desire
  24. How do you think others perceive you
  25. How would you like to be in the future.

Art therapy ideas

  1. Draw outdoors
  2. Paint the music you hear
  3. Recreate a place where you feel safe
  4. Art in nature (Make a work in nature with the materials available)
  5. Make a sculpture with recyclable material
  6. Paint on our skin
  7. Write a poem
  8. Capture shadows
  9. Draw a happy memory
  10. Create art from your own name
  11. Create a clay sculpture of anger
  12. Draw in the dark
  13. Activity with a balloon (Write on a piece of paper all your negative emotions then let the balloon fly away along with your worries)
  14. Portray someone who changed your life
  15. Draw in the sand
  16. Destroy objects that you no longer need (be careful)
  17. Draw or write about what scares you
  18. Paint your best friend
  19. Draw on your face. 
  20. Make a photo frame. 
  21. Finger paint your favourite flower
  22. Paint with your feet
  23. Sew Stones. Yes yes what you read. 
  24. Make aXXL MANDALA made of wool thread. 
  25. Build a birdhouse
  1. Make a heart-shaped stamp from a cardboard tube
  2. Make a wreath of colorful flowers
  3. Cute animals made of paper hearts
  4. Learn simple origami
  5. Create the shape of your favorite object from recyclable materials
  6. Make a handmade gift for a special someone
  7. Make a Happy Birthday card
  8. Draw how your anger feels
  9. Imagine that your sadness is a real person
  10. Imagine that your grief is a real person
  11. Write 10 things you are grateful for
  12. Write a love letter
  13. Model your own fridge magnets
  14. Make a DIY stress ball from a balloon
  15. Make some plastic bottle flowers
  16. Make friendships bracelets
  17. Fill a snowglobe with the filling of your choice
  18. Draw on the glass
  19. Go cloud gazing
  20. Try to draw what would be at the end of a rainbow
  21. Learn to dance
  22. Learn how to pronounce your name in different languages
  23. Put on your favorite music and move your body
  24. Draw using watercolors / gouache or something you have never used before
  25. Draw with your left hand if you are right-handed
  1. Draw with your right hand if you are left-handed
  2. Turn a poem into a drawing
  3. Draw your favorite song
  4. Draw a beautiful memory
  5. Draw a sad memory
  6. Draw your future
  7. Draw using makeup products
  8. Build a map for a non-existent city.
  9. Build something using lego pieces.
  10. Reorganize your library.
  11. Draw the sketch of your dream home.
  12. Draw your family from the past, present and future.
  13. Use the playdough to shape your favorite pet.
  14. Build something using the books in your library.
  15. Sketch your favorite place in the world
  16. Sew the shape of a sun, a heart or a butterfly on your favorite t-shirt
  17. Letters made of elements of nature
  18. Collages from favorite pictures
  19. Painted stones
  20. Compositions with elements of nature
  21. Butterfly or fairy wings, decorated with flowers and leaves
  22. The woven picture
  23. Start a small garden on the balcony
  24. Mandalas decorated with elements of nature
  25. Try fun and educational mobile apps
  1. Discover the scientist in you
  2. Learn how to create your own games in School Code
  3. Start writing a diary
  4. Write about the things you are grateful for
  5. Write down your wishes and dreams
  6. Write a letter to a person who is no longer in your life
  7. Write a letter for you in the future
  8. Watch movies that spark your creativity
  9. Learn how to pack a gift box
  10. Discover new types of painting
  11. Make a family photo album
  12. Play with stickers
  13. Make a floral composition
  14. Learn how to combine colors with each other
  15. Learn to cook
  16. Recreate a family recipe
  17. Rearrange your pantry according to colors
  18. Learn to sew
  19. Spend a few hours studying the plants
  20. Admire the structure of a tree
  21. Illustrates old pictures
  22. Learn to edit pictures like a pro
  23. Take 100 photos “from another perspective”
  24. Reflect on a change of look.
  25. Create your own bullet journal.

Treatment for anxiety

Treatment for anxiety falls into two categories: psychotherapy and medication.

Medications commonly used to treat anxiety include antidepressants and sedatives.

A therapist or psychologist can help you learn to apply certain tools and strategies to deal with anxiety when it starts.

For some people, drug treatment is not necessary, and lifestyle changes may be enough to cope with the symptoms.

If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, loneliness or any similar mental health issue then seeking help for it may be a good option. Mental health issues such as depression, loneliness and anxiety can affect anyone of us.

If you are under 18 then CAMHS, an NHS run programme may just be the answer for your mental health struggles.
You should look to see if you meet the CAMHS referral criteria and then fill in the CAMHS referral form.

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Anxiety art (A guide)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behaviour, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.