Manifestation | What You Need to Know and Why It Works
WRITTEN BY KIMBERLY MA AND DR. SWATHI
Wouldn’t it be nice to turn dreams into a reality? Well perhaps it’s not as far-fetched as you may have thought…
Turns out, there is an art of actualizing our wishes that dates back hundreds of years to ancient Hindu scriptures. The practice has been passed through many generations and different groups of people to eventually yield what we know today as “manifestation.”
What is manifestation?
The practice of manifestation is rooted in the law of attraction, which describes the mechanisms in which individuals can use their energy, mindset, and actions to bring dreams to reality. In other words, we attract our thoughts into fruition. We manifest.
Although many people believe that fate is out of their control, the law of attraction states otherwise. In fact, as one of the powerful laws of the universe, the law of attraction identifies several principles that show how outcome is controlled by mindset. For example:
- Like Attract Like: positive thinking will translate to positive experiences; negative thinking will translate to negative experiences
- Vacuums Don’t Exist: cleaning out positive thoughts only makes room for more negative thoughts; but, cleaning out negative thoughts makes room for more positive thoughts
- Don’t Rock the Boat: vibrations are anxieties or worries that interfere with positive thoughts
In order to experience the outcomes that we want, we must remove any physical and psychological blocks. For example, negativity, anxiety, and worry get in the way of achieving our goals. Studies have even shown that individuals with more positive mindsets tend to be more physically healthy. This includes improved sleep, focus, fewer colds, and less pain.
How do I promote positive thinking?
Positive self-talk is as simple as it sounds. You can start with stating aloud motivational phrases, words of encouragement, or affirmations. Examples may include “I’m proud of myself for achieving this goal,” or “I will overcome this challenge.” As a bonus, this method of positive thinking has been shown to reduce the body’s stress related responses such as lowering blood pressure, promoting relaxing breathing, and preventing excess release of stress hormones. In other words, positive self-talks can be beneficial for a multitude of reasons.
Learning to identify negativity goes hand in hand with promoting positivity. Remember, learning how to identify negative thoughts and removing them will make room for more positive thoughts. Although removing negativity is not always an easy challenge to overcome, working towards being able to at least identify it can improve your self-confidence and ability to manifest.
Practicing acceptance is not something that comes easy to most; however, its practice has significant benefits in terms of minimizing feelings of psychological distress (stress, anxiety, etc). Learning how to objectively identify your own strengths and weaknesses, confirm your values, and come to terms with your reality can help remove unwanted negativity to make room for positivity.
Practicing gratitude, or simply being thankful for moments, circumstances, or anything good in your life, is one of the cornerstones of positivity. Whether it be for something as small as someone holding the door for you, or receiving a present, gratitude can greatly impact your mindset. Even expressing gratitude to yourself can make the world of a difference.
How do I start manifesting?
There are a variety of techniques that can put the concepts that guide manifesting into physical practice. Depending on your individual preferences, try implementing one, two, or several of these methods into your daily routine to being your journey towards manifestation:
Mood Boards can be really fun to put together for individuals who love visual stimulation. Try putting together photos, images, drawings, quotations, colors, or anything that inspires you. Compiling various thoughts and ideas into a single place can help you better understand the goal you are trying to achieve, and the necessary steps to get there.
Journaling is a crowd favorite and has become increasingly popular. Like moodboards, journals can be used to collect thoughts and ideas into a single place. It provides an outlet to share your most personal feelings, fears, and hopes for the future. It can also be a very effective way to develop consistency and incorporate time to focus on de-stressing in your busy day.
- Visualization on the other hand does not require collecting thoughts or ideas. Instead, it involves visualizing what it will look and feel like when you achieve your goal. Focus on providing as much detail as possible, such as touch, sight, taste, sounds, and smells. How do you feel? Elated? Relieved? Even if you don’t have a specific goal in mind just yet, try visualizing what your perfect day looks like in the future. The more details the better.
Meditation is another explosively popular practice of mental health and wellness that can be used to start your manifestation journey. There are plenty of great guided meditations used specifically for manifestation. Even if guided meditations aren’t for you, practicing mindfulness and relaxation can still provide you with what you need to get started.
Whether these tools are used a couple times a week or for 10 minutes a day, developing a healthy routine can help you better manifest. Plus, it promotes mental and physical well-being! A great perk if you ask me.
Okay, let’s put the principles together…
- Believe in yourself that you can achieve your goals
- Identify negativity, but promote positivity through moodboards, journaling, visualization, or meditation
- Practice gratitude
- Create an action plan
The bottom line
In general, manifestation can be used to achieve any goal small or large. While practicing the law of attraction can help you better understand your goals, it’s important to remember that manifestation encompasses both thought and action. Knowing what you want and why you want something is not enough for it to come true. Manifestation helps to put us in the mental space to identify the exact goals we hope to achieve. However, action and effort are equally important to manifesting those desires.
- Basset FA, Kelly LP, Hohl R, Kaushal N. Type of self-talk matters: Its effects on perceived exertion, cardiorespiratory, and cortisol responses during an iso-metabolic endurance exercise. Psychophysiology, 2022;59:e13980. https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13980
- Feeney DM. Positive Self-Talk: An Emerging Learning Strategy for Students With Learning Disabilities. Intervention in School and Clinic, 2022;57(3):189-193. https://doi.org/10.1177/10534512211014881
- Zhang X, Yue H, Sun J, et al. Regulatory emotional self-efficacy and psychological distress among medical students: multiple mediating roles of interpersonal adaptation and self-acceptance. BMC Med Educ 2022;22:283. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-022-03338-2
Atad OI, Russo-Netzer P. The Effect of Gratitude on Well-being: Should We Prioritize Positivity or Meaning?. J Happiness Stud 2022;23:1245–1265. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-021-00448-4
This article was edited by Dr. Swathi and was written by Element Apothec Scientific Communications Intern, Kimberly Ma. She is a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) candidate at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy in Storrs, Connecticut.