TikTok trends have introduced younger generations to the ideology of turning thoughts into action — thinking about anything you want and having it come to life. This thought process is universally known as “manifesting your life,” or thinking something into existence.
Manifesting your life is a concept derived from the Law of Attraction — a philosophical belief that a thought, be it positive or negative, can bring a positive or negative occurrence into your life. This concept is followed by many who manifest “making the impossible possible” into a real-life opportunity.
When you focus your energy on something, you can attract it into your life. After this mindset-based approach went from a 19th century philosophy to an ideology now used by teenagers and adults alike, many social media users put forth their own stories to share their personal manifestation process for successful results. Some people pray and meditate, others do intentional journaling or use vision boards to map out what they want in the future.
Other specific methods include the 55×5 technique, which is writing down an affirmation 55 times a day for five days in a row. A popular method includes the 369 manifestation, which is writing down an affirmation three times in the morning, six times in the afternoon and nine times at night.
Constructing your thoughts to think optimistically about your future can be a beautiful, healthy thing. A hopeful mindset has the power to overcome hardships, but sometimes the idea behind a goal is never actually played out in real life. Without legitimate action, manifestation is just a fantasy land within your own head.
Manifesting relies too heavily on thought, rather than actually carrying out that desire. Real change can only occur when a person takes action, so if you’re just manifesting and just thinking positively, nothing is going to happen. Waiting for the universe to give you good karma and grant your wishes gets you nowhere.
Manifesting is like day-dreaming sometimes. If you imagine something that you want for yourself, it can be viewed as a creative vision, as opposed to something attainable, and therefore you’ll put less effort into attaining that vision because it seems unreachable.
Getting engulfed in a specific thought, dreaming about a narrative in your head, wanting that thought to become a reality — the process of harping on a thought can become obsessive to the point of destruction.
An example of this includes manifesting getting a good grade. If you just spend your days fantasizing about a perfect score, chances are, you’re going to sike yourself out and score poorly.
There are hundreds of situations in which overthinking can harm you.
Let’s say you want to lose some weight and constantly manifest having a certain figure. This pressure of trying to obtain something in an obsessive way puts undue pressure on you. The context that surrounds manifestation is meant to be beneficial and invigorating. Unfortunately, this popular trend can sometimes be used in an unhealthy way.
The word “manifestation” has a certain appeal to it due to the wellness objective it pushes, but overall, manifesting can really equate to overthinking. Fixating on something for a long time can snowball into anxious thoughts, or worse. Intrusive thoughts for someone with anxiety can be all-consuming. Entering that territory is dangerous.
Hope is a beautiful thing, alongside thinking positively. You are capable of doing whatever you set your mind to. It’s very cliche, but true nonetheless. If manifesting your dream life is going to force you to go out and work for it, then by all means you should manifest. But if your own thoughts are tantalizing you and stopping you from achieving your goals, then perhaps you shouldn’t put a label on reaching for your desires.