DOES MANIFESTATION MAGIC WORK?
Manifesting is a ubiquitous topic in spiritual circles. We may even have a love-hate relationship with this “mind magic” depending on whether or not we believe it’s ever worked for us. How many times have you stopped and started writing down your daily intentions because it felt like the needle wasn’t moving? How often have you given up on your own vision because of perceived limitations? What if there was compelling evidence that proved manifestation magic isn’t just a catchphrase, but rather a powerful tool to achieve both short- and long-term goals, and to transform your mind, body and life?
For starters, did you know that intention setting and a manifestation practice can positively affect your neurology and alter your physiology? Read on for tips, scientific studies, and practical tools to get your practice going. We hope this overview empowers you to narrow in on what you’re calling in this year! If you’ve ever wondered if what you seek is truly seeking you, now’s the time to put it to the test.
THE NEUROSCIENCE BEHIND VISUALIZATION
Visualizing the future produces the same brain activation as the actual experience, as does visualizing your body doing an action or even picturing yourself gaining physical strength. Embodying your vision and setting daily intentions isn’t just a workout for the mind, either. It’s a scientifically backed practice that has both spiritual and creative origins, producing results that experts across disciplines agree is exponentially more powerful than many other goal-oriented techniques.
Manifesting isn’t just “new thought” spirituality. Its roots are global, and many studies exist to prove its efficacy, despite debate and skepticism among some researchers. In one study among cancer patients, positive thinking had incredible results on quality of life, overall well-being, survival rates, reducing and relieving depression, and immunizing people psychologically against problems.
Furthermore, neuroscience confirms that when you write down your goals, you are encoding your brain’s long-term memory. That gives you a better chance to store the information, but more importantly, it leads to actually achieving your goals over time. In order to experience your vision or desire in the future, you have to feel it in the very core of your being in the present. That may start with meditating, lucid dreaming, or visualizing, and then move to setting small intentions in the short-term or longer-term (even lifelong) intentions that through practice and patience you can manifest into being.
Below are eight ways to enhance your manifestation practice, which research has shown can produce significant neuroplastic changes in the brain, and some dreaming herbs to help you along the way.
8 WAYS TO ENHANCE YOUR MANIFESTATION PRACTICE
In Buddhism, unfulfilled expectations are believed to cause much of human suffering. It’s also part of a toxic thought pattern that stems from a desire to control the future, ripping us out of the present and leading to premature disappointments. We’ve all heard the phrase, “be patient, all is coming,” right? When our monkey mind starts focusing on negativity or expecting the worst, the energy is low vibe, resonating with desperation and fear rather than love and gratitude. Letting go of expectations allows the natural course to unfold. On the flip side, holding onto expectations is counterproductive to manifesting because it negates the trust required to attract positive outcomes. The “right” timing of our own blessings includes a joyful ride (if we choose to see it that way), complete with the specific struggles we need to overcome to reach our own divine destination.
Studies show that conscious mind activation can change our biology in real and intrinsic ways, like sending signals to the body’s cells to allow them to express new proteins. Our thoughts alone can change not only our present reality, but also the actual genetic makeup of our brains! For more on epigenetics, manifesting, and vision boards, check out our blog post on What Science Says About Rewiring Your Brain and unlocking your greatest potential.
Write your life story in alignment with your present values. State clearly aloud (or write down) what you are calling in. Holistic leadership and mindset coach Amina AlTai told The Zoe Report, “Intentions are an opportunity to design and take ownership of our lived experience. It’s like setting the GPS for our lives, and it allows us to shift from an experience that ‘happens to us’ to true vision-hood” (source: TZR). The key here is not to get discouraged, but to approach your daily intentions with optimism. Like the Lupe Fiasco lyric goes, “Kick, push, kick, push, coassssst!” Envision your daily goals as if they are already accomplished, then release all expectations.
Don’t just go for the huge long-term goals. Remember, every day we can make one small step towards something we are calling in. Small business advisor Marla Tabaka writes for Inc. magazine: “Your body is 90 percent water. Dr. Masaru Emoto proved that water can be influenced by intention and thought. Imagine the changes that can take place within your body as you begin to consciously give intention to positive choices.” Choosing to set an intention rather than stating a goal has been affirmed by experts across fields to yield more effective results. Especially for leaders of teams (or if you’re the go-to person in your inner circle for advice and guidance), showing what you intend to do versus what you hope to do sends a strong and inspiring message to motivate people to walk the path towards making the intention a reality with you.
Give yourself the gift of personal accountability on your journey to living purposefully and transforming your own reality over time. Keywords: over time! Don’t rush long-term visions. Check out our guide to making a vision board here, and consider spending some time in this first month of 2023 setting your intentions, affirming they are already here, and manifesting them to invite the intentions with your full faith into existence. Patience is the most important ingredient in this recipe. Like too many spices can ruin a dish, so can trying to force your intentions by doubting them, giving up, or believing because they may be delayed that they’re not coming.
Changing our consciousness can produce positive, lasting physical changes, like impacting our genes and those of our descendants. The effects of intergenerational trauma have been widely studied, reported, and have even entered mainstream conversations. Epigenetics has been linked to childhood development; more specifically, happy parents are more likely to raise happy children. “Recent research demonstrates that there may be ways to reverse certain negative changes and restore healthy functioning,” according to Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, “but that takes a lot more effort, may not be successful at changing all aspects of the signatures, and is costly.” While it may seem daunting to carry so much responsibility for future generations as we navigate complex present realities, it’s also a compelling reason to engage in conscious-shifting practices that may hold the keys to our own and others’ fulfillment.
Our limiting beliefs and self-doubts hold us back. Reframe your mindset to pave a clear path to what you really want. As I already shared with you, I was in my own way retelling myself the same “unlucky in love” story that was keeping me stuck in that repetitive loop of suffering. According to one study, if we expect to endure an unpleasant experience again, we remember it more negatively. This is a biological defense mechanism to keep us from repeating the same mistakes, especially painful ones. But it can also backfire: if we become our own worst enemy by manifesting negative experiences, we cannot make room for more positive ones. Carve out time daily and weekly this year (make a calendar appointment if you have to) to reexamine any beliefs, doubts, or stories that may be getting in the way of achieving your goals and desires. Once you acknowledge specifically what these roadblocks are, you’ll be one step closer to vanishing them, and steadily on your way to becoming a master manifester whose intentions and affirmations are the building blocks for a solid foundation of repeating this powerful ancestral formula for success.
In countless studies, gratitude has been proven to be a powerful neurotransmitter of dopamine and serotonin, which bring us joy and pleasure. In your process of manifesting what you desire, make time to give thanks for what you have now, and for the opportunity to focus your attention on a specific goal or outcome. This also means you have to be honest with yourself about whether or not you are being flexible and adjusting your energy.
Here’s a simple, three-step check-in to do with yourself to reaffirm your manifesting process:
- What is my intention (repeat aloud, silently, or write it down)?
- Are my fears or past beliefs getting in the way of believing what I desire is already here?
- Am I being grateful, patient and flexible, knowing the outcome may not come in the timing I want or exactly in the way I imagine?
As psychiatric counselor Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury says, “By consciously practicing gratitude every day, we can help neural pathways strengthen themselves and ultimately create a permanent grateful and positive nature within ourselves.”
To sum it all up: see it, then be it. Just a few minutes a day can help get you closer to your highest potential, and improve your resilience for whatever comes in the process.