“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions”Albert Einstein
Manifestation is a practice that some people swear by, some practice loosely and some people don’t believe in at all. Regardless of your perception of this practice and its value, there is certainly something for us to all learn from understanding the principles and power of manifestation.
So what is the manifestation definition, how does it work and how does one go about it? From science to pseudoscience and a big grey area in between, let’s get into manifestation and try some things for fit.
What is manifestation?
The word manifestation means to turn something from an idea into a reality. When people talk about manifesting, they are generally referring to using thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and actions to realize an idea into reality.
One of the underlying ideas of manifesting is the law of attraction, which is the belief that like attracts like. Positive thoughts bring positive results into a person’s life, negative thoughts bring negative outcomes. The basis of this idea is that thoughts create energetic patterns and the energetic patterns that you create for yourself attract more of the same energy into your life.
As Dr Kinga Mnich puts it “Manifestation is a holistic approach to goal setting through adapting your mindset and behaviours. It means bringing your dreams into reality by ‘living’ your goals.”
The mind is certainly a powerful piece of equipment we all have available to us, and there is still so much for us to learn about our own capabilities.
The science behind manifestation
Manifestation itself is not a scientifically proven concept. Despite its cultural popularity, manifestation beliefs and practices have received little academic attention. It is also a very wide sweeping multi-faceted idea and not something that is easy to measure for the purpose of proving or disproving.
However, if you consider that manifestation is founded on the principle that positive thinking can lead to positive action, this concept is supported by scientific research. Furthermore, there is interesting research to support the physical impacts thinking has on the body, specifically, the nervous system.
Visualization, neuroplasticity, and the nervous system
The concept of manifestation is often associated with visualization, and there is a growing interest in exploring the potential link between the two.
Visualization has been shown to strengthen neural pathways in the brain, which can improve physical and cognitive performance. Visualization has also been shown to have a positive impact on the nervous system’s response to stress.
For example, a study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology found that when participants visualized a simple motor task, such as finger tapping, there was an increase in neural activity in the corresponding areas of the brain responsible for executing that task. This suggests that visualization can strengthen neural connections, leading to improved motor performance.
A study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that when participants visualized calming images, such as a peaceful beach scene, there was a decrease in cortisol, the stress hormone, in their saliva.
Our nervous system plays a critical role in regulating our energy and influencing what we attract into our lives. The nervous system is responsible for transmitting signals throughout the body, and these signals can impact our physical and emotional state. Chronic stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, which can lead to physical and emotional problems. On the other hand, activating the parasympathetic nervous system promotes relaxation and calmness, which can attract positive experiences and relationships.
How to practice manifestation
So, you’re ready to try manifestation out? There are many different types of manifestation practices, just like there are many different ways to meditate. What’s important is to find the practice that works for you. Here are some tips to start developing your practice.
- Set clear intentions.
Setting clear intentions is essential when practicing manifestation because it helps focus your energy and attention on what you want to achieve. Without clear intentions your energy and focus may be scattered, making it harder to manifest your goals.
When you set clear intentions, it becomes easier to align your thoughts, feelings, and actions with your desired outcome. It’s like programming a GPS device with a clear destination, which helps guide you toward your desired endpoint.
Clear intentions also help you to stay motivated and on track, especially during challenging times when obstacles may arise. By focusing on your desired outcome and having a clear understanding of what you want to achieve, you can maintain a positive mindset and remain committed to taking the necessary steps toward manifesting your goals.
The best way to get clear on your intentions is to set aside time for reflection, to clear out all the beliefs, thoughts, and drama, and settle into what it is that you really want. This could be done through meditation, journaling, or simply taking a walk in nature.
- Visualize your goal
Visualization is a powerful tool for manifesting goals because it creates a mental image or experience that becomes familiar, akin to practicing for the new reality we want to create. By visualizing our goals in detail and regularly immersing ourselves in the experience of achieving them, we can create a sense of familiarity and comfort that helps to reduce anxiety and increase confidence. This, in turn, can help to overcome mental barriers and self-doubt that may have previously hindered our progress toward achieving our goals.
Here are some ways to practice visualization:
Create a mental picture: Close your eyes and imagine your desired outcome in as much detail as possible. Visualize the colors, shapes, and textures of the scene, as well as any sounds, smells, or other sensory details that might be present.
Write a visualization script: Write a script or narrative that describes your desired outcome in detail. Use vivid language and sensory details to bring the scene to life in your mind.
Use guided visualizations: Use pre-recorded guided visualizations, and meditation apps or attend a guided visualization session. These resources can help guide your imagination and deepen your experience of visualization.
Create a vision board: Create a visual representation of your goals by making a vision board. Collect images, quotes, and other visual elements that represent your desired outcome and arrange them in a way that inspires and motivates you.
3. Create an environment to support what it is that you are manifesting
Set up an environment that makes it easy for you to reconnect with what it is that you are manifesting. Do this with physical objects and reminders that anchor you back into the state that is aligned with what you are trying to achieve.
Here are some practical ways you can do this:
- Create a visualization board: A visualization board is a collection of images, words, and phrases that represent your desired outcome. Display your board in a prominent place where you can see it daily to help you focus your energy and attention on your manifestation.
- Set up an altar: An altar is a designated space that represents your spiritual or manifestation practice. It can be as simple or elaborate as you like and may include objects and resources that serve to anchor you in what’s most important to you. Use your altar for daily manifestation rituals or meditation to reinforce your intentions.
- Use affirmations: Affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself to help shift your mindset and focus your energy on your manifestation. Create a list of affirmations that support your desired outcome and display them in your environment. Repeat them daily to reinforce your intentions.
- Surround yourself with supportive people: Surround yourself with people who support your manifestation and uplift your energy. Limit your exposure to negative or unsupportive people who may drain your energy and distract you from your goals.
- Keep your space clean and organized: A clean and organized space helps to create a sense of calm and clarity, which is important for manifestation. Regularly clean and declutter your space to create a fresh and inspiring environment.
4. Focus on moving your state, rather than just taking actions towards your goals.
Remember that an essential component of manifestation is the alignment of your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs with what you want to achieve. Your state refers to your overall mental, emotional, and energetic condition. It’s not just about “doing the things”, it’s about being mindful of how you feel, and what you can do to get yourself into a positive state.
Taking actions alone without considering your state may lead to feelings of resistance, struggle, or lack of fulfillment, hindering your progress. By focusing on moving your state, you proactively work on aligning your energy and mindset with your desired outcomes, creating a more harmonious and effective manifestation process.
Most of the ideas shared above are designed to help shift your state, but what’s important is not doing them for the sake of doing them, but to feel into a better state. It’s not about having a long to-do list of ‘self-care tasks’. It’s about how you feel every moment of the day.
Some simple exercises you can do to check in with yourself and shift your state are:
- Breathing Deeply. We spoke about the effect of the nervous system earlier in this blog. Breathing is a powerful tool that we can actively control to regulate our nervous system.
- Take a moment to take in what is around you and check in with how you are feeling. What is it that you really want or need to do at this moment, or today?
- Go outside and look up at the sky. Remind yourself of how expansive the world is, and how many possibilities there are for you.
Doing small exercises like this can help to step out of the busyness and drama of the day-to-day, connect with positive emotions and intentions, and then take conscious actions. This can be especially helpful if you are feeling resistance towards doing the practices you know are useful for you, by breaking the thought loop that’s preventing you from taking action.
In conclusion, manifestation is a practice that involves turning ideas into reality by aligning your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and actions toward your desired outcome. While the concept of manifestation may not be scientifically proven, there is evidence supporting the impact of positive thinking, visualization, and the influence of the nervous system on our experiences.
To practice manifestation, it is important to set clear intentions, visualize your goals in detail, create an environment that supports your manifestation, and focus on shifting your state or mindset. By aligning your internal state with your desired outcome, you create a harmonious and effective manifestation process.
Remember that manifestation is a personal journey, and it is essential to find the practices that work best for you. Take the time to reflect, visualize, and set clear intentions, while also creating a supportive environment that keeps you anchored to your goals. Lastly, prioritize shifting your state and focusing on positive emotions throughout the day, as this will help you maintain alignment and take conscious actions toward your desired manifestations.
Ultimately, manifestation is about tapping into your inner power and potential to create the life you desire. Embrace the practice, experiment with different techniques, and allow yourself to open up to the possibilities that manifesting can bring into your life.
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