Oprah Winfrey likes to credit her success in life to a keen understanding of the law of attraction. And even centuries ago Plato seemed to know it too when he observed, “like attracts like”. If understood and applied correctly, the law of attraction and associated manifestation techniques could potentially change our worldview and bring about a positive shift in our lives.
And although there is limited science to back up the suggestion that the law of attraction works, there are some studies out there that suggest just that.
The law of attraction states that we attract events and situations of similar frequency as our feelings, thoughts and beliefs. Be it consciously or without our knowledge, we constantly broadcast a vibrational energy that determines the circumstances, experiences and people we attract or repel. Also known as the law of manifestation, this tenet places emphasizes on the power that our thoughts can have over the outcomes or events in our lives.
Manifestation works along a similar ideology: what you focus on becomes your reality. However, focusing your thoughts only isn’t enough to manifest your dreams – aside from the hard work involved it requires positive thinking and action on your behalf as well. The law of manifestation is based on the principle that your thoughts, beliefs, feelings and actions can transform into physical reality through focus and supportive action.
Manifestation techniques are essentially practices or daily rituals which can help you achieve your dreams and goals. It’s possible that your subconscious mind may try to resist these practices at first but overcoming this and persisting with an open heart and mind is key to successful manifestation.
The legendary heavyweight boxing champion Muhammed Ali credited visualization techniques for enhancing his performance in the ring. It can also prove to be a worthy exercise for those who lack a vivid imagination or have a difficult time picturing their dream life to be able to manifest it.
Instead of using only one or part of your senses, this manifestation technique encourages you to experience your dream or vision by immersing all your senses. For example, if your dream is to build a fitter and stronger physique, start by picturing the day you achieve your goals. Imagine the way you’d look and feel, your improved health, your ability to pick up heavier objects with great ease, and your improved relationship with food.
Indeed, involving all your senses in this manner offers a more wholesome visualization experience, enabling you to channel the law of manifestation more effectively.
Also known as dream boarding, this manifestation technique is favoured for its simplicity and effectiveness. It involves curating images and inspirational quotes that resonate with your vision, to be displayed on a wall or a board, in a prominent place where you will see them every day.
Dream boarding is a popular manifestation technique shutterstock/Dasha Petrenko
There is some evidence that vision boards work. A survey conducted by TD Bank on 1,100 individuals and 500 small business owners revealed that one in five business owners used a vision board to create their business plans. Furthermore, 76 per cent of those had already achieved what they had envisioned using the dream board they originally created.
This survey backs up the idea that the process of finding the pictures and words that resonate with your goals can help in strengthening your commitment towards fulfilling them. Also, looking at the board each day serves as a constant reminder of your vision, inspiring you to put in the effort towards making the dream a reality with the help of an actionable plan.
A 2008 study published in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology revealed the role of belief perseverance in the way individuals continue to think of themselves and others, bolstered by their initial impressions. The study concludes that it’s difficult to shake off one’s initial set of opinions and beliefs, even when the underlying assumptions are proven false. The implications are serious, considering our brain makes most decisions based on the subconscious beliefs and thought patterns we ingrain over several years.
“The law of manifestation is based on the principle that your thoughts, beliefs, feelings and actions can transform into physical reality through focus and supportive action.”
A conscious belief assessment can be a reliable manifestation technique to reflect on your subconscious belief patterns, and to check if any of these thoughts contradict or undermine your ability to achieve what you’re trying to manifest. To prevent limiting thoughts from hampering your manifestation process, practise this daily along with supportive affirmations that reinforce your confidence.
In addition to visualizing your dreams and goals from a first-person perspective, you can introduce a third-person perspective to strengthen your manifestations: try to see yourself from an ‘outsider’s point of view’. Introducing multiple ‘vantage points’ or perspectives while visualizing your goals will help you review your actions to support this goal achievement, and alter your action plan, if needed.
A study conducted by Brittany M. Christian et al on 400 participants pointed out the various characteristics of first-person vs third-person visual imagery. It concluded that while first-person visualizations tended to evoke more emotion and hence were more powerful, a third-person vantage point helped the participants make more informed and detached observations, enabling a better problem-solving approach.
A series of studies by Nathaniel M. Lambert et al concluded that developing an attitude of gratitude results in more positive life outcomes, greater sense of happiness and a higher degree of satisfaction. Making a daily gratitude list can enhance the power of your manifestations by elevating your consciousness and vibrational energy.
RELATED: Top 5 benefits of gratitude practice
Affirmations are positive statements designed to eliminate the negative tendencies of your subconscious mind and to reinforce empowering thoughts about your ability to achieve your dreams. A 2015 study by University of Pennsylvania pointed out that future-oriented self-affirmations can help break limiting subconscious patterns and create newer, more useful neural connections.
Gratitude journaling is another manifestation technique shutterstock/Juice Flair
This affirmation manifestation technique, which works with neuroplasticity, could involved you saying something like, “I’m worthy of receiving what I desire”, or “I believe the Universe is working alongside me to achieve what I’m manifesting”, or “I’m working whole-heartedly towards achieving the goals I’m manifesting”.
The focus wheel is a simple yet effective manifestation technique to shift your focus from limiting thoughts towards positive and energizing ones. Making one is easy: start by drawing a small circle on a paper or board and write down the goal or dream you currently wish to achieve. Next, jot down positive thoughts related to your main goal around the circle.
“Manifestation techniques are essentially practices or daily rituals which can help you achieve your dreams and goals.”
For example, if your goal is to achieve good health, the positive statements around it could be “I will exercise five days a week” and “I will make healthier, more conscious food choices.” This manifestation technique helps you to visualize your thoughts more clearly.
A quicker way to attract what you want in your life may be by adopting the acting ‘as if’ practice developed by Alfred Adler. This manifestation technique advocates that acting as if you already achieved what you want – instead of waiting for it to become a reality – results in permanent behavioral changes which can then put you on the fast-track to really achieve what you're trying to manifest.
So, instead of theorizing and planning endlessly for a future event, this technique encourages you to spring into action now to live as if you already have everything you’re manifesting.
Whether you desire to manifest love, success or happiness, manifestation techniques can prove to be powerful tools to help you bring the positive shift you desire. Although there is limited science to back up whether such techniques based on the law of attraction work, studies so far suggest they can definitely help you on your journey to getting what you want.
Explore these manifesting techniques to see what works best for you – you can practise more than one or all at the same time, or even modify or combine them into a version that aligns with your vision. We’d love to know if they work (or don’t!) for you. Let us know in the comments below! •
Main image: shutterstock/Teo Tarris
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Fitness and healthy food blogger, food photographer and stylist, travel-addict and future self journaler. Sonia loves to write and has resolved to dedicate her life to revealing how easy and important it is to be happier, stronger and fitter each day. Follow her daily pursuits at FitFoodieDiary or on Instagram.
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