Understanding the Effects of Manifestation on Wellbeing

Blues Perspectives

| 3 min read

On this episode, Chuck Gaidica was joined by Sydney Lipsey, Manager of Behavioral Health Strategy and Planning for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Together, they discussed ways manifestation may affect your wellbeing.

What is manifestation?

Manifestation refers to the practice of focusing on and enacting inspirational or aspirational ideas to make them a reality. The idea has gained traction and visibility on social media and through influencers. It seems similar to positive thinking as an approach, but it may have different results and is a different process than positive thinking alone.

What are the differences between manifestation and positive thinking?

“Positive thinking can be so effective because if you are looking for positive things around you, you are likely to find them, but the same can go for negative thoughts and focusing on the negatives around you,” Syndey Lipsey said. One additional aspect of manifestation is “vision boards” or physical representations in a list or collage that depict your goals and outcomes you are wanting to manifest. A downside of this is that if progress isn’t seen or felt, it can feel like these vision boards are a reminder of failures or shortcomings.
It is important to note that manifesting is not only the positive, goal-oriented thought process, but that it requires action and is used as a catalyst to make changes. Ideally, manifesting “can help shift the way that you think about things, and it can help shift your overall view on situations and things like that,” Lipsey said. “But it can also start to shift your actions…if you start to think about, ‘Well, what do I need to do to make that a reality?’ It starts to shift it from manifesting the thought to manifesting in action.” Manifestation requires positive thinking, but it also requires those thoughts to be put into actions.

How to start practicing manifestation

Manifestation is not just a social media trend, either. “The thought of manifestation has actually been in mental health treatment for quite a while, but it's actually been incorporated within cognitive behavioral therapy,” according to Lipsey. Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT helps to identify thought patterns, actions, beliefs, and behaviors that are tied together, and work on negative or unhelpful issues. Manifestation can alter this cycle with guided thoughts and deliberate actions.
One danger of manifestation on your own and without guidance is that you may get hung up on the pictured idea or goal and get hyper-focused on that thought, rather than on the actions needed to be taken to achieve it, according to Lipsey.
It can help instead to think of what that success will look like when it happens. What does success look like for you and your goal? How will it feel to go through the necessary actions or work to get there? Visualizing yourself actively achieving the goal can help as manifestation, rather than just picturing what life might be like with that goal already actualized. Breaking up larger goals into smaller goals or steps and manifesting those goals and the steps it will take to get there can help as well.
Listen to the podcast, Is Manifestation Harmful or Healthy?, to hear the entire conversation. A Healthier Michigan Podcast is brought to you by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
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MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association