The Psychology Behind Manifestation

May 21, 2020shemindfully

Manifestation is the idea that through regular meditation and positive, constructive thought, you can make your dreams become a reality. This idea has come in many forms over the span of human life, with similar concepts ranging from Hinduism’s karma to modern day Positive Psychology. This also pairs with the Law of Attraction, or the idea that by raising your internal frequency you will attract other things/experiences/goals that are also at said higher frequency.

Lots of spiritual gurus and social media influencers commonly refer to manifestation/law of attraction when talking about how they made their dreams into their reality. Now, I’m not here to burst the magical manifestation bubble or discredit any of its utility. But rather, I’m using this space today to talk about the aspects of Psychology that come into play when we talk about manifestation. What psychology terms can we use to talk about manifestation and law of attraction? Well, keep reading to discover the psychology behind manifestation.

Cognitive Reframing

Cognitive reframing is the act of changing the way you view something in order to create less stress and regain a greater sense of peace and control over the situation. This is a tried and true method that therapists & psychologists use all around the world to help their suffering clients.

By this concept, we learn how to view our lived experiences through a different lens. We seek the good in situations or, at least, the good that could come from any given situation. The thought is that by changing the way you look at a certain experience, you are then changing your actual experience of it.

When it comes to the art of manifestation and law of attraction, cognitive reframing comes in when you start to look at the life you already have as good and fruitful. To manifest something properly, you must believe that you already have it (whatever “it” is). For this to occur, you must truly believe that what you want is already yours or is already on it’s way to you. This means you begin to view the life you are currently living as the beginning of the life you have with whatever “it” is. This in itself is reframing! You have reframed the way you view your life in order to create less stress about that which you do not have and regain control over that which is already on its way to you. This leads me to the next point of…

Read Also: How to Be Less Anxious + More Productive


Resilience is the term for “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress.” Meaning you overcome unfortunate events and manage to keep on keepin’ on with life.

The aforementioned cognitive restructuring plays into this by helping us to view the life we are currently living as just part of the path to what we desire. By thinking from this mindset, we begin to accept that which happens to us because we know it is part of the process that will bring us to our greater selves.

Being resilient doesn’t mean you don’t experience difficulty or distress, or that you will never be upset again. It simply means you acknowledge that pain is part of life but also know that you are able to overcome anything that comes your way. A great way to build your resilience is through connection, leading us to the next point being…

psychology behind manifestation

Social Identity Theory

Our social identity is our sense of who we are based on our group memberships. Feelings of social identity are the positive self-esteem feelings we get from our social groupings. When we begin venturing into the world of manifestation and law of attraction, we learn about our frequencies.

Like attracts like is a common saying in relation to these concepts, referring to the idea that if you maintain a high frequency (aka positivity and optimism) you will attract other people and experiences that are also vibrating at said high frequency. When we buy into this idea and begin living in accordance, we start to reconsider our social connections.

We start to align ourselves with other individuals who believe in similar things that we believe in, and who maintain positivity and optimism just as we do. This begins a cycle of social influence where the positivity and the attraction lifestyle just keeps being passed around and supported by one another. Therefore, our social identity shifts as we start to realign ourselves with new connections. Realignment comes from envisioning what we want our life to be like and taking the steps in this direction.

Read Also: 52 Journal Prompts for Self Discovery


As we envision our dream life, so to say, we create an image of what we want to happen and what we want to be like. This, my friends, is visualization at work. This is the process of accessing your imagination to realize all aspects of something. This is actually a really impactful tool that therapists/psychologists use with clients who are depressed or suicidal.

There is mental visualization where you vividly picture your desires, and then there are tangible visualizations. These would be your vision boards, affirmation walls, and so on. By getting into the details, we are able to see exactly what it is that we want. We create this vision of our dreams and desires. There are tons of stories out there of people who visualized themselves as successful in some realm or another, just google it and read all the happy stories. Once we have this vision of how we want our lives to be, and we begin the manifestation process of believing it is already ours and is on its way to us, we then start to see things happen.

journaling about manifestations

Confirmation Bias

Another facet of the psychology behind manifestation is the good ol’ confirmation bias. If you’ve taken any Intro to Psychology courses I’m sure you’re familiar with this term. I don’t mean to bring these in as a negative take, but it’s a possibility nonetheless.

Confirmation bias is the act of seeing things that confirm our beliefs and ignoring that which don’t. We begin to notice things that align with our beliefs (desires) and use this as confirmation that we are right. For instance, if you began manifesting your dreams of being financially independent, and you come across an ad for a well-paying job within your realm of interest and qualifications, you’ll believe that it was placed there intentionally thanks to your high frequency and attraction. While this very well may be the case, would you have noticed this ad a month ago before you began your manifestation journey?

Alternatively, if in this same week you lost $40 out of your wallet, you probably didn’t think of this as an act against your desires. You would probably be upset about it and then move on from it without much thought about the bigger meaning.

Self Fulfilling Prophecy

This comes within the same breath as confirmation bias in Psych 101 classes. Self fulfilling prophecy is the idea that our expectations about a specific thing lead us to behave in certain ways that influence the outcome and therefore make our expectations come true.

Have you ever been invited to an event with one of your friends, and you believe from the minute you were invited that it’s going to be a total bore and you’re going to hate every second? Then you went to the party, had no fun, and returned home unfulfilled yet satisfied that you were correct with your assumptions.

Well the same concept goes here! If we believe that our dream life is already happening, then we are going to behave in ways that align with this belief and therefore bring us closer to the intended outcome. If my dream is to have a thriving online business, and I begin manifesting this intention and working within the law of attraction mindset, I will naturally begin to work harder to accomplish this goal, even if I’m not totally aware of it at first. I will feel more motivated to take the extra steps to advertise, market my business, recruit customers, and so on because I know those are the steps that will bring me closer to my goal.

Photo by Soulful Stock on Unsplash

In Sum, Manifestation Is Rooted In Science

Psychology is one of those beautiful fields that can be applied to just about anything. With the ever growing popularity of natural attraction and manifesting your goals/dreams, it’s important to also know the psychological components at work behind the scenes. As a therapist, I think manifesting your desires and acting in accordance with these goals is a great idea. If this is what you can get on board with to help reorient yourself to a happier, more fulfilled life, then that is amazing and should be practiced regularly! Hope you enjoyed learning about the psychology behind manifestation!

Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are about manifestation and attraction mentality!

Comments (44)

  • Sarah

    May 21, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    This is a really good read. I especially enjoyed the part about cognitive reframing, about believing your goal is already yours. You just have to make it happen. Thats great advice for anyone going into a job interview, or many other scenarios. I feel like this really goes along with the visualization theory as well. You have to see what you want, and believe it’s yours already. I think this could help a lot of people.

    1. shemindfully

      May 22, 2020 at 11:59 pm

      Yes, cognitive reframing and visualization are two parts of this that can be used anywhere, any time!

  • Pam

    May 21, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    ABSOLUTELY, love this! I love law of attraction and manifestation – and to truly understand it, I truly love learning about how it works. When you break it up like that, it makes it become even more REAL. “resilience” as you mentioned is something I’m definitely working on.
    Brilliant post!

    1. shemindfully

      May 22, 2020 at 11:59 pm

      Thanks, Pam! They are fun concepts to research.

  • Karen Smedley

    May 21, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    Very interesting and informative post. Thank you for sharing, very thought provoking.

  • Cassandra Arico

    May 21, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    I love these ideas, I’ll put them into play this year

  • paolo

    May 21, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    i love the idea of Manifestation. Will try to meditate and be positive, make constructive thought to make my dreams become a reality

  • Bhagyashree

    May 21, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    This is much needed post for me. I am going through breakdown.

    Thank you for love.

    1. shemindfully

      May 22, 2020 at 11:58 pm

      I wish you the best <3

  • Amanda Kerr

    May 21, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    This post is filled with great information! Just what I needed! 🙂

  • Rosanna

    May 21, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    What a informative and interesting post! Great ideas that I definitely want to put into practice!

  • Nina Nichols

    May 21, 2020 at 11:43 pm

    Somehow, this topic fascinates me a lot. How we perceive things and the results of our actions seemed to reveal a lot about our inner thoughts. Perhaps, the law of positivity!

    1. shemindfully

      May 22, 2020 at 11:57 pm

      Law of positivity, Love that!!

  • Shelley at BeyondPennies

    May 22, 2020 at 5:22 am

    I’m a big believer in the concept that what you achieve is based on what you believe about yourself and your future. I learned about this concept from Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I like how you described visualization – its such an important part of the process.

    1. shemindfully

      May 22, 2020 at 11:57 pm

      Hm, I haven’t heard to Think and Grow Rich before, I’ll check it out!

  • Allan Anova

    May 22, 2020 at 10:19 am

    This was an interesting post. I was curious when you talk bout Social Identity theory and I understand it more right now.

  • littlemisadvencha

    May 22, 2020 at 11:07 am

    this is very interesting. it tells us that there is science in everything, theres an explanation as to why is this and that. i love this post. it makes me think about things…

  • Neil Alvin

    May 22, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    This is deep. I haven’t encountered this topic yet not even during my educational years. Thanks for sharing something new.

  • aisasami

    May 22, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    What an insightful post about the art of manifestation and law of attraction! I have heard them before but not in such detail. I need to think about this more as a lot of big names believe in this.

  • Laura

    May 22, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    I just went through this last night where I began to feel really bad about my current situation, and by thinking it through, I reframed my mindset so that I didn’t feel so bad. My situation didn’t change. Just my attitude about it. Great post!

    1. shemindfully

      May 22, 2020 at 11:56 pm

      Situations don’t change right away, but once we change how we view the situation we make different decisions that can help us get closer to our desired outcome 🙂

  • Jasmine

    May 22, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    My husband and I believe wholeheartedly in Law of Attraction. He will literally post a picture of what he wants up and speak it. 9 times out of 10… very close to 10/10, what he speaks and post about comes to pass. We practice this religiously in our home. Speaking positive and putting out into the universe what we want.

    1. shemindfully

      May 22, 2020 at 11:56 pm

      Wow! That’s amazing! I’ve started using these concepts recently and I’d definitely say I’ve noticed some changes!

  • Kie

    May 22, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    This is such an interesting read and I believe every word of it! I suffered from severe depression for a long time and the concept of ‘thinking myself happy’ so to speak was laughable. That is until I made a conscious effort to change my mindset and adopt positive thinking techniques like most of the ones you’ve mentioned here. Brilliant post!

    1. shemindfully

      May 22, 2020 at 11:55 pm

      I totally get it. It’s hard to see “being happy” when you’re in a depressed state. It takes A LOT of work but can really turn things around in the long run. 🙂

  • Sydney

    May 22, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    This is a great read and some helpful information. Thanks for sharing the science and facts behind manifestation!

  • Polly

    May 22, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    I find myself visualizing a lot and have a mental image of things that I’d like to happen or wish had happened (specially after an argument or whenever I do something that I wish I didn’t). I was told I have ‘wild imagination’ as I tend to verbalize what I see (or visualize). This is a very informative post, thank you for sharing this with us!

    1. shemindfully

      May 22, 2020 at 11:55 pm

      Wild imaginations are actually just being in touch with our inner experiences!

  • Jon Brosio

    May 22, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    Manifestation is WILD! Have you ever read, “Synchronicity” By Carl Jung? It will blow your mind!

    1. shemindfully

      May 22, 2020 at 11:50 pm

      You know, I’ve heard of it but haven’t read it! Sounds like you would recommend it, I’ll check it out!

  • Victoria alabi

    May 22, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    What you can see, you can achieve, the visualization part is very true, thanks for sharing.

  • Iris C. Permuy Hércules de Solás

    May 22, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    I totally agree with you! Manifesting your true goals and desires is the very first step to achieving them.

  • Amanda Bradley

    May 23, 2020 at 12:12 am

    This is an incredibly helpful post! I’ve heard about manifestation and positive psychology but learning about different aspects is very beneficial in breaking it all down. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Meghana Rao

    May 23, 2020 at 6:52 am

    Very thought provoking. I’m a big believer in manifesting my desires and letting the universe know about my goals. I feel the universe helps me in achieving them.

    1. shemindfully

      May 23, 2020 at 2:15 pm

      Yes! It’s a powerful tool that not many people utilize.

  • Trisha Mishra

    May 23, 2020 at 8:29 am

    Interesting read. Thanks for sharing.

  • Christiana Acha

    May 23, 2020 at 9:28 am

    This Is a good read and a well needed reminder that it’s super important to have a positive mind and outlook on life. I have heard a lot about the law of attraction but never really understood the concept well enough. This post has helped me understand it well. Thanks

  • Jessica L

    May 23, 2020 at 9:54 am

    This is a fantastic explanation of the science involved! Visualization is such a powerful tool for me when trying to manifest my goals. 🙂

  • Inspiring Vibes

    May 23, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    This post is deep but seriously worth the read 💛 I never notice about all this before I came across this post and that seriously just gave a super clear vision of what actually is getting into a happier and fuller life.

  • Jules

    May 24, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    I have read that people reject prayer but accept manifestation. I believe it’s one and the same, both bringing about calm and less anxiety that you write about!

  • Crystal

    May 24, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    I love the idea of manifestation, but didn’t realize there are so many components to it. Thanks for breaking it down!

  • Mila R

    May 25, 2020 at 12:05 am

    I have hear od Cognitive reframing like 10 years ago, but still no clue what it really means…

    1. shemindfully

      May 25, 2020 at 7:03 pm

      I hope this post helped to clarify at least a little 🙂

  • Jing

    May 26, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    I like how cognitive reframing and confirmation bias are mentioned in this post. Been reading some articles about psychology and this comes up as one of the new favorites. Shared on Facebook and pinned on my account. Thank you.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prev Post

clear desk

How to be Less Anxious and More Productive

May 19, 2020

Next Post

journal prompts for anxiety

20 Journal Prompts for Anxiety + BONUS Pandemic Anxiety Prompts

May 23, 2020

Love this post? Show your friends!

Follow by Email