How Manifesting Has Helped Me Manage My Anxiety


Manifesting has been a divisive concept for many people. How can you will something positive into existence just by visualizing it happening?

The short answer is you can’t. On the surface, manifesting is a useless product of toxic positivity culture. However, we can’t discount the hidden value of manifesting. In some cases, manifesting can help improve mental health issues like anxiety.

Anxiety causes a lot of catastrophizing. 

People with anxiety can’t help but imagine worst-case scenarios playing out in vivid detail. Depending on how active your imagination is, you can traumatize yourself with these false visions of the future.

Now, you might say “just tell yourself this scenario won’t actually happen” or “just imagine something better.” However, anxiety won’t let you go that easily.

I have never been a superstitious person. I’m an atheist and I don’t believe in ghosts, jinxes, or any other kinds of supernatural or magical forces. I even own a black cat! However, when my anxiety grabs hold of me, that goes out the window.

I convince myself that I’m jinxing it if I say bad things won’t happen or that something good will happen. I’ve had worst-case scenarios happen to me before, so who am I to say they can’t happen again?

Then one day, my therapist told me to replace believing in jinxing to believing in manifesting, and that changed everything for me.

Throw out the mindset that you’ll jinx it if you imagine a better outcome for yourself. Instead, tell yourself you’re manifesting a good outcome to calm down during an anxiety attack.

If I don’t believe in jinxing or manifesting anyway, why not use manifesting to self-soothe when I’m anxious instead of using jinxing to make my anxiety worse? Why not replace one anxiety-fueled superstition with one that will actually help me?

Manifesting can help stop a catastrophizing spiral in its tracks. If you feel like you’re about to visualize a horrifying scenario, change the story. Or if you’re already imagining the scenario, change the ending. 

For example, maybe you’re about to go on a road trip and worried about getting into a car crash. When you’re catastrophizing, you might imagine you and everyone you love dying in a fiery blaze in this car crash. Instead, imagine yourself having fun, singing along to your road trip playlist in the car.

Or, if you’ve already started to imagine the terrifying car crash, change the ending. Maybe you get into a car crash, but because everyone was wearing their seatbelts and the driver pulled over to the side of the road, no one was injured.

Yes, manifesting can be bad when you convince yourself good things will happen just because you put good energy into the world. However, it can be a helpful tool when you use it as a way to change pessimism into optimism.

There is no use in imagining worst-case scenarios for little to no reason. To return to the car crash example, according to Forbes Advisor, 5,250,837 car accidents occurred in the U.S. in 2020. Out of those, 35,766 were fatal. That is 0.68% of all car accidents.

Why spend your precious time agonizing over something that is less likely to happen? Prepare for the worst as best as you can by implementing safe driving practices, then manifest a good outcome when you start to feel nervous about it.

Manifesting is not a reason to give up on making your life better and leave everything up to fate. But it can also point you in the right direction.

Seeing a positive situation play out in your mind can motivate you to to try to make it come true. So replace your negative thoughts with positive manifestations, then work to make them happen.

Feature Image by Léonard Cotte on Unsplash


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