Manifestation journaling is the latest trend to combat pandemic fatigue, and there's evidence it works

Kelsie Sandoval
·3 min read
Manifestation
Marko Geber/Getty Images
  • 24-year-old Zozo Shumba manifested a job and popular TikTok account.

  • Therapists on Instagram clarify manifestation needs to be followed by action.

  • Working towards goals in the pandemic can help with negative emotions.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Zozo Shumba wrote down 55 times in a row for five days that she was so grateful to be working and living in New York - except neither was true.

Shumba, 24, was using a 55x5 manifesting technique while job hunting in college. She got the job, moved to New York, and is now educating people about manifestation on TikTok, Spotify, and YouTube.

Manifestation is the idea that you can turn desires and beliefs into reality through a mixture of writing, praying, or affirmations. There's research, too, that suggests positive thinking can lead to concrete results.

However, experts say reaching those goals requires action.

Since March 2020, we've been required to work or go to school remotely to stem COVID-19 transmission. Almost a year later public health experts say the end is in sight, but we have not brought the pandemic under control. Remote life continues - causing what seems like a pandemic purgatory.

It's perhaps no surprise, then, that Shumba has gained over 100,000 new followers on her popular TikTok account since April 2020.

It makes sense, Shumba said, because it's forced us to sit still in an otherwise busy life. Once you're still, you start to ask questions like, "what do I want?" Shumba told Insider.

Those questions mark the beginning of manifestation. "How can I help this person, which is yourself, get to that space," Shumba said.

Manifestation needs to be followed by action

The law of attraction - in which what we think, positive or negative, will materialize in real life - was first written about in 1877. A more recent iteration of this philosophy later emerged in the popular book "The Secret." However, those belief systems are just that - only beliefs.

"It has already been proven false," Tchiki Davis, Ph.D. in social and personality psychology and well-being expert, told Insider in an email. That's because only believing the desired outcome will not work. You can't believe you have a new car, and have a new car the next day, for example.

These days, therapists are posting on Instagram about manifestation, but stress that goals need to be followed by action.

Shumba agreed that manifestation doesn't stop at setting an intention, and said working hard during her undergraduate degree also landed her a job after college. "I did everything I could on my end to prepare for an opportunity."

The pandemic forced Shumba to move back to Maryland. But her manifestations are still coming to fruition. "It's been a silent prayer since middle school that I wanted to speak to millions," she said.

She now talks about manifestation to 100,000 plus TikTok followers - after a lot of effort, of course.

Research shows positive thinking is good for your overall health

Davis said having a positive outlook is, overall, great for your well-being.

And there's research to support it.

A large study found that optimistic women were less likely to die from cancer, heart disease, and stroke compared to less optimistic women. Another study found that being positive was linked to a reduced risk of a heart attack.

An optimistic outlook can also help during the never-ending pandemic, according to Davis. "Clarifying and working towards meaningful goals can help us manage negative emotions, and may indeed be useful during covid."

Read the original article on Insider