The Psychology of the Law of Attraction
There is a great deal of overlap between the law of attraction and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), solution focused therapy and positive psychology, says Nolan, adding that studies on the various aspects of positive thinking suggest it is linked to the following health benefits:
- Better overall health
- Leading a more joyful life
- Better coping
- Fewer negative emotions
- Increased stress hardiness
- Greater happiness
- Increased physical health
- Longer lifespan
- Greater social support
- Increased relationship satisfaction
Where’s the Line Between Positive Envisioning and Wishful Thinking?
“The goal is to embrace the sensation of what it feels like to do, be or have the outcome you’re working toward,” says Whitman. “It’s the shift in your energy—not your imagination or your words—that energizes and magnetizes your desires to you.”
- The other significant difference to note between wishful thinking and positive envisioning is that there needs to be action. Nothing is going to change if you’re just sitting on your couch asking the universe to send you good outcomes.
“If we spend all our time visualizing, meditating and ‘acting as if’ without taking action in the physical world, we are not doing our part in the manifestation equation,” says Whitman. In other words, set goals, embrace challenges, take chances, get support—but don’t expect things to come to you just because you believe they will.
Ways to Use the Law of Attraction to Your Life’s Advantage
- Even if you’re not 100% convinced the law of attraction is something you should buy into, there are still ways you can leverage this mindset
- If you decide that you’d like to see how the power of positive might play out in real time, here are some other suggestions from Whitman and Nolan for ways to ‘raise your positive vibes’ and work the law of attraction into your daily routine :
- Commit to a daily practice of energy alignment. Try meditation, spend time in nature or with children/pets, exercise, sing, practice deep breathing, journal or listen to inspiring or uplifting books, podcasts or music. “Practices like these will assist you in restoring your nervous system and clarifying your energy field,” claims Whitman.
- Curate your social media field. Block negative people and threads, or at least stop following them. “Create the social media ‘feeds’ that serve you, uplift you, make you feel better, inspire you,” says Nolan. “Your emotions are your internal GPS, telling [you] what feels good and what does not—use them.”
- Keep a gratitude log. Gratitude is one of the highest vibrations in the universe, because it reminds us to focus on the abundance we already have, which expands us and increases our capacity for more, claims Whitman. One easy way to practice this is to write down one thing you are grateful for each day, and then list five reasons why you are grateful for that person, place or thing.
- Minimize your interactions with negative people. That doesn’t mean you have to ignore bad situations when they happen or always put on a happy face (i.e. “toxic-positivity”), but it does mean you can choose not to join in “ain’t it awful” conversations, says Nolan. When it’s not possible to avoid negatives, he says positive internal self-talk can help you stay in an upgraded place.
- Watch your word choices. “Our words have power, and with every word we speak, we are either creating a reality we desire, or a reality we dread,” says Whitman. “To use the law of attraction to manifest your desires, always speak in favor of your desires, never against them.” For example, instead of saying “I’m worried things aren’t going to work out for me,” try shifting it to, “every action I take leads me closer and closer to things I desire.”
- Prepare your energy field before entering difficult situations. When you’re about to head into a tough conversation or event, carve out time to prepare your mood beforehand. “Imagine filling yourself up with the energies of joy, expansion, clarity and ease,” suggests Whitman. “Take a few deep breaths, and literally feel these energies expanding your consciousness and raising your vibration.” The higher you raise your frequency ahead of time, the easier it will be to sustain it.
- Engage your power of focus. There are only two basic positions you can take in relation to anything in your life. You can either focus on what you perceive is going wrong, or on what you perceive as going right. Whitman suggests asking himself: “What do I want?” “Why do I want this?” “How do I believe I will feel once I accomplish this?” When you understand that what you focus on expands (i.e focusing on good things increases the likelihood of more good things coming), Whitman says, “you discover that the most empowering thing you can do is to focus on your positive aspects.”
- The law of attraction is founded on the premise that the quality of our most prevalent thoughts, moods and attitudes determine the quality of what we manifest in our lives. This encourages us to deliberately guide the direction of our own thoughts, and to choose our perceptions, moods, attitudes and expectations on purpose, says Whitman.
- And, in the current world where we’re bombarded with negativity on a daily basis, a little positive hope doesn’t feel like a bad thing to try to attract.