What is reality shifting (RS), and how do you do it? Learn about the new trend taking TikTok by storm, what it’s all about, and how to shift realities using a variety of popular methods.
Ultimate Guide to Reality Shifting
If you’re a regular user of TikTok then it’s likely you’ll be aware of the current phenomenon known as ‘reality shifting’. And if you’re not (because it’s largely missed other social media platforms), then this post will fill you in on everything you need to know.
The concept of reality shifting, or simply shifting, is similar to astral projection and based around the idea of shifting from your Current Reality (CR) to a dream world of your own design, referred to as your Desired Reality (DR).
What is reality if not an extension of our individual mindset?
I realise how that sounds, but bear with me…
When I first became aware of this craze I was highly sceptical, and then I began to question myself.
I write a lot about changing mindset for the better. And what is reality if not an extension of our individual mindset?
Once I had that thought in mind, I couldn’t shake it, and so I decided to reserve judgement whilst learning more about the idea of chasing a more desirable, alternate reality.
What is Reality Shifting?
I had so many questions!
- How do you shift reality?
- How does it feel like to shift?
- What are the best shifting methods?
- Is shifting real, or woo woo?
You can make up your own mind.
Turns out there are several popular methods to follow to help you access the different reality you’re seeking, as well as many signs to confirm you’ve shifted to a new reality.
And there are countless options of different realities to choose from, with the only limit seeming to be imagination. However, there are specific parallel realities which are particularly popular, for example Hogwarts in Harry Potter world, and others which also feature favorite characters.
Still not convinced? I checked it all out and collated my findings below, to bring you this ultimate guide to shifting so you can make up your own mind.
These are the steps you’ll supposedly need to take to shift reality…
How Does Reality Shifting Work?
RS is based on the multiverse theory, which claims that all versions of reality exist concurrently, alongside one another and in the present.
The idea is that by following a specific set of instructions, you can consciously facilitate the process and make it happen for yourself.
Now let’s take a look at the steps you’ll need to take to shift successfully…
How to Shift Realities in 5 Steps
My research revealed that there are five components to shifting reality:
- Reciting affirmations (positive statements, related to your DR)
- Subliminals (relevant affirmations related to your chosen DR, sped up and overlaid with music and ambient sounds, said to work similarly to hypnotic inductions)
- Scripting (writing a meticulous description of your DR)
- Your chosen shifting method
Is your curiosity piqued?
If you’re ready to give it a try yourself, here’s an overview of the recommendations for successful shifting…
The vast majority of shifting guides recommend meditation practice prior to attempting to shift. This is because meditating is a great way to encourage the physical body into a soothed state, which is more favourable for shifting.
When meditating, your aim should be to clear your mind, leaving it free to focus on the rest of the process without any distractions.
2. Create a Shifting Script
One of the most important components for RS is creating a shifting script.
Creating a detailed script of your Desired Reality helps you to define exactly how you imagine it to be, and get you in the necessary frame of mind to work through the rest of these steps.
When writing a shifting script, consider the following:
- What does it look like?
- Who is there?
- What are your emotions?
- What can you smell?
- What physical sensations can you feel?
- Practical matters, such as how time aligns between your Current Reality and Desired Reality.
Write it all down in the present tense, or draw it out if you prefer. The goal is to be as specific as possible by creating a super detailed script of your desired alternate universe.
Scripting can help you to gain the absolute focus required for the process of shifting.
3. Choose a Shifting Method
There are multiple different methods you can try for shifting, including sleep methods (where you must fall asleep and will wake up in your DR); and non-sleep methods.
I’ll give a brief outline of the most popular ones below…
These methods do not involve sleeping in order to reach your DR.
1. Raven Method of Reality Shifting
In this method you lay in a starfish position on your bed and count to 100 while while subliminals are playing in the background, and chant positive affirmations between numbers.
2. Alice in Wonderland Method
Lay on your bed. Now imagine yourself sitting with your back against a tree, until someone from your DR runs past you (like the white rabbit!), then chase them until you ‘fall down the rabbit hole’ and discover a key to unlock your Desired Reality.
3. Julia Method
The Julia method is one of the most popular, because it’s said to be effective for beginners. Here’s how to do it:
First, meditate for 5 – 10 minutes whilst listening to calming theta waves or binaural beats1. Binaural beats are sounds created in the brain in response to listening to two different theta wave tones in different ears.
Theta brain waves are activated when we’re being creative or are in a drowsy, meditative state.
Theta waves, classified as ‘slow’ activity, have a range of 3.5 – 7.5 Hz, and listening to this frequency can induce theta wave activity in the brain.
Theta brain waves have a frequency range of 4 – 7 Hz and are activated when we’re being creative or are in a drowsy, meditative state. They’re associated with intuition, fantasy, spiritual awareness, and the unconscious.
Next, slowly recite ‘I am’ until you begin to notice any shifting symptoms.
Now, at a relaxed pace, count to 100 whilst breathing deeply to maintain a trance-like, relaxed state.
Finally, visualise your DR. Think about your five senses to help you, focusing on everything you can see, hear, touch, and smell.
You should shortly find yourself in your DR!
4. Elevator Method
In this method you should visualise yourself in an elevator, with each floor representing higher levels of energy.
As you ascend in the elevator, your energy levels increase, and once it is high enough to shift, the elevator doors will supposedly open into a grand hall, and you can walk into your DR.
5. Heartbeat Method
The heartbeat method involves listening to the audio of a heartbeat, placed under your pillow.
Focus on your breathing.
As you listen, imagine you are laying on the chest of somebody from your DR. When the audio finishes, imagine the person inviting you to go with them them to your Desired Reality. They will then lead you to a door and open it for you to walk through, into your DR.
6. Estelle Method
In the Estelle method, you must lay down whilst listening to music to which you can dance.
Close your eyes and focus on your breathing until you are in a meditative state.
Visualise yourself in a room from your Desired Reality, dancing with somebody from your DR.
When the song ends, imagine the person you are with saying ‘Come on, it’s time for us to go home now’, as they lead you through a door.
Try to convince yourself that you are literally existing in your Desired Reality.
Once you have passed through the door, recite ‘I am’ affirmations related to your DR.
Open your eyes; you should be in your DR!
7. Sunni Method
First, lay down in a comfortable position with your eyes closed.
Visualise that you are in your Desired Reality. This is a super important step with this method, because instead of simply imagining it, you must try to convince yourself that you are literally existing in your Desired Reality.
To help the process, tune in to each of your senses and focus on the precise sensory input of what you can see, hear, smell, and touch.
When you are ready, recite some ‘I am’ shifting affirmations related to your Desired Reality.
Open your eyes; you should be in your DR.
8. Train Method
In the train method, visualise yourself on a train, heading towards the destination of your Desired Reality.
As you look out of the window in your mind’s eye, imagine scenes from your DR rushing past the window, as you repeat ‘I am’ affirmations related to your DR.
When the train arrives at its destination, you should find yourself in your Desired Reality.
With any sleep method, you must fall asleep in your Current Reality, before waking in your DR.
9. Pillow Method
In this method, write down affirmation related to your DR on a piece of paper. Recite them before you go to bed and also sleep with the paper placed under your pillow. You should awake in your DR.
10. Intent Method
Start in a state of drowsiness. Get comfortable and then visualise yourself in your DR.
Right before you’re ready to drop off to sleep, you should say out loud ‘I intend to wake up in my Desired Reality’. You should awake in your DR.
4. Listen to Subliminals
While subliminal tracks are said to be incoherent to the conscious brain, they are supposed to be comprehensible to the subconscious.
Playing subliminals is said to interrupt negative and/or limiting beliefs that can interfere with shifting.
Using affirmations supposedly helps prime the subconscious mind to be receptive to shifting.
5. Recite Affirmations
Affirmations are a powerful tool (this is proven – check out this post which explains how affirmations work).
Similarly to how listening to subliminals, using affirmations related to a Desired Reality is said to help prime the subconscious mind to be receptive to shifting.
What Does Shifting Feel Like?
Physical symptoms of shifting include a sense of being detached from your body.
If you’ve tried or plan to try shifting, naturally, you’ll want to be confident that you can identify signs you have shifted to a parallel reality when it happens.
Here are some of the physical symptoms of shifting:
- Racing heart
- Sensation of floating
- Seeing a bright light
- Heaviness on the chest
- Lucid dreaming about your DR or people in it
- Blurred vision
- Irritating itchiness
- Body tingles
- Hearing buzzing or white noise
- Twitching eyelids
- Seeing white lights
- Numbness in your body
- Sensation of falling
- Out of body experience, or sense of being detached from the physical body
What Are Some Popular Reality Realms in the World of Shifting?
Some of the most popular DR’s include:
- Star Wars
- Game of Thrones
- Marvel universe
I’ve heard of a lot of girls talking about entering Hogwarts as Draco Malfoy’s girlfriend, but you can make your shifting experience your own!
Is Shifting Safe?
Before practicing shifting, it’s recommended to choose a safe word which you can use to immediately return to your Current Reality.
Final Thoughts About Shifting Realities
When I started looking in to shifting, it put me in mind of the woo woo version of law of attraction you often read about.
Full disclosure: honestly, it mostly still does.
Shifting seems to have begun as a largely harmless coping strategy.
However, I’m also extremely intrigued by the psychology involved2, so I decided to look into it a little bit more. After all, transcendental experiences are nothing new, with psychedelics often used for the purpose of achieving an altered state of perception and/or consciousness.
And while many may be uncomfortable with their use, they can have undeniable and lasting benefits, including:
- Increased relaxation
- Improved sense of wellbeing
- Enhanced mood and feelings of social connectedness3
- Spiritual experiences
Reality shifting seems to be an attempt to tap into these benefits, without the use of psychedelics. And in the context of when RS became popular and with which demographic/s, it makes sense.
Shifting has been described as a transliminal experience, meaning a susceptibility or hypersensitivity to psychological material originating in the unconscious mind, and/or external environment.
It’s notable that the practice became prominent among a younger generation of people, during a time when they should have been socialising but were unable to. Shifting seems to have begun as a largely harmless coping strategy, offering escapism for the mind, outside of the physical confines brought about by a strange a few years.
Note, research has shown that transliminality is associated with increased tendency towards mystical experience; however it has also demonstrated it may be positively correlated with with psychoticism4.
Besides which, as I mentioned earlier, I talk about mindset shifts often. And while the kind of changes to perception I generally discuss are on a completely different scale, the mechanism remains similar.
Ultimately, shifting appears to be a deeply personal experience, with overtones of spirituality – which is itself very subjective.
- López-Caballero F, Escera C. Binaural Beat: A Failure to Enhance EEG Power and Emotional Arousal. Front Hum Neurosci. 2017 Nov 15;11:557. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00557. PMID: 29187819; PMCID: PMC5694826.
- Somer, E., Cardeña, E., Catelan, R.F. et al. Reality shifting: psychological features of an emergent online daydreaming culture. Curr Psychol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-021-02439-3.
- Forstmann M, Yudkin DA, Prosser AMB, Heller SM, Crockett MJ. Transformative experience and social connectedness mediate the mood-enhancing effects of psychedelic use in naturalistic settings. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2020;117(5):2338-2346. doi:10.1073/pnas.1918477117.
- Thalbourne, Michael & Maltby, John. (2008). Transliminality, thin boundaries, Unusual Experiences, and temporal lobe lability. Personality and Individual Differences. 44. 10.1016/j.paid.2008.01.022.