Reality Shifting: Can You Access a New Dimension?

6 Min Read | By Lottie Salako

Last Modified 15 May 2024   First Added 17 January 2023

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

What is reality shifting?

If you’re on TikTok, you’ve probably come across the term “shifting” or reality shifting – the hashtag #RealityShifting has over 2.1 billion views – but what exactly does this mean?

Reality shifting is a term used to describe the belief that one can alter the reality they are experiencing through intentional focus and visualisation. Through shifting, many people claim to have entered their “desired reality”, which includes fictional locations such as Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series.

Is this not the same as lucid dreaming?

While they sound very similar, there are some distinctions between lucid dreaming and reality shifting. Lucid dreaming is the ability to be aware that one is dreaming while in the dream state, and sometimes have control over the dream content. It’s a skill that can be developed with practice and some people use it as a way to explore their own minds and inner world. Lucid dreaming is a scientifically recognised phenomenon and it has been studied by sleep researchers.

This may explain many people’s experiences of reality shifting. Dreams can be extremely vivid and detailed, so if you can retain control of your actions as well as memories of the dream, it can feel like you’ve entered a new a new reality.

How is reality shifting different from astral projection?

Astral projection is the belief that one can separate their consciousness from their physical body and travel in a non-physical realm, often referred to as the astral plane. Both reality shifting and astral projection are known as transliminal experiences, which means that they happen in the space between the conscious and the unconscious mind. This makes them more closely related than lucid dreaming as with astral projection and shifting, there is the belief that you are actually experiencing this alternate dimension.

Is there any science behind shifting?

Put simply… no. There is no scientific evidence or support behind reality shifting. However, humans have been practising different kinds of out-of-body experiences for many thousands of years through a variety of methods. There may one day be more research on phenomena such as reality shifting and astral projection, giving us a better understanding of what people are experiencing.

So, how do you shift?

Want to give shifting a go for yourself? There are lots of tips for how to shift and make it an enjoyable experience too. Let’s explore the process…

    1. Create a script
      Your script is an important part of the shifting process. This refers to a list of specifics about where you want to shift to and what you want your life to be like there such as who you want to meet, what your relationships are like, and how long you want to be there. The more precise you can be, the more likely you are to be successful.
    2. Get comfortable
      Create a quiet and calming environment so you can focus your thoughts. It’s best to lie down on your bed so you are somewhere safe and comfortable. This will encourage your mind to wander and feel secure if you start to drift off.
    3. Do grounding exercises
      This includes turning off the lights and playing meditative music. You can also repeat affirmations such as “I am shifting into [desired reality]” that keep you focused on the task at hand and can induce self-hypnotisation.
    4. The Raven Method
      One of the most popular methods recommended is called the Raven Method. It requires you to lie on your stomach in a starfish position and count down from 100 while you think of your desired reality.
    5. The Alice in Wonderland Method
      Another recommended approach is to imagine yourself running after someone from your desired reality and jumping down a rabbit hole after them, as Alice does with the rabbit. This works best if you’re trying to visit a specific character from a fictional universe.

What does reality shifting feel like?

The shifting community has what it calls “symptoms” that indicate you have shifted or are about to. These include:

  • Weightlessness in limbs
  • Feeling of floating
  • Dizziness
  • Detachment from your body
  • Sudden chills
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Smelling scents from your desired reality

The different types of shifts:

There is a large online community forming around the theory and practice of reality shifting, so there are now some terms that are commonly used. Some of these refer to different types of experiences.

  • Mini shift

This is when someone shifts to a reality that is highly similar to their own but with small differences.

  • Perma-shifting

A “permanent shift” or perma-shift happens when the shifter has no intention of coming back to their reality or stays in an alternate reality for many years.

  • Respawning

Also known as “forced reincarnation”, respawning is a more intense form of shifting. This is when the shifter wants to leave their body and consciousness behind, so they have no memories of their “original” reality.

Can shifting go wrong?

There is no possibility of real danger or harm when attempting to shift as there is no evidence of anything physical happening to you. But just like with meditation or dreaming, you should still be somewhere comfortable and safe while you do it.

However, there are still some worries about the trend. As mentioned, the rise of interest in the practice coincided with the first 2020 lockdown, when a lot of people were mentally vulnerable due to isolation, heightened anxiety, and general stress about the world.

  • Disassociation: People with a strong sense of imagination are already susceptible to forms of disassociation such as maladaptive daydreaming. The encouragement to “leave” their reality by online communities can make this fixation worse and may interfere with normal function.
  • Emotional upset: For those who believe they are shifting and that they are truly in another universe, actions and experiences there may have lasting emotional effects.
  • Psychoactive substances: As with many out-of-body experiences, some practitioners use psychoactive drugs to achieve the desired effects. These can be extremely dangerous and can have long-lasting adverse side effects.
  • Harmful communities: Reality shifting is a kind of New Age practice that is not rooted in science. In fact, some online communities that support it are known for spreading other misinformation and harmful beliefs. If you know a young person who talks about or practices shifting, it’s a good idea to help them understand how to identify this kind of content.

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