What Is TikTok’s Latest “Reality Shifting” Trend, And Is It Safe?

Disclaimer: This article is not recommending the act of “shifting,” but is looking into this up-and-coming TikTok trend. We are not medical professionals and are not making a claim that “reality shifting” is real. Read this article at your own discretion.

I feel like a lot of these articles start with me scrolling through TikTok, but I’m simply being honest with you all, I come across a ton of article ideas while on TikTok. Here I was, scrolling through TikTok on one of my binges and I came across a Harry Potter themed TikTok account that had #shifting in their bio. Of course, this hashtag piqued my curiosity. Instantly, I found myself diving into the world of “reality shifting” , a phenomenon in which people can apparently “shift” in and out of alternate realities. But not just any realities – specifically, fictional realities.

What is “Shifting?”

According to the TikTok accounts I have seen, shifting is a way to transport yourself into another reality, even a fictional one, like the wizarding world of Harry Potter. In this reality, you become a character in this universe and can be whoever you want to be. For some, that means being the love interest of main characters like Draco, Fred & George, or Harry Potter himself. To get into this reality, “shifters” follow specific steps to get to where they want to go.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by shifting realities (@shiftingpixie)

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The Shifting Dictionary

Before we go any further, I feel like we need to address the major shifting terms that will be used throughout the rest of this article.

CR: Current Reality

DR: Desired Reality

Script/Scripting: Writing down details of the reality you’re wanting to go to. For example, you can “script” that you’ll be Harry Potter’s best friend, or “script” that you no longer have a food allergy. The script is what guides you into the reality and what shapes it into what you want it to be.

Clone: The version of yourself that takes over your current reality (CR) while you are in your desired reality (DR).

Waiting room: An in-between state, between the DR and CR.

Methods: These are the different ways to shift. There are many different methods including the starfish, the raven, the Alice in Wonderland, the pillow, the heartbeat, the train, the Julia method, and more.

Is Shifting Real?

Personally, I can not be the judge of that. But there’s a pretty big divide on this question. Some think that “reality shifting” is a form of lucid dreaming, in which you can be awake and aware in your dreams. Others see it as a form of astral projection, which is an out-of-body experience you’re having while your body is asleep. The #shifting community swears that reality shifting is real and different from lucid dreaming or astral projecting because it is stronger and more realistic. 

However, Grace Warwick, a therapist who specializes in anomalous experiences, from Vice’s article on shifting, claims it isn’t lucid dreaming either. She claims it is something called a “transliminal experience.” This transliminal experience means that the “shifter” is in between being awake and asleep, which personally reminds me way too much of the Insidious movies for my liking. Laura Rosser Kreiselmaier, a holistic psychotherapist from the Washington Post article on shifting, said she believes it is a form of “self-hypnosis.” She said she attributes it to the ongoing pandemic because she isn’t surprised that young people would want to escape their current reality for one that is more enjoyable. 

There have also been quite a few naysayers, who claim that reality shifting is either completely fake or just some kids who have over-imaginative dreams. Popular YouTuber “TheOdd1sOut” made this video in an attempt to debunk the phenomenon. The debate on whether it is real is one thing, but the debate about whether it is safe is another entirely.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Shifting account (@shifting.00)

Is Shifting Safe?

In the viewpoint of someone who believes in shifting, Spirit of Change Magazine claims that after shifting realities you might feel disoriented, frustrated, or “empty and lost.” While another pro-shifting source says that while shifting can feel mentally exhausting, “shifting is not dangerous whatsoever.” Many attribute the safety to having a safe word written into your script that can pull you out of your DR. While lucid dreaming is seen as “generally safe,” it has been found to have negative effects on those with mental health issues, according to Healthline

Whether it’s real or not, it sure is an interesting trend going around.

Have you heard of reality shifting? What are your thoughts on this TikTok trend?

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