What is 'reality shifting' on TikTok?

@redsulphursaga/TikTok @simplifying.sam/TikTok @healingandbeyond/TikTok

What is ‘reality shifting?’ The TikTok trend, explained

Can you convince your body to switch to another reality? Some TikTok users believe so.


Angela Andaloro

Pop Culture

Posted on May 13, 2024

As humans, we’re always eager for new experiences. Sure, there’s comfort in the known, but plenty of people want to broaden their horizons and get the most out of their life experience. Recent evidence of this is seen in the reality-shifting TikTok trend that’s opened up a lot of online discourse. 

Reality-shifting TikTok is a passionate community that believes in infinite possibilities, including ones where you can interact with your favorite characters or visit your favorite time periods with just a bit of focus.

What is reality shifting on TikTok?

The idea of reality shifting on TikTok has gained popularity from people hoping to experience consciousness in different ways. At the root of it is the idea that there are infinite universes within a multiverse— a theme we’ve seen explored by Marvel, in Rick and Morty, and elsewhere throughout media. To truly believe in infinite realities is to understand that there is a version of yourself that exists in every multiverse, and that they can overlap and co-exist. 

@laurenr2 Replying to @lejla How to shift realities for beginners #shifting #shift #shifter #shiftok #shiftingtiktok #shifttiktok #shiftingrealities #shiftingmotivation #shiftingrealitys #shiftingtips #shiftingforbeginners ♬ Golden Hour (Cover) – Hamishkun

That might seem like a lot to unpack. If there’s a version of you in every multiverse, that means there are universes where your favorite fictional people, places, and things are real. Believing in reality-shifting means that you believe that by following the right steps, you can transport yourself from your current reality to an alternate desired reality.

The concept has been discussed on the platform since at least the Fall of 2020.

@shiftingwithcad #shifting #shifter #realityshifting #shiftingrealities #desiredreality #shiftingcontent #shiftingmotivation #shiftingstories #shiftingtips #shiftinghelp #shiftingwithcad #realityshifter ♬ QKThr – Aphex Twin

Reality-shifting TikTok features many people who shift into a universe where they can interact with their favorite characters. It’s popular among Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and other fantasy and anime fandoms.

Reality-shifters do warn that your actions in other realities have consequences that follow you, both in the metaphysical sense and as it relates to justice. If you do something illegal or predatory in an alternate reality, many reality-shifting TikTokers believe you should be considered guilty of such in this reality. 

@simplifying.sam Time is unknown to the body. We can embody ANY YEAR we want. Use this info wisely! #quantumjumping #manifestation #realityshifting #embodiment #perceptionisreality ♬ original sound – Sam | life+manifestation coach

Does TikTok reality shifting actually work?

Reality-shifting TikTok says that this method can usually be achieved while in a very relaxed or sleep state, however before it begins one must set their intentions.

@shiftingwithgabs1 Magical moment fr #fyp #shifting #shiftingrealities ♬ suara asli . – Dezalyr

To do so, you can either literally write or mind map the reason you want to shift, what you want to look and act like when you shift, and plan what you’ll do when you shift and how long you’ll live out your desired reality (DR) before returning to your current reality (CR).

@reyas1ngh #shifting #shifttok #fyp #viral #foryoupage #shiftingwithreya #foryou #shiftingrealities #realityshifting #fypシ ♬ original sound – Reya Singh 🧘🏽‍♀️

Of course, many people have pointed out that the reality-shifting TikTok technique has roots in many other concepts. Some argue that it’s a variation of having an imagination or lucid dreaming.

@healingandbeyond ✨️Reality shifting ASMR REIKI》 This is confirmation that you are about to shift into your dream reality. The stars are aligning for you! everything is working in your favour 🙌 There are an infinite number of timelines happening simultaneously right now. For you to shift into your desired reality all you need to do is adjust your frequency to match a specific timeline for it to align for you. Never give up and keep believing in your vision ✨️ #asmr #visualasmr #asmrtiktoks #energyhealing #reikihealing #reiki #desiredreality #timelineshift ♬ Solfeggio frequency 432hz healing meditation(1400752) – Enokido

Others have compared it to hypnosis, trances, quantum jumping, and aural transferring.

Is TikTok reality shifting safe?

However, some mental health experts have warned there are some potential dangers in reality-shifting TikTok. The “calming” and “grounding” techniques that are part of shifting for many will have a physiological effect on the nervous system. In most cases, that will result in a relaxed or even therapeutic feeling. 

@djanique.joan How is shifting not real, while I shift reguraly…? #shiftingrealities #shifttok #shiftingstories #shiftingmotivation #shiftingrealitys #shiftingtomcu #shiftingtohogwarts ♬ im going to leave this reality – 🪐

In some with particular mental illnesses, however, it can be triggering. People can also start to obsess over being in their desired reality and become overinvolved with distancing themselves from their day-to-day lives. 

Those who have tried reality-shifting and are no longer part of that community have pointed to the immense stresses on young people and increasingly limited avenues for escapism as contributing factors to the rise of this practice and its popularity within the TikTok generation.

@redsulphursaga Shifting is Real: Proof #realityshifting ##shifttok #consciousness #dreaming #visionary #luciddreamingshiftingmethod ♬ original sound – Robert Bosnak

“Shifting becomes a cause for concern when it interferes with daily functioning, relationships, or mental well-being. … As with many imaginative practices, moderation and a balanced perspective are key to avoiding potential negative impacts on mental health,” one psychologist told Yahoo News.

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*First Published: May 13, 2024, 8:21 pm CDT