The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Credit: Sabina Mei

If you take a quick scroll through your TikTok For You page, chances are that you may come across multiple videos with the background audio reciting, “Everything is working out for me at any given point in time” — an affirmation stated by Esther Hicks, known for her publications and workshops centered around The Law of Attraction. There are over 49,000 videos using this soundbite, with people from around the world explaining how their lives have drastically changed after replacing their negative thinking patterns with this positive belief system. In just a few weeks, #luckygirlsyndrome has accumulated over 459 million views and counting. 

Dubbed “Lucky Girl Syndrome,” this viral tactic is professed as a means to attract your desires by speaking them into existence. But it can also be employed as a wellness tool to improve thinking, behavior, and regulating emotions. 

The logic here is that through consistent positive reminders, you can gradually alter your inner voice to become more self-compassionate, thereby distancing yourself from a constant attitude of scarcity, lack, or loss — one of which may stifle and swallow you in the process. 

Affirmations are often clustered with manifestation methods. But whether or not you believe in manifestation as a mechanism to alter your reality, there are significant benefits to practicing affirmations to diminish damaging dialogue in your mind. Our worldviews are formulated by our thinking patterns. Thus, when the self acts, the social framework reacts in a reciprocal system. 

Evidence-based research illustrates that affirmations rewire your brain by challenging anxieties. Results demonstrate that self-affirming practices amplify activity in self-processing regions of the brain as well as the brain’s valuation systems. Subsequently, affirmations influence sedentary behaviors. Additionally, psychologists and researchers studying self-affirmations have discovered wide-ranging benefits, including stress-buffering effects, greater adaptability, and enhanced internal reflection. 

Of the Ivy League schools, Penn scored a D+ in student mental health. In our hyper-competitive, pre-professional atmosphere, it is easy to fall into the trap of perfectionism and ceaseless dissatisfaction. Given the toxic grind culture at Penn, students frequently neglect their present well-being, impeding their abilities to sit back and recognize their worth. 

Rather than legitimizing Penn Face and reinforcing toxic positivity through an unfavorable facade, we can actually work towards improvement by viewing and speaking to ourselves with care. While our thought patterns may seem obscure to us, if we tend to them we can begin to assert control. It is when you find meaning in these affirmations that you truly begin to believe them and develop a healthier frame of mind. 

“I made peace with me. I stopped finding fault with me,” Hicks’ affirmation includes. “I stopped looking for reasons to feel bad and started looking for reasons to feel good.” This perspective offers an optimistic, gentle lens to daily life — that is, if you truly believe its content as opposed to merely repeating it. 

Because humans are habitual beings, routine self-depreciation quickly becomes all that you know. When you repeatedly consider your life in terms of lack, you dwindle your capacity to behave in the ways you truly desire due to burnout. Consequently, you will continue enduring a cycle of goal-seeking without ever attaining happiness. 

To overcome intrusive negative and futuristic thoughts, affirmations can play a pivotal role. Since they inform our emotions and change how we feel, they thereby alter our behaviors, responses, and actions. By extension, exercising affirmations helps to mitigate stereotype threat and self-fulfilling prophecies that deprive us from self-actualization. 

Keep in mind, simply repeating affirmations has its limits. Although developing a new mindset of growth can assist you in improving your habitual thinking, opportunities and resources vary for all people. Affirmations do not close yourself off to reality, and ignoring negative thoughts does not fix them. However, solely engaging in negative self-talk largely impacts self-esteem and fuels maladaptive behaviors. 

Further, it is important to recognize that affirmations are not intended to invalidate our struggles. It is perfectly natural for negative thoughts to seep in and it is unrealistic to convince yourself of a fantasy life in which everything is always perfect. Rather, Hicks explains how hyper-obsession over unfavorable events and experiences may bar you from true fulfillment. Additionally, hyperfocusing on the missing pieces may restrain you from actually achieving them. 

Hicks warns, “You can add to this world in a very positive way, but it's your concern about the things that aren't going well that keep you from doing that.” 

In a world with seemingly never-ending expectations, you as an individual have the power to assume control over your intrusive, futuristic thoughts in order to harness your joy. Recognize that there is joy in your present moment, even in the most seemingly meager or mundane circumstances. 

I compel you to wholeheartedly recognize your potential to alter your daily lived experience by simply understanding your immense value where you are right now, wherever that may be. You are more than enough, and you can reframe your mind to believe it. 

So give "Lucky Girl Syndrome" a try — you might just end up feeling lucky too. 

RIANE LUMER is a College junior studying political science and journalistic writing from Huntingdon Valley, Pa.. Her email address is