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Trends like #luckygirlsyndrome taint the real health benefits of positive thinking

lucky girl syndrome

In recent months, the Lucky Girl Syndrome hashtag (#luckygirlsyndrome) has gone viral on TikTok with over 270 million views. It’s another take on manifesting and, in some respects, SQ (spiritual quotient).

There are heavily-filtered videos with mostly young, slim, attractive women talking about daily rituals that bring them luck, explaining how they use vision boards to manifest their dreams and singing their affirmations in catchy songs.

It’s easy to see why people are keen to jump on this trend. It’s the perfect way to share your #aspirational life on social media – all glamour and glitz – while jumping on a trend and so getting the algorithm working in your favour.

The criticism is quite rightly around privilege and the fact that it will always be far easier to manifest your dream life if you already have plenty of money, support, live in certain parts of the world and have other markers of privilege in your favour.

For instance, someone born to wealthy parents who can afford to buy them a car on their 18th birthday may well experience a wonderful bout of #luckygirlsyndrome that her peers from poorer, disadvantaged families will not.

But there are two other issues at play. Firstly, the name. Are we really still referring to women as girls? Come in, it’s 2023, we’re meant to be empowered and independent and bossing it – isn’t it about time we referred to ourselves as adults?

Plus, why is ‘syndrome’ always used to describe women? Like ‘imposter syndrome’ it has notes of hysteria and neuroses that on the one hand, shouldn’t be trivialised and on the other, shouldn’t always be used only when referring to women.

Secondly, when spiritual practices are so heavily glossed-up, the very real benefits can become hidden. Really, Lucky Girl Syndrome is about positive thinking: practising gratitude for what’s good in your life; focusing on what you want.

And these SQ practices have been scientifically proven to work. There are psychology studies revealing that positive thinking can reduce anxiety, lead to greater overall happiness and help you to achieve success across all areas of your life.

I know this because I researched all the different spiritual practices and tools – and their health benefits – for my book, Raise your SQ. And in the process of writing the book, and sticking to my own daily rituals and affirmations, I genuinely felt happier.

I made sure I had an intentional start to the day. Rather than rushing to my desk with a bowl of cereal, slamming open the laptop, rushing to respond to emails and generally working from a place of panic, I started the day slowly.

This meant lighting a candle before sitting down to work. Thinking about what I’d like to achieve that day before opening my computer. Donging my Tibetan singing bowl while reciting a mantra, affirmation or intention.

At points in the day when I felt blocked or stuck, I didn’t stay seated. I got up, walked around, rolled gemstones around in my palm and asked the Universe for guidance. I trusted that I was supported by something greater than just me.

I used meditation and breathwork to calm me and to help me access my subconscious thoughts and ideas, as well as occasional sessions with therapists when I needed external help to shift the difficult stuff and make more space for lightness.

Before bed at night, I’d hold a special stone and give thanks for all that I’d enjoyed that day. I’d note all the things I felt grateful for and really go in on the visualisation as I listed them, like I was experiencing them all over again.

I said out loud – to myself, my husband, my kids – how ‘lucky’ I felt to live in our home, to be near countryside, to have each other, to have time to make nutritious meals. I really did – and do – feel lucky for the good.

You know what? I wrote and submitted that book within six weeks – all 70,000+ words. It felt like a miracle but actually, it was the fact that I’d been raising my own SQ while teaching others how to do the same. Creating daily rituals as well as longer-term dreaming/planning put me in such a good mindset.

So when I hear about trends like Lucky Girl Syndrome, I feel excited that these practices are becoming more mainstream. Feeling worried and panicked doesn’t help us to make positive changes, but staying focused on what’s working, what we have to be lucky about and where we’d like to go next does.

I’d just like to see classier names for these hashtags – that don’t belittle women – and some awareness of privilege.

What do you think about Lucky Girl Syndrome?

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