What is the TikTok trend 'Lucky Girl Syndrome'?
TikTok is awash with new life hacks to try and, if you're a regular scroller, you may well have come across one of the thousands of videos about Lucky Girl Syndrome.
Its devotees believe they can use affirmations to call in anything and everything, from a pay rise to a new relationship.
The hashtag #luckygirlsyndrome has had millions of views with users sharing videos claiming the 'manifestation' trend has improved their careers, finances and love lives.
The theory is simple: repeating affirmations and truly believing in yourself will result in good things coming your way, but is it really possible to manifest yourself a better life?
If you’re hoping to become a 'lucky girl', here’s everything you need to know about the trend in 12 points.
What exactly is Lucky Girl Syndrome? It's the idea that you can attract things you're aiming for, like love, money or a new career, by repeating positive mantras and truly believing that things will work out the way you want.
It's part of the 'manifestation' and law of attraction philosophy. "It involves using affirmations to talk, visualise and think things into existence," explains Elle Mace, positive psychology coach.
What are affirmations? Affirmations are positive statements that can help raise your mood and give you belief in yourself and your goals. "They can challenge and help you overcome that inner critic, the self-sabotage and the ego that allows you to sit with negative thoughts," Mace adds.
What happens to 'lucky girls'? In some TikTok videos, people claim to have used positive affirmations to manifest enough money to put down deposits for first homes. While others credit the trend for new careers, relationships and exciting travel opportunities.
The trend is rooted in ancient wisdom. The idea of reframing your mindset can be traced back years ago to old spiritual practices involving making your own luck. "Positive affirmations have been around for a long time and are part of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)," explains Mace. "Your thoughts, emotions and behaviours are all connected and research has shown that they can positively impact your life and actions."
Advocates of Lucky Girl Syndrome believe there are many benefits. These include decreasing stress; boosting mood, confidence and self-esteem; increasing motivation for solutions or personal challenges; improving memory; feeling more in control and giving you the strength to overcome trauma.
Experts say there's some science behind it. You can teach yourself to think positively. "When you say these affirmations, you are also attaching them to a feeling and/or visual, and this creates new neural pathways in the brain which leads to behaviour change," Mace explains.
Is there a rational explanation for Lucky Girl Syndrome? Psychologist Dr Carolyne Keenan told the BBC that the trend relates to confirmation bias – the tendency to process information by looking for evidence that fits existing beliefs, i.e. you're more likely to remember the times things worked out, than when they didn't.
Can you really "create" your own luck? Keenan isn't so sure. “There are going to be, unfortunately, some situations in life that we are not able to manifest and think our way out of,” she told the. BBC. “I would be concerned about people being in situations where maybe that’s not going to be an effective strategy.”
There are some other concerns about the trend. Robert West, a psychologist and professor of behavioural science and health at University College London told Live Science there is a danger that by focusing only on thinking positive thoughts and trying to manifest change, we could forget to actually get on and physically do things to try to make our lives better.
The other downside of the trend is the idea that bad luck is your fault too. This could therefore create feelings of shame and defeatism when things don't work out in the way you'd hoped.
Don't spend too long 'manifesting' though. While having an optimistic viewpoint can help us to achieve certain goals, it's also important not to solely rely on thinking yourself a better life. Instead work hard to team those can-do mantras with actual action.