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A mental shift (MS or m-shift) occurs when a Therian temporarily takes on the mentality of the theriotype. The human body stays physically unchanged. This shift can be very mild to very strong and any level in-between. During mild shifts, part of the human mentality is maintained. A mental shift can sometimes happen unintentionally, or the Therian can sometimes cause it voluntarily. Many Therians learn to control their shifts and can suppress them until they are in a safe an appropriate place. Mental shifts can occur in the midst of any emotional state, but may occur more often during stress or heightened emotional states. Usually, a therian will have full control over themselves, with only impulses to act as their theriotype would.

They can be Voluntary or Involuntary.

See also: Therianthropic Shifts

A Were by the name of Grigsbeast gives an interesting perspective of his mental shifts in an AHWW post from June 8, 1996. "Mentally shifting made me realize that almost all of our time in modern 'civilization' is spent ignoring outside reality in favor of daydreams, fantasies, thinking about work, friends, or anything but the noisy, ugly, crowded, dirty, utterly evil reality we have managed to create for ourselves.  "We ought not to think and act as if we were asleep" but awakening confronts us with a reality worse than nightmare, one in which we have to skulk around in misleadingly-named newsgroups instead of enjoying our animal heritage (which I believe lies within absolutely everyone, though most will deny it unto death)." [1]

Benefits of voluntary mental shifting

Voluntary mental shifting is associated with a feeling of freedom and inhibition. When experienced during meditation, mental shifts are an excellent way to relieve stress and to generally feel better. Being able to shift at convenient times and safe places can help reduce the feelings of species dysphoria. Using mental shifts to discover one's theriotype is another benefit. If one finds himself or herself feeling the need to growl during a mental shift, it is likely that the therian has a canine theriotype. However, it may simply be a cameo shift.

Lack of shifting

A number of therians claim that they have only one mindset that is both human and animal at once, rather than separate mentalities that they shift between. These people are known as contherianthropes.



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