Brainwaves…you’ve no doubt heard of them and you are definitely emitting them in this moment, but what are you emitting, and why, and how can you use a basic understanding of brainwaves to your advantage to feel centred, in tune and empowered, rather than drained and mentally exhasuted.
Here’s some quick science & tips…
from the highest frequency to lowest…
GAMMA WAVES occur during hyperactivity and active learning and whilst they are opportune for retaining information, too much, too long will quickly deplete you. Think of educators having audiences jumping up and down or dancing around and how this helps assimilation of information. While effective, you don’t really want to do that very often…(if ever?)
BETA WAVES dominate most people’s normal waking state. They are the thinking, problem solving conscious mind, but when overactive and not given a rest, worry and monkey mind show up here. Beta waves take up a lot of energy and if not offset by other, lower brainwaves, can lead to inefficiency, restlessness, anxiety + difficulty shutting off and sleeping
ALPHA WAVES are the waves of a calmer mind. An easy going yet alert and in the present moment type of vibe. A bit of a resting state for the brain which assists mental coordination, mind/body integration and learning. This is characteristic of how we feel after yoga class (sometimes during especially when doing breathwork) & during early stages of meditation. The hemispheres of the brain become more balanced in this state, which is neural integration. (V good for us!)
THETA WAVES occur at certain stages of sleep (like dreaming) and also when we are in deep meditation. It’s a gateway to deeper learning, memory, unconscious stuff, intuition. There is sensory withdrawal as we turn inwards. This is a deeply restorative brain state and even though we are a little detached from the material world in this state, complicated problem solving and complex visualisations are possible/supported. Einstein spoke about this. Regular meditation practice makes this state more accessible to us.
DELTA WAVES are experienced by very seasoned meditators and during deep dreamless sleep. They are the least understood of all the brainwave states and believed to have connections to the mystical and spiritual experience of one-ness and bliss. We do a lot of delta in the womb and it’s extremely rare to experience this brain state consciously.
The crux of it is…
~ We are *collectively* spending waaaaay too much time in BETA & perhaps also GAMMA mind states…
~ There’s often little silence, pause and repose in modern life and many people don’t sleep well.
~ We need to offset the higher frequency brainstates with lower frequency brainstates, this requires making a choice and taking action to shift gears from chronic busy-ness to a more balanced day including activities and breaks that nourish the brain with deeper brainwaves.
~ Understanding our brainwaves provides a compelling reason to engage with contemplative practices such as yoga & meditation in order to feel better and be fully present in our precious daily lives.
Can you identify these brain states in your day’s activities?
Let me know in the comments.
TIP & RESOURCE:
Offset excess time spent in beta brainwaves with one of my free guided meditations:
Want to know more about meditation, what it can do for you, how to fit it into daily life? Practical tools and know-how? Check our my signature course here.
Here’s to holistic wellbeing and brainwaves that balance and empower you.