Our brains are always active with some form of electrical activity. We have know about these brain waves since 1929 when Electroencephalography was developed by German psychiatrist Hans Berger. It was discovered that the brain emitted an electrical charge that was maintained by billons of neurons. By using sensors attached to the scalp of a patient, the EEG can measure the commulative electrical charge as well as the oscillations at a variety of frequencies. These different frequencies represent different brain states. For example, during sleep, it has been recorded that the brain can undergo various frequencies or states and types of brain activity.
What Are the Different Brainwaves
Gamma – 32Hz up to 100Hz
Gamma waves represent a very awake and alert brain. This state i associated with peak mental performance, focus, concentration and mental acuity.
Beta – Between 16Hz to 31Hz
Although not in a state of hyper mental acuity, the Beta brainwave state is usually associated with task completion, concentration and problem solving. You are sharp, focused and alert but not as optimal as the Gamma waves.
Alpha- Between 8Hz to 15Hz
The Alpha brainwave state represents a very relaxed and pleasurable state of consciousness. This state is mostly associated with stress reduction and creativity. Most artists and musicians achieve this state on a regular basis.
Theta – From 4Hz to 7Hz
TheTheta state of consciousness is usually experienced upon waking ir just before falling asleep. It is the state that most hypno therapists try to induce on their patients. It is also charecterized as a waking dream state. Access to the subconscious is also possible in THeta state.
Delta – Between .1Hz to 3Hz
This is obviously the lowest level of brainwave activity as well as consciousness. This occurs when we are sound asleep.
Here at Life Tips we wholeheartedly recommend that everyone adopt a daily practice of some form of meditation on a regular basis. But, knowing what we know now, is it also possible to induce these states at will without actively practicing meditation? Could we also choose which brainwave state to induce when we wanted to? Below is a great article that offers really valuable information on what technology can do for you for achieving any desired brainwave state.
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“You would naturally think that Western technology and Eastern Zen meditation practice are as incompatible as they can get. In some ways this is correct but modern scientific research is finding points of convergence, most interestingly in using applied technology to hack into brain performance and optimal brain states that would otherwise be only achievable through years of dedicated practice. The onset of these mind technologies was spurred by improved scientific instruments and tools such as fMRI, EEG devices and other latest brain scan technology that have uncovered a lot of data and information about the neurology behind ancient practices such as meditation. Through these devices scientists were able to, for instance, examine brain scans of experienced meditators such as Zen Buddhist monks while meditating and literally see how and which part of the brain is being affected. Through this data and technologies, they can now understand which brain states can be stimulated to achieve focused and mindful states or ones in which the left and right brain hemispheres are in sync as experienced by seasoned meditators. This is not Sci-fi technology but one that is available to the masses for under $300. Here is the what and how: Bio-feedback Devices and Apps: Bio-feedback devices have been around for quite some time, but latest technology has brought this to a whole new level. In essence, bio-feedback devices are devices which give you real-time feedback of your state of mind so you can train yourself to enter into optimal states in relatively short learning cycles. Older bio-feedback technology relied on physiological cues such as heartbeat and skin conductivity. With the latest EEG technology, bio-feedback devices are now wearable EEG headbands which detect your brain wave signals and hence your levels of brain activity (thus perhaps neuro-feedback devices would be more apt as a term). A predominance of Alpha brain waves, for instance would show that you are in a calm mindful state whereas higher frequency Beta waves would show you are somehow feeling stressed or anxious. This of course is an over-simplification. The technology makes use of various measures to accurately determine your overall mental state. A trending EEG neuro-feedback device on the market is Muse. ”
Remember, technology is simply a tool. Any of these technologies when combined with a daily meditation practice or even a self hypnosis practice can get you on a healthy path. Depending on whatever goals you have in mind in terms of self improvement, these tools are available for anyone who wants to tailor their personal development.
If you are interested in finding out more about binaural beats and brainwave entrainment, make sure to check out our post.
We actually recommend brainwave entrainment recordings as these have shown to elicit the various brainwave states. A really good resource for these recordings is none other than Youtube. Below is a great free brainwave entrainment video. These work great with the headphones on, Enjoy!
Below is another video example where brainwave entrainment by binaural beats and hypnosis are used to improve self confidence with the listener.