Brainwave states and how you can utilize them to transform your life
All our thoughts, emotions and behaviors are a result of communicating neurons. At which frequency they communicate with each other, determines their brainwave state.
This article will give you a clear overview about the five brainwave states and will help you understand how we can use the knowledge about them to change our feelings, rewire our neurons and thereby change our identity and reality so that we can leverage our full potential and live fulfilled successful lives.
I got intrigued with this topic due to books such as “Breaking the habit of being yourself” by Dr. Joe Dispenza and teachings by Bruce Lipton but also through my experience with Theta Healing which is a form of energy healing being conducted while your brain is in the Theta Wave State.
In this state, our subconscious is the most suggestible which helps to keep the chatter of our monkey mind (=conscious mind in the beta state with all its limiting beliefs and programming) off and to install supporting new beliefs into your system.
Introduction to Brainwave States
The billions of neurons in the brain connect and communicate with each other through small electrical currents and throughout gigantic networks of brain circuits. Electrical pulses are being produced through activation of all these neurons which results in a “brainwave” affecting our state of consciousness.
There are five Brainwave States: Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma and Theta.
Starting this article with the Beta State because it is the one most prominent in our busy modern lifestyles and also causes many problems if we spend more time in it than we should, e.g.stress and overwhelm.
When the brain is aroused and strongly engaged in mental activities, it generates beta waves. These beta waves are of relatively low amplitude and are the fastest of the five different brainwaves. The frequency of beta waves ranges from 15 to 40 cycles a second.
Examples of being in a beta state are:
- Being engaged in an active conversation
- Debating & Negotiating
- Teaching & Speaking
- Being deeply focused on a task
- Decision Making & Problem-Solving
- Learning something new
Results from being in the Beta State
While the Beta State is great for
- productivity, concentration, and alertness
- improved logic, reasoning, and critical thinking
it can be limiting and even damaging if we do not allow ourselves to get into another brain state from time to time (e.g. taking enough rest).
Over-arousal in a Beta State will result in
- an inability to focus
- inability to be creative
- overwhelm, stress, anxiety, and burnout
due to the constant release of stress hormones.
Alpha brainwaves are slower than beta brainwaves and higher in amplitude. Their frequency ranges from 9 to 14 cycles per second. The brain hemispheres are synchronized in this state which means that the brain is fully active.
In this state, we are relaxed, both physically and mentally.
Activities in an Alpha State:
- Taking a break after completing some work
- Going for a light walk
- Practicing Yoga & meditation
- State before falling asleep
- Being creative and artistic
Results from being in an Alpha state:
- Expanded mental clarity
- Internal environment for new learning and accessing previously learned information
- The link between the conscious and subconscious mind
- Reduced anxiety, chronic pain, high blood pressure
- Increases (athletic) performance, motivation, inspiration, creativity, intuitive guidance, energy, and happiness
- Highly suggestible brain → best to reprogram your limiting beliefs
due to increased Beta-endorphin, norepinephrine and dopamine
Theta Brainwaves are of even greater amplitude and slower frequency, between 5 and 8 cycles a second. The brain hemispheres are synchronized.
Examples of being in a Theta State are
- Daydreaming & Dreaming while sleeping
- Being in a creative process such as painting, writing…
- Reduced consciousness, access to the unconscious mind
- Any task which has become automatic e.g. brushing teeth
Results of being in Theta State:
Sense of inner peace and emotional stability
- Deep relaxation
- Improved memory
- Heightened intuition, inspiration & spiritual connection
- Improved physical healing
- Better sleep
- Release of beneficial hormones related to health and longevity
- Reduction of mental fatigue, anxiety, and stress
- Overall bliss and contentment
- Body awareness vanishes (automatic functions of the body continue)
- Uninhibited imagination and creativity which leads to
- Out-of-the-box problem-solving
In Theta, the right brain hemisphere is more active, which results in a decrease in language, because language is a function of the left-brain hemisphere.
Infants between 0 and 7 years old are mostly in a Theta State, which means they soak up everything like a sponge and imagination is as real as “reality.”
This is also why this is the timeframe when our deep-rooted beliefs are formed and subconscious programming is happening which we usually take over from our parents or caretakers.
It is the reason why we need to be so aware of this fact in order to not implant unnecessary fears, transfer our own limiting beliefs or low self-esteem in children but rather foster self-worth, self-belief, empowerment, and acceptance (amongst many others)!
These are the slowest of all brainwaves with a frequency of 0.5–4 Hz so when we sleep and dream, being the strongest when we are in restorative sleep while we are not dreaming.
Results of Delta State
- Healing and Rejuvenation
Gamma brainwaves are the fastest measurable brainwaves with a frequency of 32–100 Hz. In this brainwave state, the perception is heightened, also known as ‘peak mental state’.
“Gamma has long been considered the brainwave that is able to link and process information from all parts of the brain. It is the frequency that brings with it the ability to process large amounts of information in relatively small amounts of time. Think of generating more Gamma activity as getting a processor upgrade for your brain.”(Mendoza, 2019)
- Problem-solving tasks
- Deep meditation of experienced meditators e.g. Buddhist monks
Being excessively in Gamma State, can lead to
- Anxiety disorders
- Sleep problems & nightmares
- Impulsive behavior & anger
- Agitated depression & chronic nerve pain
Not entering the Gamma State enough can lead to
- attention deficit
- chronic pain
- and insomnia.
Gamma brainwaves are still being researched.
Healthy Results of being in Gamma State:
Compassion, happiness, intelligence
- Having high amounts of self-control & feelings of pure happiness
- Increased awareness through your five senses
Application for emotional well-being and life transformations
Any imbalance of brain wave states can result in emotional and neuro-physical health problems.
Here are some recommendations what you can do to create new neural pathways and maintain balanced brain wave activity:
1. Meditation & Visualization
There could be an entire article dedicated to the topic of the benefits of meditation so I will just focus on how it relates to brainwave states here.
- Do meditation and visualization practices straight after waking up or shortly before going to sleep for it to have a bigger impact because that is when we are still/already in the Alpha/Theta state.
- Use supporting music which is explained in point 5
- Take it as serious (or even more serious) than your work. Schedule it into your calendar!
If you take control of your state of mind first thing in the morning, imagine how different your day will go (as opposed to starting your day with worries and negative thoughts)
“Neurofeedback is a computer-aided training method in which selected parameters of the patient´s own brain activity, which can normally not be perceived, are made visible to the patient. Via monitor and loudspeaker the brain is shown what it is doing at the moment (feedback). The aim of the neurofeedback training is to teach the brain to attain an appropriate state and to be able to maintain that state.” (EEG-Info, 2019)
Benefits of Neurofeedback include
- Better self-regulation of the brain activity
- Compensation for dysregulations (dysregulations can lead to illnesses, disorders or unwanted behavior patterns)
- More functionality
3. Mindset Work
“What you focus on, expands.”
“The brain is constantly creating and destroying neural pathways, forming the thought and behavior patterns our brain uses to make decisions, choose actions and present us to the outside world. The pathways that are used get stronger; those that are under-used grow weak and eventually replaced.” (Meacham, 2019)
- Write down your intentions daily
- Read your future vision daily
- Watch mind movies (create your own mind movie WITH MUSIC)
- Speak out and/or listen to “I AM” affirmations tailored to your ideal future self (in Theta State, after waking up or before sleeping)
4. Theta Healing
“Theta Healing is a holistic healing technique which directly addresses your subconscious mind to fix the “bugs in your software”, therefore allowing miraculous instant healings and profound life changes. Whether you seek to transform your health, your finances, your relationships or your spirituality.
Theta is a surprisingly fast and easy way to make permanent, lasting, and effective changes in your life. 88% of our brain activity is controlled by our subconscious, which means we are on auto-pilot much of the day using only 12% for conscious thought. A Theta Healing session is non-evasive and can be performed over the phone or in person. (Transforming Barriers, 2019)
I have experienced Theta Healing multiple times and I can highly recommend it. It eliminates unwanted limiting beliefs and replaces them with empowering one through connection to something bigger than ourselves while we are in the Theta State. You do not have to do much, you just have to find a great healer and be open for this experience which is out something very different from our practical “beta state” world.
I can highly recommend Nadine Philipp.
5. Brainwave Entrainment
‘Entrainment’ is a process of synchronizing two different beats so that they become harmonious. Brainwave entrainment is an assisted form of meditation using sound or light pulses or both. (Mendoza, 2019)
Our bodies automatically entrain to the rhythms around us.
“Brain entrainment can be brought about by means of sounds that entrain brainwaves into certain natural and beneficial frequencies to function better.” (Mendoza, 2019)
Results of Brainwave Entrainment
- Super-learning, improved memory & I.Q
- Alleviating migraines and depression
- Enhanced creativity
- Stress relief
- Release of HGH (Human growth hormone)
- Significant increase of DHEA (up to 90%) and melatonin production
DHEA is known for Anti Aging, well-being, cognitive function, helping in producing hormones (including testosterone and estrogen) and body composition
5.1 Binaural Beats
Binaural beats effectively entrain and synchronize your brainwaves to enhance any specific brainwave pattern. “It works like this: each ear receives a slightly different frequency at the same time, and the brain perceives the tone that is the difference between the two. If 210 Hz pulses into one ear and 200 into the other, the brain will process the two sounds into a 10 Hz frequency, which happens to be the same frequency produced by the brain during meditation.” (Mindvalley, 2019)
This allows you to rapidly enter states of relaxation, focus, high-energy, or meditation whenever you want.
There are countless “Binaural Beats” videos on YouTube with different frequencies for different themes.
5.2 Isochronic Tones:
This is a newer technology which utilizes a single soundwave, which is turned on and off at a particular interval. “If we wish to synchronize the brain to 8Hz, then we would use a soundwave of any frequency (for example, 100Hz) and turn it on and off 8 times per second. The brain resonates with the switching and gradually synchronizes with this frequency.” (Sharma, Singh, 2019)
The importance of sleep should be nothing new. Your brain and body need an appropriate time in the Delta State which only happens when you sleep, in order to get deep recovery and healing.
Yes, there are uncontrollable factors in life but there are many things you have power over and your state of mind and body determine HOW you deal with those circumstances.
You are the driver of your thoughts, your language, your emotions!
You decide how you want to start your day and if you want to live in bliss or if you want to live in stress and fear.
You have all the tools you need in order to use your full potential of mental, spiritual and physical health!
I hope you enjoyed this long article. You are welcome to share it with someone who might need to read it.
If you need support in implementing those success and healthy habits or go through a transition in your life, you are welcome to send me a message or check out my website!
Feel free to follow me on instagram for inspiration and wisdom! ________________________________________________________________
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- eeginof-europe. (2019). What is neurofeedback? [online] Available at: https://www.eeginfo-europe.com/neurofeedback/what-is-neurofeedback.html [Accessed 15 Jul 2019].
- Mindvalley. (2019). Brainwave States: Accessing Your Brain’s True Capacity. [online] Available at: https://blog.mindvalley.com/brainwave-states/ [Accessed 15 Jul 2019].
- Transforming Barriers (2019). What is Theta Healing. [online] Available at: https://www.transformingbarriers.com/thetahealing-english.html [Accessed 16 Jul 2019].
7. Effect of Binaural beats on brain EEG signals (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330103617_Effect_of_Binaural_beats_on_brain_EEG_signals-A_Study. [Accessed 17 Jul 2019].
8. How To Use Binaural Beats To Get The Most Benefits (2019). [online] Available at: https://blog.mindvalley.com/how-to-use-binaural-beats/ [Accessed 17 Jul 2019].