Meditation, Brainwaves and Moving Beyond the Analytical Mind

L Weber Garrison, PhD
3 min readJun 14, 2022

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The analytical mind, our intellectual self, is what separates the conscious mind from the subconscious mind. But how do we get past the intellect?

The gateway is to get beyond the analytical mind by slowing down our brainwaves from beta to alpha brainwave states.

While there are varying levels of brainwaves, the first one discussed in this series is that of beta brainwaves.

The three major beta brainwave frequencies are:

Low-level beta brainwaves: You are aware of your environment, and in turn, your brain is integrating high levels of sensory information from your outer world to your brain and body. Said another way, it’s creating coherence and meaning between your inner and outer worlds.

Mid-level beta brainwaves: These occur when your brain is slightly more amped up, such as right before you are about to deliver a lecture or a performance. You can think of this as good stress. Once you begin, for the most part, you can channel this excess energy into action and you relax.

High-level beta brainwaves: This is when we are living in stress or survival. High beta is a very aroused state, usually associated with emotions such as anger and aggression, fear and anxiety, or pain and suffering. In this brainwave state, we tend to be overly focused, overly-obsessed, and overly-analytical about all the elements in our lives. When people get stuck in this state, they usually need something outside of them to change their inner emotional state, such as drugs, alcohol, television, video games, etc. Therefore, we could say that they are looking to change their inner environment through something in their outer environment.

In beta, our attention is on the outer world, making us consciously aware that we are a body local in space and time. In high-beta brainwaves, however, the alarm system is switched on and we narrow our focus on all the elements in our material world. That’s because we are paying attention to a threat — or a perceived threat — in our external environment. In turn, we become object-focused.

All of this is to say that what we want to do in our meditation is to slow down our brainwaves in order to suppress the activity in our thinking brain or neocortex, otherwise known as the seat of your conscious mind. The neocortex is always busy trying to analyze and make sense of the outer world, but if we close our eyes and tune out the incoming sensory information, our brainwaves begin moving from beta to alpha. Alpha brainwaves are essentially a resting state of the body, which allows us to dream or imagine more creatively in pictures and images. In a very real way, the voice in our head that is always talking to us quiets down, and as a result, we become less analytical.

This is how we move beyond the thinking mind.

When done successfully, energy begins to move into the limbic or midbrain, which is the seat of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), also known as the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is the operating system of the body. It controls heart rate, digestion, blood sugar levels, body temperature, hormonal secretions, temperature regulation, and more. Thus, if we can consciously tap into the autonomic nervous system, we can begin to influence the way our body functions physiologically.

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L Weber Garrison, PhD

Laura Weber Garrison, Ph.D., is a retreat facilitator, educator, and holistic health therapist. www.BetterWellnessNaturally.com