Meditation and Brainwaves
Control your brainwaves and you control your state of mind. By raising or slowing our brainwaves, we can altar how we think, feel and act. Meditation is the process of slowing our waking beta brainwaves to the slower states of alpha and theta. By learning to control these states, we can improve our health and well-being.
Brainwaves are the electrical movements in the brain. The frequency of these brainwaves can be measured using an electroencephalograph (EEG). Electrodes placed on the scalp measure the frequency of these brainwaves. From highest to lowest frequency, these brainwaves are called beta, alpha, theta and delta.
Beta is the waking, thinking state. During beta, brainwaves range from 14 to 40 cycles per second. In beta, an individual thinks and listens, can solve analytical problems, make decisions, and intake and process information. This is our normal state of mind when working, going to school and shopping. During beta our minds are the most alert.
Alpha is a slower state more indicative of relaxing and reflecting. During alpha, brainwaves range from 9 to 14 cycles per second. In the alpha state, an individual is fully aware of his/her surroundings but in a much more relaxed state of mind than beta. Meditation is often practiced in the alpha state.
Theta is an even slower state perfect for daydreaming and intuitive thinking. During theta, brainwaves range from 5 to 8 cycles per second. It is the state between wakefulness and sleep. In this state of mind, memories, thoughts and facts that eluded a person in a wakeful state can be recalled. It is often in this state that answers to problems seem to appear. Deep meditation and prayer are practiced in the theta state.
Delta is the slowest of the four states where sleep occurs. During delta, brainwaves range from 1.5 to 4 cycles per second. At the slowest delta level, sleep is deep and dreamless.
During our waking and sleeping hours, the brain moves through all four of these stages. At any given level, there is a range in brainwaves that effect how deeply we have entered that state. By knowing how these states function, we can knowingly enter a particular state and control how our thoughts are processed.
Jose Silva wrote in his book The Silva Mind Control Method, “When you are wide awake, doing and achieving in the workaday world, you are in Beta or ‘outer consciousness’. When you are daydreaming, or just going to sleep but not quite there yet, or just awakening but not yet awake, you are in Alpha. When you are asleep you are in Alpha, Theta, or Delta, not just Delta alone, as many believe. With Mind Control training you can enter the Alpha level at will and still remain fully alert”.
Meditation allows our minds to move through these states leading us to a healthy lifestyle. When we control our brainwaves, we control how we think, feel, reason and react. Relaxation, creativity and self-awareness flow naturally. As we mediate, our physical health improves as we move closer and closer to a healthy lifestyle. Consciously controlling our brainwaves is a step towards healthy living.
Join the Internal Selfie Revolution
Have you joined the selfie revolution? Since Robert Cornelius took the first selfie in 1839, humans have been fascinated, if not obsessed, with snapping images of themselves. People now take selfies for many reasons, such as telling a story and capturing memories.
Did you know that people have been taking internal selfies since time immemorial, well at least several thousand BCE? It’s called meditation! It’s nothing mysterious or fancy. All you have to do is turn your camera inward and snap a picture of your current state of mind: What do you see?
Some early forms of meditative introspection included ritual dance, reciting mantra, and sitting crossed-legged under a Bodhi tree. Today, the meditation movement has captured the world’s attention. We are learning to turn our minds inward everywhere from the gym, yoga and tai chi class, the office and at our desks, in the classroom, and the boardroom.
Ready to begin your own mindfulness journey? It’s easy. Get your camera and join the Internal Selfie Revolution! Here’s how to start your practice today.
The Psychology of the Selfie
Why do we retake our image multiple times in order to get it just right before hitting send? On a superficial level, a selfie is casual, easy way to communicate a snapshot of yourself in-the-moment. It may be used as verification or to document change. However, a selfie also give us valuable information. From a selfie we can assess our:
How to Take an Internal Selfie: The Basics
Now try turning your camera inside. Take a peek into your own brain. Let your Internal Selfie develop into an image or sensation – it might have a distinct shape, specific texture, or even a splash of color. Examine your internal snapshot as it manifests: try not to judge, reject, embrace or explain it. Just look at it directly and be curious!