Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta - Our Four Brain States

It would be safe to say that the average person knows very little about brain states. Indeed, it is doubtful whether many people know that there are four brain states and that all our brains function according to these states - Beta, Alpha, Theta or Delta.

Simply put, Beta refers to that state when our brains are most alert; concentration and our ability to think are heightened and in the ideal condition to write an examination, present a paper, synthesize information or tackle situations where we need an intensified mental sharpness. The second state, known as Alpha, refers to a relaxation of the brain that allows our thoughts to run freely and for creativity to blossom.

Theta is a very different state of mind. Theta is the mode in which the brain is neither highly active, nor completely relaxed but slows down the activity of brain waves to the point of sleep. This state exists on the edge of sub-consciousness and is where we are drawn into memories and expansive thoughts, meditation and, sometimes, true inspiration.

The actual state of sleep is the Delta state. Our brainwave frequency is slow and undulating and we drift into deep restorative sleep that allows our brain to operate optimally in other states.

When we speak of a brainwave, we may not realize that we literally have an electrical power in our brains that causes waves to course through our brains at varying speeds. Scientists have been able to measure the frequency of these waves, and to determine the effect of the waves on the way in which our brains work. The high frequency waves cause arousal of the brain and occur when we are intensely busy with an activity, particularly involving speech. This is the beta state of mind.

The Alpha brainwaves occur less frequently than beta waves, are slower and higher in scale or amplitude and so your brain would be working, but far less actively in this state. You may be reflecting on your activities undertaken in the more alert state of mind, or working on more mundane tasks. The slowing of the brain waves continues as we reach the Theta state. The slow frequency of these brainwaves can put us in a mellow mood, daydreaming as we perform routine, simple tasks. We free our minds and allow ideas to flow as we drive slowly along a common route, take a shower or a bath. We usually enjoy this unhurried state of mind.

Our brainwaves slow down to no more than a couple of cycles per second when we fall into a deep sleep. As we move through the Rapid Eye Movement period of our sleep, so our brains will have sped up and we be in the theta state of mind, closer to being awake. As we awake, our brainwaves speed up until we reach the beta state. Some of us have brains that get up to speed very quickly and so we can jump out of bed the minute the alarm rings; for others it is a much slower process.

This knowledge of how the brain works has allowed religious groups to utilize the frequencies. For example, the Buddhist chant echoes the rhythm of the brain in theta mode and transports them into deep meditation. In the western world, too, experts in the field have discovered that they can help people suffering from illness such as depression and post-traumatic stress by guiding them into the various stages of the brain, especially the theta stage, to deal with their distress.

Don't Worry Be Happy If you Aren't Happy Then What Are You?

Live life to the fullest, spread your arms and breathe, don't be afraid of change, the world is for you to have not the other way around. Use the power of your mind to free yourself from the shackles of negativity.

Life is to short to be unhappy stop wasting time on negative impulse. Take negativity and use it as fuel for positive thought.

No comments:

Post a Comment