Mastering Your Brainwaves
At your very hands, you have access to the most advanced piece of neural evolution - The human brain.
This book will give you insight into how your brain works & the different modes to help you master your brainwaves for your benefit ultimately.
What Are Brainwaves?
Your behavior, emotions, and thoughts are all communication between neurons in the brain.
These neurons create electrical impulses to communicate with one another - Each impulse we refer to as a "brainwave."
The brainwaves of the human brain are typically measured in hertz [Hz], which shows the cycles per second.
Now, one must know that the type of brainwave activity generally depends on the stimulus perceived by your senses.
There are four main types of brainwaves:
Let's have a look at each one individually.
This first type of brainwave is of the fastest frequency, at about 13-38 Hz, depending on the stimulation.
There are generally three sub-types of beta brainwaves - Low Frequency, Medium Frequency & High-Frequency.
Think of low beta as your normal awake, alert state, where you are quiet, alone, and focused on a task at hand.
This state is relatively neutral, and there isn't much stress associated with it, but rather, pure consciousness, focused on the external world.
On the other hand, medium beta frequencies are a slightly more aroused state, where energy and anxiety may increase.
Think of medium beta as the state you're in shortly before you're introduced to a new group of people (i.e., you aren't stressed out or paranoid, but slightly anxious and more hyperactive).
Finally, we have High-Frequency beta brainwaves, which are associated with high levels of anxiety, energy, and stress.
In essence, this third sub-type is your fight or flight response, and you can think of it as your brain's survival mode.
Think of it as the state you jump into when an angry dog starts running towards you on the street - Your eyes open up, your heart rate jumps, blood & contraction signals start pumping to your extremities so that you can run from the danger.
After beta, we have alpha brainwave frequencies, which are slower, measuring at about 9-14 Hz.
Have you ever had the situation where you were walking down the street with your headphones on, listening to your favorite music, and suddenly, you realize you've been walking on autopilot for the past 20 minutes?
Well, yes - This daydreaming state is one of the main characteristics of alpha brainwaves.
Think of alpha brainwaves as the state where you are not 100% focused on the external environment but instead on the inner state of play.
This is the state where your creativity has a full playground!
We have theta brainwave frequencies, which are even slower, at 4-8 Hz, past the alpha brainwaves.
If you've ever been in a deep state of meditation, where you seemed to have forgotten about the external environment, well, you've experienced theta!
Commonly, theta brainwaves only occur at night when we transition from a wakeful state to a state of sleep.
And though theta is a sleep transitional brainwave frequency, it can be tapped into during your wake life via mindful practices like meditation, as we already mentioned.
Last but not least, at the end of the chain, we have delta brainwave frequencies, which are the slowest ones at 1-4 Hz.
These are the brainwaves your brain taps into when you are not conscious but rather deep sleep.
You can think of Delta brainwaves as your brain's mode of most profound bodily recovery and rest.
Then It Loops
Your body is synchronized with the Earth's day-night cycle, so the brainwave cycle is also tuned to that!
As sun hits your eyes in the morning, this signals the brain that it is time to wake up.
Then, a flurry of substances is secreted and engaged in making you feel more alert and awake (these are called daytime neurotransmitters).
These neurotransmitters kick the brain into different modes, going down the ladder from Delta to theta, alpha, and finally, beta, which is your normal, awake, and alert state of mind.
For the longest time, we've been led to believe that the brain is simply the control center of the body, and everything below it responds to orders sent, including the heart!
And though that is a common belief, recent discoveries of The Heart Math Institute show that the heart sends more signals to the brain than the brain to the heart.
Even more importantly, these heart signals have a significant impact on how your brain functions.
In Other Words
To put it simply, your brain AND your heart are in constant two-way communication, as long as you are alive.
The brain dictates the work of the heart, and the heart dictates the work of the brain.
The coherence between the brain and heart signals can impact a variety of functions, such as:
Think of brain-heart coherence as the state when your thoughts and decisions work hand in hand with your emotions.
This is the MARRIAGE of your mind, physical and spiritual body.
When you achieve complete brain-heart coherence, you will experience a state of tranquility, peace, and genuine love towards yourself, your past, and others around you.
Breath Is The Key
Alright, well, now that we're past the theoretical part, let us tell you this - The modern-day world triggers high-beta brainwave frequencies EASILY.
Many stress factors in our everyday lives trigger your body's stress response.
This state of stress is associated with higher levels of circulating stress hormones, which hinder the growth and recovery of your body.
On top of that, a state of stress compromises your brain-heart coherence, so you want to learn how to deal with that.
Now, as you probably know, the majority of your internal processes are autonomous - You don't think about your heart rate to keep it up, nor do you think about your stomach to digest.
However, one vital function is generally autonomous, but you can control on-demand. The breath!
The odds are that you are now aware of your breath, and you are breathing consciously, but well, in less than a minute, your attention will fall off of that, and this function will get back to its normal automatic functioning.
Think of your breath as something that sends powerful signals to your brain and something capable of kicking you into different brain modes.
Breathwork is without a doubt the single most effective tool to help you achieve a state of brain-heart coherence.
The best thing? Doing breathwork is quite simple.
According to the heart math institute, this is all you need to do to send a powerful relaxation signal to the heart and brain:
Sit down comfortably, in a neutral environment
Close your eyes and drive your attention out of the external
Focus on the work of your heart (is it beating too fast?)
Take a deep breath for 3-5 seconds on the inhale
Exhale slowly for the same amount of time
With each exhale, try and relax more and more, focusing on sending relaxation signals all along with your nervous system.
Pay attention to your body closely - Some muscles may be tensed up without you even knowing it (including the facial muscles).
Enter a state of tranquility and adopt it - become able to tap into this state on demand, even in your daily, active life.
To Wrap It Up
Your brain works on different frequencies depending on the environmental stimulus. For the most part, that is an autonomous process synchronized with the Earth's day-night cycle.
And though that stands true, we're often kicked into stress-inducing brain modes, which eventually burn us out and lead to chronic stress.
It is up to you to take that deep breath, rationalize and regulate your emotional response.
Enter the zone.