Meditation and Brainwaves
By Sharon Gilbert • November 3rd, 2006 • 9497 Views
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...