Achieving an Alpha state of mind has profound benefits for living intuitively. This article sums up the Alpha state of mind, the how-to, and why.
Alpha Waves Definition
What are alpha waves? Brain waves or neural oscillations at a frequency of approximately between 8 and 13 hz (or cycles per seconds) are what are known as alpha waves. These are the electrical rhythm of the brain “that is often associated with a state of wakeful relaxation”. 1
They are also referred to as alpha rhythm.
What Does Alpha State Feel Like?
I describe it as being in the flow, a state of calm. Some describe the alpha state as a light hypnotic state. You are awake but very relaxed.
Some people might describe it as being in ‘Zen’.
What Do Alpha Waves Do To The Brain?
At alpha the vibration of the electric currents in your brain slows. Alpha waves boost creativity and reduce depression (Psychology Today).
States of calm and happiness are reported. Turning off the beta waves, best for when your body and mind is active, and entering alpha state (of being) yields a sound night’s sleep and provides an antidote to stress.
How To Enter Alpha State Of Mind
Practice quietening the mind provides a way to enter alpha state.
Entering alpha can start with using deep breaths, counting backward, or visualizing the colors of the chakras in succession in the mind.
Other ways people (sometimes unknowingly) enter the alpha state of mind is an activity that allows them to ‘zone out’. Puzzles and adult coloring are way that can help you zone out.
Brain Wave Types
Brain waves are measured in hertz (hz) or cycles per second (cps). One hertz equals one cps.
What are the 4 types of brain waves? Writers mostly refer to four brain waves: delta at less than 4 cps, theta from 4 to 7 cps, alpha 7 to 14 cps, and beta above 14 cps. 4
We now have digital electroencephalography (EEG) technology to measure brain activity and record views of brain oscillations.
Since the use of EEG, science today recognizes five human brain waves: delta (0.5-3 hz), theta (3.5-7 hz), alpha (8-13 hz), beta (13-30 hz), and gamma (30-100 hz). 5
Advanced practitioners of meditation have been found to display increased gamma activity.
This stuff happens without our control or awareness.
Delta waves are associated with deepest sleep.
Increased theta levels are associated with unconscious or subconscious mind, we are likely to exhibit this in hypnosis.6, 7
In REM sleep or light sleep, our brains are in alpha state. In deep sleep (the dreamless type), we enter delta and theta states.
We experience alpha state of mind frequency when we are daydreaming or consciously practicing mindfulness or meditation or other times when we are in the flow — on automatic.
An experiment on Einstein recording his brain oscillations revealed he entered this flow or alpha state when working on rather complex mathematical calculations. 3
We are in beta state of mind when wide awake and operating in today’s fast paced lifestyle.
Too Much Alpha Brain Waves
Too much alpha is not really a problem as entering an alpha state of mind has multiple benefits.
However, may be unwise is to enter alpha wave while driving or operating machinery or any similar activity requires your full attention.
What to Watch
You know how the time disappears when you are using social media networks? You might not realise it, but you enter a trance-like state.
Platforms such as FB are aware of brain science technology and that tapping into your brain waves can improve your experience, while improving their targeting of ads.
This is something to be aware of as we are entering a time where it is no longer the stuff of sci-fi movies.
- Alpha wave. 2019. In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved Aug 2, 2019.
- Kounios, J., Fleck, J. I., Green, D. L., Payne, L., Stevenson, J. L., Bowden, E. M., & Jung-Beeman, M. (2007). The origins of insight in resting-state brain activity. Neuropsychologia, 46(1), 281-91.
- Penfield & Jasper, 1954. Epilepsy and the Functional Anatomy of the Human Brain. pp. 189-90.
- Silva, J. Jr., Bernd, E. Jr. 2007. Jose Silva’s Everyday ESP. New Page Books, New Jersey.
- Lee D. J., Kulubya E., Goldin P., Goodarzi A., Girgis F. 2018. Review of the Neural Oscillations Underlying Meditation Front. Neurosci., 26 March 2018 https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2018.00178
- Sabourin, M. E., Cutcomb, S. D., Crawford, H. J., & Pribram, K. (1990). EEG correlates of hypnotic susceptibility and hypnotic trance: Spectral analysis and coherence. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 10(2), 125-142.
- Jensen, M. P., Adachi, T., & Hakimian, S. (2015). Brain Oscillations, Hypnosis, and Hypnotizability. The American journal of clinical hypnosis, 57(3), 230-253.