“So, What Are Brainwaves?”
Let’s start by discussing brainwaves themselves. We’ve all heard about them, but what actually are they?
Well, your brain is made of billions of brain cells, called neurons. These neurons communicate with each other through tiny little electrical signals. When millions of neurons are sending such electrical signals, the activity is pretty significant – and can actually be detected on sensitive medical equipment, such as an electroencephalograph (EEG) machine.
This combination of electrical activity is often referred to as a “brainwave pattern” – because of the cyclic, or “wave-like” pattern of the signals.
These patterns have been given different names, depending on their frequencies, and
each named group has a state of mind typically associated with those frequencies.
So, for example, “Beta” is typically emitted when we are consciously alert, and is our dominant waking frequency. Think concentration, cognition. On the Hertz scale, this ranges from 12 pulses to 40 pulses per second (Hz).
Going deeper, “Alpha” is another brainwave pattern, which usually occurs when we are in a state of physical and mental relaxation, though still aware of the world around us. Think creativity and deep chill. It has a range of 8-12Hz.
There’s also “Theta,” which stands at 4-7Hz, and is often associated with daydreaming, or feeling very sleeping. Think meditation,
light sleep, memory. It’s also strongly associated with creative states.
Plus, “Delta” which is the stage between 0.1 and 4Hz, which is really the lowest amount of activity. This typically only occurs during deep sleep, and can also trigger growth and body healing.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, above Beta, there also exists “Gamma” which is a critical yet mainly supportive frequency. Think inspiration, higher learning, focus. It is believed that Gamma activity acts as a sort of 'operating system,' tying together different areas of the brain.