Such a dramatic and uneasy experience can, instead of thinking of it as an unavoidable trigger, simply be understood as a change of neuronal activity in your brain, emitted as frequencies and interpreted as brainwaves. Each brainwave group reflects a different state of mind, which we express as moods. The brainwaves we experience in anxious and stressful situations are characterized by High-Beta waves that can be detected in certain parts of our brain. It can seem impossible to return to your previous state after a stressful trigger has fueled your Beta brainwaves. But what if there was a way you could do so? What if you didn’t have a bad day, and the day just had a bad you?
The 24-Hour Brainwave Flow
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During sleep, our brainwaves gradually shift from Delta (the deepest, dreamless sleep), to Theta (dreaming state). When the alarm goes off, our brain quickly shifts into Alpha – awake and aware, but not fully present, nor fully engaged. If we tend to have morning anxiety, Alpha waves (also present during meditation) quickly erupt into Beta (alert, quick thinking) as we contemplate and overthink the day ahead or our past situations.
As we get up and handle our morning routine, the brainwaves we are emitting depend on our past experiences and routine – if we are used to stress and heavy workloads, we may already be in High-Beta mode – our eyes wide open, our heart beating fast, thoughts racing 100 miles a minute. Yet, if we practice mindfulness, or have nothing radical going on that morning, we may still be in an Alpha state, slowly letting our brain wake up while we prepare for the day.
Alpha brainwaves are the typical waves in which we experience mindfulness and peace. They tend to keep us in the moment – where we are physically and emotionally present. People who are often in an Alpha (and Low-Beta) state are usually considered charismatic and magnetizing because they are aware of external stimuli and their brain is not overcrowded with information – they are not overthinking, they are simply existing at the moment and truthfully responding to external information.
When we drift into work mode, we are in a Beta state. Upcoming tasks or juggling several ideas at once keep us active and engaged. If you experience mental fog or lower mental engagement in the morning, this could be due to lack of proper sleep or healthy nutrition, or as a consequence to an overly stressful life. Although we sometimes feel that performing on top of our mental and physical ability makes us superhuman, it can imbalance our cortisol levels and, after some time, makes us feel more drowsy and distracted.
Let’s say you suddenly get reminded of a task that should have been completed today and you have an hour left to get it done. All of a sudden, your focus is directed solely at the task at hand and you forget about everything else – the dinner plans for tonight, tomorrow’s meetings, your colleagues, and daily workload – even your mandatory human needs such as eating or drinking water. During the time of high-level engagement, you are experiencing Gamma waves. You are undistracted and at the top of your cognitive abilities. However, constantly performing in a Gamma state can also pose some negative side effects, and since our mind and body are connected, the states of high concentration also affect our heart, blood pressure, and, obviously, brain functioning.
Let’s go back into a Beta mode, and take a coffee or a lunch break. We are back in a Low-Beta or Alpha mode, as we shake off some of the work duties. However, if we take too many breaks or are too easily distracted by phone notifications or other momentary grabs of attention, we are conditioning our brain to constantly seek some quick Alpha waves satisfaction – and are diminishing our concentration span at the moment. Sustaining a longer period of concentration, when needed, is a great skill to have.
After we are done with work for the day, our brain is usually sending us signals that it is time to wind down and relax. If we are unable to do so and we are still at work with our thoughts, we may have some problems getting quality rest and a good night’s sleep. Rest is just as important as performance. When we take time for ourselves and either cook, read, stretch, speak to a loved one or meditate, we are back in an Alpha mode. If we can tune out to the external world and take time for ourselves, we are already one giant step towards better well-being.
In the evening, we should keep our waves in lower ranges to avoid higher-level brain activity keeping us awake at night. That is why watching a very intense movie or reading demanding literature before bed can keep you up for a bit longer as your brain is still processing a higher level of emotions and mental engagement. If you have troubles sleeping or staying asleep, meditating even for just 10 minutes before bed can help you emit more Alpha and Theta waves, clear your head and get you ready to drift to sleep. When we sustain higher levels of engagement and cognitive thinking late in the evening, we may require some extra time to quiet down our minds when we are already in bed.
And as we slowly fall asleep we, again, go from an Alpha state into Theta and, if we keep our daily habits healthy, into Delta for some regenerative deep sleep.
How To Control Our Brainwave Activity?
By understanding our moods, energy levels, focus, relaxation, and sleepiness as different electrical activity in our brain, rather than considering our imbalances as “just one of those days” we can take more control over our lives. To achieve a better brainwave coherence you can try the following:
- Brainwave Entrainment
Brainwave Entrainment is a method of getting brainwaves to sync with external stimuli. Our brain naturally synchronizes to the rhythm of external stimuli, such as flickering light, sound, speech, or other stimuli. Every function in our cells, be it conscious, unconscious, mental, or physical needs electrical current to occur. Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) devices emit frequencies, which enhance the body’s natural corresponding frequencies. They can be used on both the mind and the body because the whole body is an electrochemical organ influenced by the frequencies. Our brain is an electrochemical organ, able to adapt to external frequencies and translate them as its own.
Practicing meditation often can greatly shift the rhythm of your brain. By introducing a meditative session into your day, you disrupt the neurological patterns of your daily routine and, throughout time, achieve the desired feeling of mindfulness and calmness when needed. Meditation has shown numerous health benefits and is one of the most popular forms of changing the way we think, work, function.
- Obtaining a healthy lifestyle
Although this may be easier said than done, taking accountability for your wellbeing in the form of having a morning and night routine, ensuring plenty of exercises, and forming healthy dietary habits can get you on the right track to a better, clearer, and less stressful thinking and living. It is never too late to start – and remember, even the smallest changes can contribute to your brain shifting into a new you.
NeoRhythm has not been evaluated by the FDA. These products do not claim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical conditions. Always consult your medical doctor regarding any health concerns.