Breaking down your brain waves Part III
This is the third of a four part series here on the blog. If you haven’t read part I on beta brain wave states or part II on alpha brain waves. Stop, check out part I here, part II here, and then come back to this post. I’m going to provide you all with a very brief but hopefully informative introduction to the topic of brain waves and why knowing brain wave states can be a game changer when you’re trying to make lasting changes or reduce stress.
There are 4 brain wave states ranging from high frequency, low amplitude to low frequency, high amplitude and each state corresponds with a different type of functioning. the 4 brain wave states are as follows:
Beta: fastest frequency, lowest amplitude - associated with work, focused attention, analytical thought, focus on time and/or environment, and stress states.
Alpha: slower frequency higher amplitude than beta - associated with relaxed mind/body states
Theta: even slower frequency and higher amplitude than alpha, associated with flow states, early childhood, and falling asleep
Delta: the slowest frequency and highest amplitude - associated with deep, restorative
Theta brain wave state is associated with even more of a relaxed state, such as when we are falling asleep, and interestingly during early childhood. Theta brain waves operate at an even slower frequency and higher amplitude than alpha. This brain wave state is when the subconscious mind is very open, almost like a sponge, taking in whatever it encounters, and downloading the information without any judgement or use of logic. Subconscious mind doesn’t question the information it’s presented with, it simply downloads it like a program regardless of how illogical it is. I have read that children, up to the age of 7, actually operate in a theta brain wave state, and this is why early experiences make such an impact in shaping our lives. (Full disclosure. I’ve read some conflicting information on brain wave states for children. One source I read (Bruce Lipton) claimed young children operate out of delta brain wave mode, and another (Dr. Joe Dispenza) claimed theta but either way, this is still VERY different from our adult default of beta brain wave mode, and both states are associated with a VERY open subconscious mind). Thus, childhood is a vulnerable time when our subconscious mind is completely open. Theta brain waves are also evident during meditation in very experienced meditators and during the sleep cycle as we begin to dream before our brain slips into deep sleep. Theta brain waves are very recharging, and they also offer the opportunity to change and shape the subconscious mind. Hypnosis is really just about getting patients into a theta brain wave state so the subconscious mind can be reset. Theta state is when you have the most access to intuition, creativity, and the quantum field of information! The idea for the sewing machine, “yesterday” by the Beetles, Frankenstein, and google, all originated in dreams.
What this means:
Theta brain wave state is much harder to slip into while awake, which is why I prefer to work with alpha state when trying intentionally to make changes to the subconscious. I think the biggest indicator you’ve slipped into the theta state is the disconnection with time. I’ve had times when I was fully engaged in artwork and realized I had no idea of how much time had passed. The best way I can recommend to utilize theta state is while you’re falling asleep which would entail listening to affirmations, motivational speaking, or inspiration audio every night as you go to bed. Think Up is a wonderful app where you can record your affirmations and then listen to them anytime you want. There’s also a timer feature you can use for bedtime. I personally use and love this app and the free version is all that I need. You might keep a journal by your bed and write down all you can remember from your dreams, or any ideas that pop into your head as soon as you wake up to capture any brilliant theta ideas from the night before. Another way you might be able to utilize the theta state is listening to inspirational audio during road trips. I definitely find myself zoning out while on long drives to the point where I can’t remember the moments leading up to when I finally come to. This would suggest a previous theta state.
How to get into Theta
Auto-pilot activities (driving)
Deep creative work (art, playing music)
Meditation, after years of consistent practice
Listening to theta binaural beats with headphones