Ever since the Big Bang, everything in the universe vibrates. All matter, from atoms to molecules and all kinds of substances vibrates when energy is applied. While we cannot see energy, we can see the effects of it by observing different kinds of vibrations.
Depending on our thoughts and thinking states or state of mind, our brain wave will change its frequency as our brain cells communicate via electrical impulses and are active all the time, even when we are asleep. The so-called brain waves are detected as electrical activities through the use of electroencephalogram (EEG) where small, flat metal discs called electrodes attach to our scalp.
Our brain is active all the time, even when we are asleep.
The following are the five types of brain waves that we oscillate throughout our lives to various degrees dependent on age, time of day, medications/substances, and one’s mind state from creative thinking to meditation and from anxiety to depression:
1. Delta waves (0.5-4 Hz): The Deep Sleep Wave
Occurs during deep sleep when we are out of REM sleep and during transcendental meditation. It is found most often in infants and young children. It is in this region that the deepest level of relaxation and restorative, healing sleep occurs. It is involved in unconscious bodily functions (regulation of digestion and heart beat). It is during this state that we are in our unconscious mind, which is the gateway to the universal and collective unconscious. As we get older, the we have less deep sleep and are therefore, easily awoken and do not feel well rested in the mornings. Optimal time spent in this region is helpful for the immune system, natural healing, restorative and deep sleep.
2. Theta waves (4-8 Hz): Light Medication & Sleeping Waves
It is the realm of our subconsciousness and only experienced momentarily as we drift off to sleep from alpha wave state. Some say that at this frequency, we experience vivid visualizations, great inspiration, profound creativity and exceptional insight. In this range of frequency, you are conscious of your surroundings while your body is in deep relaxation. Optimal time in this state promotes creativity, emotional connection, intuition and relaxation, while too much time in this state is associated with depression and ADHD. As long as it is not produced in excess during waking hours, it is a very helpful brain wave range.
3. Alpha waves (8-12 Hz): Deep Relaxation Waves
Sometimes are referred to as the “gateway to our subconscious mind” and it is present when we are in a state of deep relaxation. Spending too little time at this frequency are noticed by those who have anxiety, stress, and issues with sleep. Those who spend too much time in this state tend to be avid daydreamers and those who have difficulty with focusing. Certain antidepressants, but also alcohol, marijuana and relaxants can increase alpha wave frequencies in the brain.
4. Beta waves (12-30 Hz): Waking Consciousness & Reasoning Waves
Having the right amount assists in focusing and completing tasks easily and most individuals are in this state throughout the day in order to complete conscious tasks like critical thinking, writing, reading and socialization. Individuals with too much tend to have anxiety and stress, while those with too little are those who have depression, ADHD or daydream frequently. Ways to increase this wave frequency are through drinking caffeinated beverages or taking other stimulants.
5. Gamma waves (30 - 100 Hz): The Insight Wave
Associated with bursts of insight, higher processing of tasks and cognitive functioning. It is important for learning, memory and information processing. At 40 Hz, we are able to bind our senses to perception and learning new material. Individuals with too little of this brain wave frequency suffer from depression, learning disabilities and ADHD. One can increase this wave frequency through 1. Meditation, 2. Experiencing Awe Moments, 3. Ketamine and other Psychedelics. It is stated that neural oscillations within these frequencies have been linked to awareness and consciousness.