Boost Brain Power
Archived posts from this Category
Archived posts from this Category
When it comes to IQ score, most people believe that it is fixed – they believe that once IQ has been established, it cannot be improved upon. Although there are people that believe genetics are responsible for overall intelligence, researchers have found that environmental factors also play a role. If you want to increase your IQ, the best time to start is now. If you are a younger individual and the brain is not fully developed, you have more time to increase your overall intelligence as your brain develops. Even if you are an adult, you can still boost your brain power and improve your IQ score by trying a few of the tips below.
Most people know that getting adequate exercise is good for your brain. However, many do not know that it can actually increase your overall intelligence. There have been numerous different studies – especially in children – demonstrating a link between increased IQ and exercise. Those who do not exercise had a moderately lower IQ score than those who got plenty of aerobic activity. Other studies in young adults have demonstrated that more fit individuals tend to have higher IQ’s than individuals who are less fit.
Despite the fact that there are certain stimulants that are controversial, many will not cause any major negative effects on your body or brain. One example of a stimulant that can help you boost your IQ is caffeine. Caffeine increases overall brain activity, alertness, and mental functioning. As you already know, it increases your beta brain waves – brain waves associated with having a higher IQ, memory functioning, and logical thinking. As little as 100 mg of caffeine boosts mental performance and functioning and can help give you a little IQ boost. If you do more research, there are many more supplements than just caffeine that can boost IQ. They are outlined in GLOOM’s similar article 11 ways to increase IQ scores.
Doing things to challenge your brain such as: interactive reading, engaging in intellectual debates, and taking practice IQ tests all will help you boost your current IQ. Obviously the best way to boost your IQ is to practice things that will be on the test. If you want to get good at it, take the test, see how certain areas of it work, and then train yourself to take it again. When you feel as though you are ready to give it another go, see how you do. Study the areas in which you performed weak so that you can put an extra emphasis on them for the next go round. You don’t get good at basketball by just attempting a shot every once in awhile. You need to take lots of shots before you eventually figure things out.
Diet plays a huge role in brain development and functioning. If you eat unhealthy foods, you aren’t going to damage your brain, but it certainly won’t be functioning optimally. In order to get the most out of your brain, it is important to give it the proper nutrients that it desires. Eating a lot of crappy, processed junk foods are associated with lower IQ’s than freshly prepared, organic foods. One specific finding is that the supplementation of Omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to increased IQ scores. Eating a balanced wholesome diet will give your brain what it needs for a boost in intelligence.
Going to school and making yourself learn new things is a good way to challenge your brain and improve your intelligence. If you sat around all day and watched TV or played video games without going through any schooling, you would have less knowledge than if you had gone to school. Taking an IQ test would be a heck of a lot more difficult if you lack a good education.
The best way to maintain your smarts and boost your IQ score is by learning new things and challenging yourself. The reason society values a good education so much is because people who have put in the time and gone through the proper schooling for their masters degree or doctoral degree tend to have greater overall knowledge than those who didn’t. Learning takes time – but will challenge your brain and help you increase your knowledge base.
Did you know that taking multivitamins in moderation is good for your mind? Macronutrients such as essential minerals and vitamins are found in them. The older we get, the less likely we are to keep active. This means our digestive system becomes more ineffective. As what we eat changes, our dietary needs may not be fully met, and our brain’s ability to reason properly can be affected. Due to nutritional limitations for medical reasons, spiritual beliefs, or other individual agendas, some people are not getting nourished adequately from the foods they are consuming. But whatever the reason may be for not getting enough nutrition, multivitamins can help give us the nutrients we need.
To aid us in cleansing our neural networks, antioxidants have characteristics that protect us at a cellular level. They stimulate healthy development of brain cells, and have an active role in disease prevention, too. A diet rich in antioxidants (such that includes things like spinach, blueberries and eggs – read more about good brain foods and more brain food) can significantly improve memory function and increase balance and motor skills. One particular berry with tons of antioxidants that has great flavor is the Acai berry. Not only are they highest in antioxidants, but they have plenty of protein and are rich in essential fatty acids.
These omega-3′s also help reverse memory loss and generate a greater overall functioning of the brain. It has also been said that they may link neuron centers which make for a better mood and general brain function. Mackerel, walnuts, flax oils, salmon, sardines, and herring all are examples of foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids. For healthy growth and development, it is necessary to get enough fatty acids. Also, they have anti-inflammatory traits to help make circulation of the blood easier, prevent depression, and even build up your mood.
A mind also needs vitamin B to remain healthy. You must have vitamin B6 for the brain’s chemistry to be balanced. B6 is in foods such as beef, organ meats, bananas, broccoli, spinach, pork, and veal. It aids in the production of all amino acid neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, et al.). Adding to the management of nerve cells and red blood cells, along with DNA synthesis, is vitamin B12. Without it, impaired mental function and depression can result as time passes. Cereals you eat for breakfast contain B12. Poultry, shell fish, legumes and legume products also have it.
Also, for the body to sustain healthy life, it must have complex carbs. These carbohydrates can be found abundantly in various foods such as bran oats, most yogurts, breads, and types of nuts. A drastic and sudden increase in your blood sugar can be avoided by using more lemon juice or vinegar with the carbs you’re eating. Another essential mineral is selenium – in such foods as garlic, meats, grains, Brazil nuts, tuna, oysters, and swordfish. Lab tests reveal that people who have used selenium have experienced more fortitude, happiness, energy, and greater presence of mind.
Vitamin E has been show to be beneficial in promoting healthy blood circulation. When the mind gets enough blood circulation it simply performs better. Vegetable oils, leafy green veggies, and nuts are high in vitamin E. Many people have found that taking Ginkgo Biloba can slow the process of memory loss associated with aging. Ginkgo is also said to eliminate free radicals, and improve blood circulation, thereby adding to the brain more oxygen. You should know that there is no “magic bullet” of a brain vitamin out there, so be sure to read research and don’t be afraid to try something new to see if it helps improve your overall mental functioning.
Memory is one of the most difficult issues of aging with which people have to deal as changes will generate feelings of both fear and worry; thanks to brain training games, you can avoid it completely. But there is no reason to be overly concerned about your brain’s aging as keeping it active and aware will solve the problem of this bothersome issue. As they age, people are more prone to degenerative issues such as Alzheimer’s disease, but exercising your mind with activities such as word puzzles, board games and strategy games will be very helpful in staying in control. Numerous brain training games may be found on the Internet and the benefits will be equally advantageous to adults and seniors.
Regularly being involved in board games and working on computer puzzles which require concentrated effort and analytical skills have been shown to result in great benefit for adults and seniors. In addition, such brain training is known to have positive ramifications for mental health overall. Working out crossword puzzles or Sudoku or playing Scrabble all have positive impact in maintaining the cognitive ability of people as they get older. It has been estimated that playing games which are mind-stimulating may decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in adults and seniors by as much as forty percent. That is a statistic which should ease your mind a bit.
Brain training games for adults and seniors have been structured in such a way as to compel the mind to think and to provoke it to resolve the matter at hand, thereby enhancing cognitive capacity and enhancing memory prowess. In essence, this brain training by such games stimulate to activity sections of the mind which may not have had much recent use. Action computer games assist adults and seniors in enhancing their attentiveness and in stimulating their thinking about strategies they can use in the course of the game.
Studies have indicated that approximately two seniors out of three are seriously worried about memory issues and that the most effective manner of coping is to be involved in memory games on a regular basis. The traditional crossword puzzles are a perfect method of both increasing your vocabulary and of remaining mentally sharp. Another method of stimulating your mind is to play games with your grandchildren and such activity will also benefit you by reducing stress.
There can even be fun ways to train your brain, such as by playing Nintendo DS brain training games like Brain Age and Brain Age 2. While a brain training game may be advantageous for adults and seniors by aiding in maintaining a vivacious mind, they also are helpful in keeping them occupied in a positive endeavor which wards off loneliness. So, brain training is an effective manner by which diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s may be addressed and countered. An active brain can decrease the deterioration of mental acuity.
Research studies have concluded that seniors and adults who took part in mental games a minimum of one time per week over the course of twenty years decreased the risk of dementia by almost ten percent and those who regularly became involved in such games cut the susceptibility to the disease by an amazing sixty percent. So, why are you procrastinating? Stimulate your mind’s activity and make it function. Luckily, many people indeed do take the improvement of their mental acumen to heart.
It is impossible to emphasize the health of the brain and brain fitness too much. Your brain must be able to deal with the typical problems that you face all the time in your job, but it also must be sufficiently equipped to take on real life emergencies as they arise in your personal life. Brain supplements can help promote a healthy and well conditioned thinking mechanism that might very well end up allowing you to avert disaster from a traffic accident, or enable you to succeed in the business world, both resulting from a high level of brain fitness.
Also, brain fitness ensures that you will be able to retain formidable retentive powers. Generally an individual gradually loses his memory as he gets older, or possibly from the heavy demands of day to day life on the nervous system. By maintaining good cerebral health and brain fitness, you will be able to function at a high level for an indefinite period. While getting older happens to all of us, we can mitigate this process to a large degree by challenging the brain constantly to keep it stimulated, and then making sure to eat properly to feed the mechanism.
You can always put a program into place to improve brain fitness. So rather than procrastinate any further, get into a routine right now, which will deliver surprising benefits almost immediately if applied on a consistent basis. There are many innovations available today to enhance brain fitness, including eating programs, special brain stimulation techniques, thinking games, and mental gymnastic exercises which boost thinking prowess. Implementing any or all of these ideas will be a definite positive in your quest for improved brain fitness.
There are also health food supplements now available over the counter which are gaining acceptance among the general population for improving brain fitness. By themselves, these aids are very potent brain enhancers, but taken in proper combinations they are outstanding. There have been reports of improvements in the symptoms of memory related ailments, such as the dreaded Alzheimer’s disease.
There are numerous methods to raise your level of brain fitness. Eating properly and exercising to maintain a high fitness level will both contribute to improving your thinking abilities. Also, the challenge of acquiring knowledge will maintain good brain health. Researchers have discovered a link between an active, thinking lifestyle and a healthy mind and excellent brain fitness. For example, learning to play the piano or studying a foreign language are activities which are certainly beneficial.
Taking vitamin or herbal supplements will also provide a boost to the cerebral process and brain fitness. For instance, Ginkgo Biloba enhances the blood flow to the brain, which increases the available amount of oxygen which can be used to think and function clearly. Another benefit of Ginkgo Biloba is the protection against damage from toxins in the system, and it also functions to retard the degenerative process from getting older by assisting in the rebuilding of brain cells (for more ways, read about neurogenesis).
Numerous over the counter supplements are now available which target specifically the brain fitness area and memory enhancement. By combining these substances in the correct ratios, one can obtain immediate improvement to their powers of focus and concentration, resulting in a better quality of life and better brain fitness. The benefits of these marvelous supplements include better circulation to the brain, improved recall, a more consistent memory, high levels of focus and concentration, and a general feeling of well being associated with a healthy, active mind and a high level of brain fitness.
Brain exercises are a fun way to boost brain power, but they should test you and present a fresh new way of tackling problems. You can employ simple techniques to challenge your brain, like putting on your socks the opposite way you normally do or sit in a different chair at mealtime. If you utilize more than one of your senses to learn something, it is less difficult to retain that information because the brain is a mechanism which links one piece of information to another… explaining why you can remember the lyrics to “Puff the Magic Dragon” but you can’t remember your brother’s e-mail address!
A fantastic way to begin is by subscribing to your daily newspaper. There is a variety of mental toggling from sports to classifieds to comics, and the games like crossword and Sudoku are excellent brain exercises. Boosting your brain power can also be accomplished with other types of brain exercises. Experiment with your memory. Commit to memory a record of items – be it a task list, inventory of your refrigerator, etc. Go back after a time and try to remember what was on that list. In order to make sure the exercise taxes your brain enough, the stuff on the list should be difficult to remember.
Envision a route and sketch a map. After coming back from each new adventure you take, mentally visualize the area and sketch it. Instead of using a calculator, use your brain to compute numbers. Put aside the tablet, writing utensils, and laptop and compute the riddle in your head – for more fun, do while walking to the corner! Dare to expand your flavor sensations. Some recipes contain many herbs and spices . . . can you taste them all? Pump up your cooking knowledge. There are many different ways to prepare a meal, so challenge yourself by taking a cooking class or learning a new technique.
Each sense that we have is controlled by a separate section of the brain, and since cooking utilizes all the senses we are using various sections of our brain. Develop symbolic sentences. Pick a word and form the image of the word in your mind, then ponder what other words begin or end with the same letters, have the same amount of letters, can be made from the letters rearranged, etc. Be taught a second (or third) language. You can arouse the brain by paying attention to the sounds of the different words and phrases. Feel the music.
Analyze music or find out how to play a musical instrument. Develop your hand-eye coordination. Adopt a hobby like crocheting or needle-point, creating artwork with brushes or markers, putting together puzzles – things that utilize fine-motor functions; let your senses awaken. Find a way to occupy as many senses as you can with one endeavor, like gardening. Develop the athlete within – there are a a lot of different sports that require both physical strength and mental awareness, such as basketball or golf.
The world has been educated that you can avoid heart disease by doing heart-healthy things, and in the very near future they will understand that they can increase their brain power by doing brain exercises. Science has proven that conducting yourself in a brain-healthy manner works wonders to maintain your brain strength, and we are soon to see a new decade of people committing to a routine of brain exercises to keep their brain alive and well.
Many people understand the impact that diet can have on your mental health and overall physical health. The foods that you put into your system can have a positive or negative effect on your well being. Food contains the vital components that you must have to maintain a high quality of life on a day to day basis. Specifically, there are memory vitamins which will improve brain productivity, and they can be obtained either through regular foods or though vitamin supplementation. The following are the most important nutritional items which will improve your quality of life and enable you to think and function more clearly if they are included in your diet consistently. Antioxidants are generally regarded as being at the top of the list.
Certainly you are aware of the damage that toxins can do to the system. Antioxidants provide protection for the body by guarding us against these destructive agents, all of which can promote illness. Antioxidants stop these negative agents from accessing the brain area. In other words, they enable you to think more clearly and improve your retentive powers. In addition, they help to head off various circulatory problems. Efficient circulation of your blood indicates that the brain in receiving an ample amount of oxygen. The primary foods from which to obtain antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. Another vital nutritional item is Omega-3s.
The primary food sources for this essential fatty acid are fish and nuts. Essential fatty acids are critical to efficient communication with the brain. Women in the throes of pregnancy require extra feedings of Omega-3 to ensure that the infant’s brain is nourished properly. An additional piece of the puzzle is Ginkgo Biloba. This nutritional item is well known as a superior memory booster. Researchers have demonstrated that the use of ginkgo biloba on a regular basis enhances circulation to the brain. It also destroys dangerous toxins in the body. It is also useful in slowing the insidious effects of Alzheimer’s disease if implemented in the early stages; it is important to try to prevent Alzheimer’s disease in every way that you can before its onset.
Similarly, another component of good mental health is Folic Acid. You can readily secure large quantities of this nutrient from any leafy green vegetable. If you do not consume a sufficient amount of green vegetables, grains and eggs are also beneficial foods from which to obtain folic acid. Folic acid is particularly important in the early stages of brain formation. This explains the commonly heard suggestion that it should be eaten during pregnancy. It is vital to healthy tissue formation and the development of sufficient red blood cells. And then we have the B Vitamins. These promote general health and well being.
They control blood sugar and the development of red blood cells, in addition to supplying the system with surplus energy. Proteins such as meat and eggs readily supply an abundant amount of the vital B vitamins. A cautionary note would be to advise an individual presently being treated with any type of prescription medicine to clear the use of these supplements with a medical professional. Even though these foods are all natural, there is the possibility of a reaction when combined with certain medicines.
Eating a quality diet is the optimal and desirable way to obtain all of these beneficial ingredients. However, in the real world, almost everyone can name a specific food that they detest and refuse to eat, and this dietary void can be satisfied with vitamin supplements for memory loss. The essential vitamins mentioned in this article can assist your thinking process, take your memory up a notch, and allow greater focus in your everyday activities. There are many more tricks and tips to improve memory out there, just do some research and you’ll find some that are effective.
Ever wonder why some people are able to be hyper-productive each morning? It’s because their brains are ready for the day at an early time, they get their “neurons firing” and brain working. Fortunately, there are many great exercises that you can use to help get yourself moving each morning. This will help increase your brain activity and get your ready for the day ahead. Learning to create positive, healthy habits each morning is a great way to improve the overall health of your brain. Read below and you will find plenty of great activities that you can use each morning before work or school to help you kick your brain into gear!
Try Taking a Cool Shower. I know what you are thinking: “taking a cold shower is ridiculous.” And I agree, taking a cold shower is ridiculous. With that said, it does a great job at getting us motivated and it definitely “wakes up” our brains. If you’ve never tried to take a shower in the morning, try it sometime and see how you feel. I usually never intentionally take a cold shower, but ended up taking plenty in my lifetime.
The washing machine would be running and suck up the warm water in the winter and I’d get a nice dose of cold water in the morning. Sure it doesn’t feel very pleasant, but it definitely does the job. Each time a cold shower ends, I feel alert, energetic, and ready to have a productive morning. If you don’t like taking cold showers, feel free to compromise by taking a “cool shower.” – It will likely do the job too!
Listen to Some Energetic Music. For those who really want to wake up feeling charged, create a CD or playlist that is motivating, inspiring, or that has a quick tempo. Fast-paced music forces people to want to start moving. Maybe you’d like to start your day by playing an upbeat mix of tunes and dancing to them! You’d get a little workout, plus you’d feel pumped up and ready to take on the world after you were done. Who knows, maybe you’d even feel like taking a *cold shower! Haha.
Get Plenty of Sleep. It can be very difficult to have a great morning every day if you aren’t getting adequate sleep the night before! Each person needs a different amount of sleep: some individuals are able to run on 5 hours effectively, while others need over 8 hours. Either way, be sure you are meeting your individual sleep requirements. Getting plenty of sleep the night before allows you to wake up easier in the morning, and truly take advantage of your mornings. I have done plenty of sleep research and it seems that “going to sleep when you are tired” + “waking up at the same time each morning” is the optimal sleep strategy.
Have Fruit Juice with Breakfast. Whether you are a fan of either coffee or green tea, fruit juice is yet another alternative. Having a hearty glass of Orange Juice, Apple Juice, Grape Juice, Pineapple Juice, etc. will be a great way to start up your brain in the morning. All of these juices contain healthy amounts of sugars, nutrients, and vitamins that will lace your brain cells with plenty of energy that they will be able to utilize throughout almost the entire day to communicate with one another. My personal favorite is to drink a big glass of Orange Juice, but all types of fruit juice are extremely healthy. Each will ensure a high-performance brain state in the morning.
Set an Alarm Clock. Most people set alarm clocks in order to wake up in time for their work shift or school classes. Whether they know it or not, setting an alarm clock is suggested to ensure a productive, mentally stimulating morning. We know it is optimal to “go to bed when you are tired” and to “wake up at the same time each day.”
In attempt to wake up at the same time each day, it can be difficult to do without an alarm clock. I intentionally set my alarm clock away from my bed because it forces me to make my tired butt “get up.” Once I wake up and walk over to my alarm clock, I feel tired, but I am able to stay awake and boost up my brain each morning!
Many people believe that it is good to literally “jump out of bed” as if someone dumped ice water on your face. While that method is a great way to get your brain amped for the day, another way is to massage your body. Massage your face, arms, legs, and slowly work your way up. I prefer the quick “jack-in-the-box” method, but either way works! There is nothing wrong with sleeping in, other than you will miss out on taking advantage of [your brain and] the morning.
Wake up to the Smell of Freshly Brewed Coffee. Waking up to the smell of coffee is easy to accomplish if you enjoy drinking coffee. There is even some research that suggests just from the aroma of coffee, brain activity will increase along with your physical energy level. It is important to remember, though, that you should strive to drink coffee in “moderation.” Too much coffee and your brain waves will shift to a rapid pattern (high-beta). This will likely leave you stressed out and anxious. Too little coffee and you won’t reap the brain boosting effects. I personally don’t drink coffee in the morning, but scientific data suggests that coffee in moderation can actually be a great way to boost electrical activity in your brain in the morning!
Consider Drinking Green Tea. If you aren’t the type of person who likes to drink coffee, you may want to consider drinking some tea instead! Green Tea and other teas have been proven to be great for your brain. They boost activity and provide you with healthy nutrients that will stay in your body throughout the entire morning. I have found Green Tea to be very calming. It soothes and relaxes my body, yet it seems to get my brain ready for the day! It tastes great, smells great, and is great to drink in the morning before eating breakfast.
Turn on the Lights, Get a Dose of Sunshine. It makes it increasingly difficult to fully wake up or stay awake when you feel as if you are in a dark cave! Turn on some bright lights in the morning and let light shine in through your windows. A good habit to get into is opening up the blinds on your windows! Light is great for boosting brain power and activity. Natural sunlight is the best, but lightboxes are a great way to get started too! People with S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) – get depressed in the winter due to lack of natural sunlight.
This suggests that sunlight has a direct effect on the activity in our brains. When we deprive our brains of light, we will stay in a groggy, sleeplike state of consciousness – that is, until we feed our brain some sunlight! Bright light clears the fog from this slower [theta] brain wave state and shifts our brain wave activity to [beta] higher frequencies. These higher frequencies promote a happy, active brain / state of mind. Sunlight also triggers the release of certain neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine – both of which are great for brain health. Any form of powerful light in the morning is great for promoting a healthy circadian rhythm and amping up your overall brain power.
Get Some Fresh Air in the House. Open up some windows in the morning! Sure it may feel a little bit chilly, but you can bet that it will make you want to wake up. Fresh air flowing through the house feels very soothing and revitalizing in the morning. Hearing the birds chirp, wind blow, and other sounds of nature is a great way to experience morning. Try it sometime and see how you like it. Obviously, though, on hot days or super cold days, you’d be a fool not to use the air conditioner or heater.
Utilize the Power of Your Brain Waves. Many people aren’t yet aware of the great brainwave entrainment software that is on the market or what it can do for them. Let’s just say it is a phenomenal way to get your morning started. You can program your brain to produce relaxed, yet alert brain wave patterns.
You can also get a jolt similar to what you get from coffee in the morning, but without the “burnout effect.” Entraining your brain waves is a phenomenal way to amp up your brain power each morning. Any session in the mid-beta to high-beta brain wave range will do a great job at getting you mentally prepared for the day. You will likely feel a huge energy boost after listening! Be sure to check out my recommended products section for the best brainwave entrainment products on the market. I personally use Neuro-Programmer 2 Professional and Mind Stereo and they can turn my morning into a miracle.
Eat a Hearty Breakfast. Eating a healthy, hearty breakfast is one of the single most powerful ways to prepare both your body and brain for the rest of the day. Researchers have always made emphasis on breakfast being the most important meal of the day. Why? Because it is the first time you’ve eaten anything for a long period of time. Breakfast gives your brain vital nutrients that it needs in order to optimally carry out mental processes the rest of the day.
If you’ve ever skipped breakfast, you know that you likely feel tired, mentally fogged, or unfocused throughout your morning and possibly the entire day! Think of breakfast as filling up your cars gas tank when it’s almost empty. If you forget to fill up with gas, you will either be running on fumes or you won’t get to your destination.
Same goes for your brain, it will either scavenge up whatever nutritional resources it had from the night before, or you will be running on “E.” Running without breakfast means that your mental performance will significantly decline! For this reason, it is important to include healthy brain foods such as: eggs, milk, fresh fruits, whole grains, and bran cereal in your morning diet! Always try to fill up the tank before you start your day!
Start the Day with Physical Exercise. When you start the day with exercise, you start the day with power. We already know that exercise is a great activity for your mind and body. It boosts energy levels, and leaves people feeling replenished, happy, and mentally clear. Exercise is an easy way to shake the sleepiness and kick-start your metabolism.
When you exercise in the morning, you also have the entire rest of your day to do other activities! Take your pets for a stroll through the park, hit the gym, or go running. Biking, rollerblading, swimming, and walking with friends are also great activities. Exercising in the morning is a great way to start each day with a powerful boost of energy.
Consider taking vitamin supplements. Taking vitamin and mineral supplements each day is definitely not a bad thing – especially if you aren’t quite sure whether or not you are getting an adequate amount of vitamins via your diet. I personally take a multivitamin each morning just as a safe measure. They are good for the health of your body, brain, and have been scientifically proven to be healthy. Though there is controversy as to whether or not popping a multivitamin pill each morning is the best option, it definitely won’t hurt. If you can afford taking vitamins, I recommend you take them just for good measure.
Visualize – See the Big Picture. Each time you plan out your day, it helps if you visualize. Close your eyes and use your imagination. Focus on picturing each and every task in which you hope to accomplish today. Visualize your life and how you’d like it to be. Feel free to use positive affirmations or goal statements to help boost your energy. Using visualization is a powerful way to start each morning. It is a phenomenal mental exercise that prepares you for all of the upcoming events in your schedule.
Add a Meditation Routine to Your Morning. Many people find it very helpful to include a meditation routine in their mornings. Research has shown that people who meditate each day for at least 15 minutes enjoy increased energy, mental activity, calmness, and alertness than those who don’t meditate. If you have never tried meditation [in the morning], be sure to give it a shot. It has potential to keep your brain cells, brain activity, and mental state at their peak for nearly the entire day. Mental reflection in the morning is great: your mind is wandering and you can easily recall experiences to reflect upon.
Do a Crossword Puzzle. There are many great mental exercises that you can perform each morning that will help keep your brain fit. Crossword puzzles, Sudokus, Brain Games, and solving math problems are all great ways to improve your mental quickness and dexterity each morning. If you enjoy reading the newspaper each morning, feel free to flip to the crossword puzzle section and test your memory or a Sudoku page and test your quickness.
Neurogenesis - “The birth of new neurons in the brain; also referred to as the process in which neurons are created.”The growth of new brain cells occurs in the region of the brain called the “hippocampus.” The ‘hippocampus’ is an area involved with memory, learning, and other cognitive functions. In order to live and become part of our brain, new neurons formed in the hippocampus-region need support from surrounding nutrients from blood and glial cells.
Most importantly, they need support from other surrounding neurons – otherwise these new brain cells will die. Though thousands of new brain cells are formed and produced via the hippocampus each and every day, many die quickly after birth. When we can keep them alive for this crucial period after birth, we are able to effectively boost the power of the human brain by adding new brain cells to the bank of existing cells.
Though neurogenesis is most active during prenatal development, there is growing evidence that certain activities also induce the growth of new brain cells [neurons] in the brain. Provided below are 7 researched and proven ways to grow new brain cells and provide a safe haven for effective neurogenesis.
Everybody knows that exercise is good for your overall health and heart, but in recent findings, powerful evidence has proven that exercise is great for your brain. Scientific experiments have discovered that mice consistently using running wheels had around 2x the amount of hippocampal neurons (brain cells) as the mice that didn’t exercise.
Another study at Colombia University found that humans who had a exercise training program were able to grow and maintain new brain cells and nerve cells in the hippocampus region of the brain. The specific area called the “dentate gyrus” is responsible for helping produce neurogeneis. Even more studies have discovered that those who exercised had 2 – 3x increases in the birth-rate of new neurons!
Eating blueberries can trigger the growth of new brain cells? That’s right! 19-month-old rats that were put on a blueberry enriched diet [equal to about 1 cup per day for humans] were more skilled at navigating through mazes than rats who weren’t fed blueberries. Scientists know for a fact that blueberries promote the growth of new neurons. In order to track the growth of neurons, researchers injected dye into rats.
They saw that in the hippocampus region, new brain cells were generated. Scientists figure that “anthocyanin dye” – the dark bluish-dye found in blueberries caused the neurogenesis. The anthocyanin-dye contains chemicals that can cross the blood-brain barrier and produce the growth of neurons. There is growing evidence that the “anthocyanin dye” has the same effect on the brains of humans!
Related: For more information on brain foods, read the article Brain Foods: 50 Good Brain Foods.
Meditation has always thought to have been beneficial for the brain. Recent compelling evidence from scientific researchers at Yale, Harvard, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed that meditation can allow us to “grow bigger brains.” Though this isn’t the same thing as neurogenesis, meditation could very well be an activity that boosts the birth rate of neurons.
Researchers also discovered that meditators literally had an altered-physical brain structure compared to non-meditators. Brain scanning technology [i.e. MRIs] showed that meditation boosted thickness of brain structure dealing with attention, sensory input, and memory functions. The thickening was found to be more noticeable in adults than younger individuals. It’s interesting because the same sections of our cortex that meditation thickens, tend to get thinner as we age.
Meditation is known to boost brain activity, coherency of brain waves, strengthen neural connections, and thicken gray matter. Though scientists haven’t confirmed the effects of meditation and its ability to aid neurogenesis [due to complexity issues], there is a likely possibility that it helps.
Scientific research by the National Institute of Mental Health has proven that antidepressants work by allowing our brains to grow new brain cells (neurons). In a 2003 study, scientists discovered that when they blocked the formation of new neurons in the hippocampus brain region, behavioral effects of the antidepressant Prozac [Fluoxetine] were diminished.
Research has already understood that depression, stress, and anxiety disorders can cause death of neurons in the brain. More studies have demonstrated that most other antidepressants on the market can and will trigger the growth of new neurons. Even more interesting is the fact that besides humans, adult animals grow new neurons when given antidepressant drugs.
Though there are many other interactions in the brain with antidepressants, their primary beneficial effect from them is derived from their ability to produce neurogenesis. Now if scientists can only figure out a way to induce the amount of neurogenesis that antidepressant medication does without creating a new drug!
Science has long known that living in a mentally stimulating environment vs. an impoverished environment is far better for brain development. Research has found that exposure to an enriched environment enhances neurogenesis functioning and is able to regulate emotionality.
Scientists have found that memory-based tasks were far improved in the hippocampus region of the brain when human beings are raised in a healthy, enriched environment. One study found that mice put in stimulating environments actually had larger hippocampus regions than did those living in “standard” or “poor” laboratory conditions. They discovered a direct correlation between an enriched environment and the amount of neurons produced in the brains of mice. This had a significant effect on neurogenesis!
Though scientists have long known that new brain cells are able “enhance learning” – they never thought that “learning” could actually cause the birth of new brain cells… that is, until recently. In recent animal studies, researchers have found that there was a direct relationship between “learning” and the survival rate of newly-birthed brain cells.
When researchers taught certain rodents a wide-variety of cognitive tasks which involved a wide-range of brain areas – scientists found that the more the animal “learned” – the more new neurons were able to survive in the hippocampus. Scientists have made it clear that “learning” can increase the presence of new neurons in the brain.
Brain cells that are born in the hippocampus, which normally die off, are literally “rescued” by “learning” experiences. There is still plenty of research being conducted in this area and not all sources agree. However, your best bet is to keep your brain power boosted and your mind sharp. Always try to learn something new!
The phenomena of calorie restriction has continued to puzzle researchers. They have found that eating less food can lead to significant increases in longevity. Even when starting calorie restriction in middle age, it is able to produce around a ten to twenty percent increase in life-span. It has also been associated with hundreds of biological changes and can harbor our ability to produce new brain cells.
Restricting calorie intake has been associated with increases in neurogenesis and a better overall neuroprotective effect in the brain. Scientists have found that calorie-restricted animals nearly always stay active and healthy up until the end of their lives’. This phenomena has also been associated with a significantly lowered likelihood of developing a degenerative brain disease and can even produce new nerve cells!
Though the use of infared light helmets is relatively new, researchers believe that they may help patients with Alzheimer’s disease by helping them grow new brain cells. Developer of this infared light helmet, Dr. Gordon Dougal, (also the director of medical research at medical research company Virulite) believes the helmet will hit the market about 1 year from now. It works by aiming low levels of infared light at the wearer’s brain. Next, it stimulates neurogenesis in the brain, suggests research.
More on how this works according to its inventor [Dr. Gordon Dougal]: “How we hope it’s going to work is that the infrared light will be facing inside the helmet onto the actual person, onto their skin, onto their brain, and actually goes on the frontal part of the bones, so it goes onto the actual front part of the brain and the side of the brain.”
“The side of the head and their skull are relatively thin, so the light will penetrate the skull and treat the underlying brain tissue. And the top of the head is also quite thin, and the light will penetrate the brain tissue at that point.”
For more information, view the sources:
LE Magazine: June 2002 – Calorie Restriction, Exercise, Hormone Replacement, and Phytonutrients Fight Aging – Age Conference – Madison, Wisconsin
Harvard University – Meditation found to increase brain size – Mental calisthenics bulk up some layers By William J. Cromie – Harvard News Office http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/daily/2006/01/23-meditation.html
Antidepressants Grow New Brain Cells – About.com; http://mentalhealth.about.com/cs/psychopharmacology/a/neurogenesis.htm
Sci STKE. 2003 Aug; (195):318. Antidepressants and Hippocampal Neurogenesis. Santarelli L, Saxe M, Gross A, Surget A, Battaglia F, Dulawa S, Weisstaub N, Lee J, Duman R, Arancio O, Belzung, Hen R.
The Journal of Neuroscience. 2007 Mar; 27(13): 3252-3259. Experience-Specific Functional Modification of the Dentate Gyrus through Adult Neurogenesis: A Critical Period during an Immature Stage. Tashiro A, Makino H, Gage FH.
Stanford University Research In Progress: HD & Lifestyle http://www.stanford.edu/group/hopes/rltdsci/inprogress/ae2.html
Note: If you enjoy this article, consider reading “Benefits of Alpha and Theta Brain Waves.”
Utilizing brainwave entrainment consistently can definitely yield many health-related benefits. Using alpha brain waves can result in calmness, peacefulness, and relaxation – which helps block stress from crippling our immune system. Boosting theta brain waves can improve our health by making us feel younger, giving us more energy, and improving our immune system. And finally, delta brain waves allow us to produce anti-aging hormones, they boost our immune system, and allow our body to replenish itself. Each of those “slower brain waves” sound like they can produce wonderful health benefits. It definitely sounds wonderful that these “slower brain waves” are able to do such a phenomenal job at keeping us healthy.
A common benefit to increasing the amount of slow brain waves [i.e. alpha, theta, delta] in your brain is feeling deeply relaxed. Scientists have found that when the brain is in slower brain wave states [like alpha and theta], it produces specific hormones and “neuropeptides.” These hormones and neuropeptides that are produced have been linked to boosted memory, creativity, and ability to learn.
Each time you lower the baseline frequency of your brain waves, the more you will feel the healthy anti-stress, anti-aging hormones and neuropeptides. These naturally boost your overall level of relaxation and wellbeing. What the slower brain waves also do is increase the amount of beneficial neurotransmitters and endorphins in the brain. For example: using alpha and theta brain waves will increase your overall level of relaxation by increasing the production of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is an extremely helpful neurotransmitter that has been linked to both mental and physical relaxation. Also, certain slower brainwave frequencies produce endorphins which make us feel good – like a “natural high.”
For these reasons, virtually any time you utilize brainwave entrainment, neurofeedback, meditation, or even yoga, you are able to feel more relaxed and peaceful. What do all of the mentioned exercises have in common? Though they may all be “different forms” of exercising your brain, in the end, they will all slow down your brain waves.
Though you may not know it or remember it, you’ve likely experienced “a natural high” – also known as, your body bein flooded with the production of endorphins. Each time that you go for a run or do any form of hard cardiovascular exercise, endorphins are released. Most people have experienced the benefits of endorphins; whether it be after a long run, basketball game, or other sporting event.
Though you will usually feel very exhausted and were very sweaty after a hard workout, you will also usually feel very good. After working out we naturally feel physically relaxed [and tired], plus – we feel mentally relaxed and calm. Though I highly recommend exercise to increase your overall level of wellbeing, it is not the only activity that will make you feel good by producing endorphins. Any time you utilize brainwave entrainment, neurofeedback, meditation, or yoga, in order to slow your brain waves, you will probably feel the same endorphins ["natural high"] that you did after a strenuous workout.
Though you already know that endorphins allow our bodies to feel a natural high, you may not have known that each time we enter an alpha or theta brain wave state, specific endorphins kick-in that actually boost our overall cognition; they improve our memory and ability to learn. Scientific research has proved that in rats that were injected with endorphins had improved memories – they also were able to run through mazes more quickly. Research has also shown that the production of endorphins can actually reverse amnesia – [a condition in which memory is disrupted].
Researchers have also thought that the parts of the brain that are involved in the production of endorphins, are the exact same areas that are involved with memory and learning. One study even proposed that each time we learn – our brain releases endorphins to reward itself and to help us store our memories. This is why memorizing and ability to learn are boosted each time we have increased production of endorphins in our brains.
Increased endorphins in our brain has been linked to theta and alpha brain wave states of consciousness. Think about it: each time we are able to slow our brain waves to the alpha and / or theta range, it is naturally easier for us to drop our old beliefs and literally “learn” new beliefs. This is why you may have heard that slowing your brain waves down to theta and alpha ranges allows you to re-program your beliefs.
Catecholamines, acetylcholine, and vasopressin, are three [among many] of the beneficial hormones and other helpful neuropeptides that are produced in slower brain wave frequencies. Studies have shown that acetylcholine is vital for long term memory. They have also found that when acetylcholine production [in the brain] is high, we experience boosts in our long-term memory. More studies have found that when individuals take supplements that boost the production of acetylcholine in the brain, they are better at learning and have improved memories.
Individuals who have lower levels of acetylcholine usually struggle with tasks involving learning and memory. Individuals with the devastating Alzheimer’s disease usually have very low levels of acetylcholine. Theta brain waves have been specifically linked to the production of the neuropeptide vasopressin – a neuropeptide which improves reaction time, ability to learn, and ability to remember. Theta brain waves also have the ability to produce catecholamines which aid once again in our learning process and memory.
It is not only our production of neuropeptides that allows us to learn more effectively in slower brainwave patterns. Because theta and alpha brain wave states are linked to relaxation, we experience decreased blood pressure, heart rate, and our entire body feels relaxed. This boosts the overall oxygen level in our brains and maximizes bloodflow to our cortex. This naturally boosts our attention span and level of alertness. Boosted attention and alertness makes it much easier to memorize and learn new things.
Are you a person that wishes you could get back some of the same energy you had when you were a kid? Though there are many products on the market to help you: look younger, feel more energetic, happier, and healthier, many do not work. Why? Because they don’t target your brain waves! Research has found that patterns of delta brain waves, theta brain waves, and alpha brain waves, positively affect the production of the hormones: melatonin, DHEA, and cortisol. These three brain wave patterns are able to slow aging, boost relaxation, and increase our overall wellbeing.
In the alpha and theta brain wave ranges, the amount of melatonin and DHEA is significantly boosted in our brains. Research has discovered that DHEA can increase over 50% in certain cases! Even more impressive were the studies on melatonin. Researchers found that slower brain waves boosted the production of melatonin by 300% in some cases! Average melatonin increases were nearly 100%… On top of all the other benefits, the production of cortisol – [a stress hormone usually produced by high-beta brain waves], declined by nearly 50%!
As mentioned earlier, the hormone “cortisol” is a powerful stress hormone that has potential to actually kill brain cells. It has been linked to sped-up aging, health problems, anxiety, and stress. Because of the problems associated with cortisol, it can have a significantly negative impact on our memory, ability to learn, and our overall wellbeing. It is definitely not favorable to have high levels of cortisol floating around in your body.
With that said, DHEA is a hormone that you want to have plenty of in your body. Like cortisol, it is produced by our adrenal glands. Usually, in your twenties, DHEA production will reach its maximum. In your thirties, DHEA production declines and as you age – it continues to decline. Individuals who are over 70 have roughly 1/5th the amount of DHEA as an individual in their twenties. When our DHEA levels drop low, we are more susceptible to developing disease, getting sick, and aging quickly. The higher we keep our levels of DHEA, the less likely we are to get sick, become stressed out, or speed up our aging process.
Lastly, we notice significant improvements with the hormone melatonin. Melatonin has been linked to better, more restful sleep. You already know that sleep is very beneficial for replenishing the brain and body with vital neurotransmitters and hormones. Each time we get a quality night’s sleep, we help ward off the aging process. When we get poor quality sleep, we speed up our aging process. Like DHEA, the amount of melatonin produced in our bodies declines as we get older. For this reason, it is important to lower our brain waves to the alpha and theta rhythms and boost our melatonin levels.
Hopefully, you now fully [or better] understand that when you increase your alpha, theta, and delta brain waves [slower brain waves] your brain naturally increases the production of beneficial hormones. This is why many people [including researchers] consider activities such as: brainwave entrainment, meditation, and yoga to be beneficial. Have you ever questioned why the brain produces these helpful hormones and neurotransmitters in the slower brainwave frequencies?
Well, according to scientific research, neurons ["brain cells"] are electrochemically triggered to produce certain neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, and certain hormones at certain brainwave frequencies. Neurons are almost “activated” to produce certain neurochemicals when they are interacting with certain brainwave frequencies. Think of brain waves as communication in the brain. The neurons and the brain communicate by sending specific brainwave frequencies.
This is why each time your brain waves are slowed to the alpha range or theta range, they produce different, more helpful neurochemicals than they would in the beta range. Slowing your brain waves with entrainment is comparable to sending a direct message to your brain cells to start creating helpful neurochemicals. The concept is easy to understand too. Each time you get a quality night’s sleep, your brain shifts to the lower theta and delta ranges.
When you wake up, you usually feel like your energy supply has been replenished… That’s because your energy supply was replenished by the delta and theta brain waves. They produced many helpful, healing hormones and neurotransmitters while you were asleep! Though slower brain waves tend to have a lot of health-related benefits, you should never rule out your beta brain waves. Each brain wave has something helpful to offer / bring to the table.
Note: If you enjoy this article, consider reading Understanding The “Alpha Brainwave”.
Alpha brain waves are the second fastest in the lineup of basic brain wave frequencies [beta, alpha, theta, delta] – beta waves being the fastest. Alpha brain waves are usually in the range of frequencies between 8 Hz – 12 Hz. Alpha waves are very easy to notice on the E.E.G. – they are very strong, smooth brain waves.
An interesting factoid: alpha brainwaves were the first brainwave group to be researched and the first group to be discovered. The alpha brain wave rhythm is also considered to be the “safest” of the brain wave frequencies to use during brainwave entrainment and neurofeedback. Why? Because out of all four groups of brain waves [beta, alpha, theta, delta], alpha waves usually yield the most benefits via entrainment and rarely produce any unwanted side-effects.
Alpha brain waves allow you to understand what is going on in your subconscious mind after meditation and after dreaming. Without the presence of alpha waves in your E.E.G. after dreaming, your brain would not be able to transfer subconscious information to the conscious mind. Alpha waves are the connection that allows information to be transfered between subconscious and conscious. Each time you remember a dream that you had, you used alpha brain waves.
Each time that you visualize or go into meditation, your alpha brain waves likely kicked in. Alpha waves are a key part of providing clear, vivid visualization sessions. They allow you to use your imagination, tap your subconscious creativity, and express the creativity through your conscious mind. The alpha waves are usually also at work each time you daydream or use your imagination.
Dr. Hans Berger who was a psychiatrist from Austria first discovered electrical waves in the brain in the year 1908. Berger called these electrical waves “alpha brain waves” due to the fact that they were the first brain wave to be discovered. Another interesting fact about Dr. Hans Berger is the fact that he was the inventor of the E.E.G. machine, better known as an electroencephalograph. The E.E.G. machine is what allows researchers, scientists, and neurofeedback practitioners to understand brainwave activity.
It works by amplifying, recording, and creating graphs of electrical activities in the brain. After using the E.E.G., researchers quickly found other forms of brain activity. Beta waves were discovered next, then delta waves, then theta waves. After all the basic brain waves were discovered, gamma brain waves were found.
Eventually, in the 1950′s, scientists discovered that it was indeed possible for individuals to learn to take full conscious control over their brainwaves. These scientists learned that meditation allowed people to slow their brain waves from the common beta range down to theta and alpha waves.
Each time that you are daydreaming or not fully awake, you are in the alpha brain wave range. The state of mind ‘right-before’ you fall asleep is usually comprised of lots of alpha brain waves. Individuals who lack normal amounts of alpha brain waves usually have insomnia, anxiety, sleep disorders, or high stress. This is why increasing alpha waves for overstressed people can be extremely effective at helping them fall asleep.
I can personally vouch for the use of alpha brain waves to fall asleep. In fact, I used them last night to put me out! I played a 10 Hz alpha brain wave created session and within 10 minutes, I was asleep – I didn’t even know about it. They can be a great tool when utilized effectively! Other times that your brain uses alpha brain waves includes: each time you watch T.V., each time you are relaxing, each mediation session, each time you close your eyes, each time you breathe deeply, or feel completely relaxed during a hot / steamy shower.
For information on how you can increase the production of alpha brain waves in your brain, check out the article 20 Ways To Murder Stress. About 5 of the activities mentioned in that article will do a great job at increasing alpha production. Any time you feel relaxation, your alpha waves are at work! Each time that you feel both mentally and physically relaxed, you are in a state of alpha brain waves.
The first time that I heard about alpha brain waves, I thought that they sounded like a good brain wave range, but I also thought that they would make me drowsy and wanting to sleep, so I stayed away from using them and stuck with beta. When I finally decided to use alpha brain waves, it was an incredible experience.
I found a new state-of-mind that allowed me to remain peaceful, calm, and relaxed – all while maintaining a positive mental state. It really felt great to finally experience alpha waves. Now, I use alpha brain waves a lot more because I know what they can do for me. I use them to help me fall asleep quickly or for some powerful relaxation sessions. Each time when I’ve been stressed out and used alpha brain waves, my relaxation level skyrocketed after about 15 minutes of use. I really didn’t think they could work as effectively as they actually did!
Think about your entire body and mind being fully relaxed and peaceful. You may feel slightly spaced out, but it actually feels very pleasant. If you’ve every got a very relaxing massage or sat in a hot-tub to the point of relaxation, this is what the alpha brain waves feel like. All of this will usually be followed by inner-calmness, silence, and quietude – as if your entire world was silent and completely still.
It’s still very difficult for you to fully understand alpha brain waves if you haven’t experienced them. In fact, some people NEVER experience the alpha range for most of their lives! Though my description definitely will help you understand alpha brain waves better, it is still recommended to experience them for yourself. Why? Because describing alpha brain waves is comparable to telling you what chocolate tastes like.
I can describe the chocolate by using many different adjectives and descriptors, but in the end, you really must try the chocolate in order to fully understand it and appreciate it. Same rules apply for the alpha brain wave state of consciousness. When you are finally able to fully understand the alpha brain wave range, you will feel liberated and open to an entirely new world!
It really is an amazing experience, but one that you need to experience for yourself. If you are interested in experiencing powerful alpha brain waves, I recommend either Neuro-Programmer 2 Professional or Mind Work Station. These products will get you started and definitely will help you get into the alpha range. I personally use Neuro-Programmer 2 Professional sessions usually at around 10 Hz and they’ve been absolutely phenomenal.
Note: If you enjoy this article, consider reading Understanding The “Theta Brainwave”.
Theta brain waves typically range from 4 Hz to 8 Hz. Theta brain waves are associated with the “subconscious mind” and are usually produced in the right-hemisphere of the brain – as opposed to beta brain waves, which are produced in the left-hemisphere and are associated with the “conscious mind.” The brain creates theta brain wave rhythms each time you are in “dream sleep.” Also, during R.E.M. [Rapid-Eye Movement] sleep, the brain is full of theta brain wave activity.
Nearly 3/5 of your entire time spent sleeping at night involves the production of theta brain waves in your brain. Many individuals also are able to access theta brain waves when they are: driving for a long stretch on the highway, practicing their meditation routine, using a self-hypnosis recording, or practicing other forms of deep relaxation. When you are able to consciously access the alpha brain waves state, you are just one step away from accessing the depths of theta.
What’s cool about theta brain waves is the fact that they allow you to connect with your “subconscious mind.” The subconscious mind is the place where all experiences, long-term memories, natural creativity, powerful emotions, spiritual connections, and inspiration are all stored. Think of the “subconscious mind” as one big, infinite storage space for “everything” in your life. The theta brain waves are extremely helpful for healing the body of injury and the mind of diseased-states.
Theta brain waves are such an important pattern of brain waves due to their ability to grant us access to our subconscious mind power. Accessing the theta rhythm allows us to influence and consciously control our “subconscious mind.” How does this happen? Well, each time you are in theta, you are able to pass through your conscious mind. Passing through your “conscious mind” is often a good idea. Why? Because our conscious minds’ beta-brain wave activity usually acts as a “fence” or “gate.”
This “gate” often can prevent us from manipulating or changing our deep-rooted thought patterns in our subconscious mind. This “gate” can also make it very difficult for us to change our emotional state, thought patterns, limiting beliefs, and attitudes if we don’t know how to pass through it. Another interesting fact is that our “subconscious mind,” accepts any affirmations, incantations, or statements that you feed it. It doesn’t question the statement or think about the statement, it begins to act upon the statement immediately!
For this reason, it is actually quite easy to get rid of any negative emotions or thought patterns if you are able to access this state. You can get rid of these thought patterns by implanting new beliefs into your “subconscious mind.” This is why accessing the subconscious mind via hypnosis can have a powerful effect on a person. The reason hypnosis can be successful is because it allows you to pass through the “gate” and add any desirable affirmations, statements, and beliefs directly inside your subconscious mind.
Scientists have known that during deep meditation, the amplitude (strength) of theta brain waves will increase. The deeper you are able to go into meditation, the more powerful your theta brain waves will be. Scientists also have discovered the fact that the emotions for “bliss” and deep internal “peace,” are only felt when theta brain waves are dominant on the E.E.G.
Want to amp up your spiritual life? Well, it has also been noted by researchers that it is theta brain waves that allow individuals to experience their “strongest spiritual connection.” Certain scientists even believe that it is possible to speed-up the process of connecting with the spirit. After this research, many personal development products and practices were created. Many of these personal development products created lots of hype because they seemed like the quickest way to feel “bliss” and “peace” – without spending years meditating.
They claimed to help individuals access their “inner Zen” and also claimed they would experience great health-related benefits. These products included relaxation programs, brainwave CD’s, and self-hypnosis recordings. Many of these will not work to help you access your “inner Zen,” but some definitely do. One product that I frequently use and highly recommend is Neuro-Programmer 2 Professional. Thus far, it has allowed me to have better control of my mind, state of consciousness, and emotions. I highly recommend at least giving the free 30 day trial version a shot if you don’t want to buy it!
Though alpha brain waves have been linked to “ah-ha” moments, many individuals have experienced them in the theta brain wave range as well! Since theta brain waves are associated with the creativity, infinite data, and inspiration of the “subconscious mind,” it makes perfect sense that “ah-ha” experiences occur in this brainwave range. For this reason, you can usually hear famous musicians, scientists, writers, actors, and other creative individuals discuss how they “found inspiration.”
Many people assume that researchers only spend all day slaving away in a laboratory with little mice trying to make a breakthrough discovery. What’s interesting though, is the fact that most (if not all) of major scientific breakthroughs and / or inventions have been a result of intuitive guidance via mental imagery, dreams, and hunches that scientists received when their brains’ were in the theta brain wave range and they had some access to their subconscious mind.
These scientists were usually: relaxing, sleeping, driving home from work, and doing non-work related activities! During these “ah-ha” moments that many scientists have had, their brains’ were full of activity in the subconscious mind. The majority of the best scientists are completely aware of how the “subconscious mind” works. Just to name a few geniuses such as: August Kekulé, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, have all tapped the power of their subconscious mind to help them make huge breakthroughs.
As you may now understand, your ability to utilize and harness the power of your subconscious mind is an extremely important factor in determining the success of many individuals (i.e. scientists, authors, researchers, musicians, etc.). Are you currently utilizing the power of your subconscious to help you solve problems or stay inspired? If not, just take a second to think about how much more efficient and powerful you could be if you were able to ‘shift’ into theta brain waves when you felt it necessary!
Unfortunately, many people aren’t able to access this theta brain waves state of consciousness due to certain factors such as: stress and disease. For these individuals, Neuro-Programmer 2 Professional will definitely get them on the right track.
Each time that theta brain waves flood your brain, you are temporarily detached from your body and awareness. This is why each time you wake up when your brain is in the theta phase of your sleep cycle, you won’t remember anything. If you’ve ever laid down to relax, ended up falling asleep, and then woke up long past your normal waking tim, you’ve likely experienced some quality theta brain waves.
Remember, that how you feel and your entire “waking up” experience depends completely on the brainwave pattern of sleep you’re in before awakening! Below is a recap of the basic brain waves that you can awaken from and what you’ll likely feel like in each state.
Each brainwave state it is possible to wake up from:
Once again, it’s very important for you to understand that though theta brainwaves can be very beneficial and helpful – they are not the most important brainwave pattern. In fact, none of the 4 basic brain wave patterns (beta, alpha, theta, delta) are considered “most beneficial” or “best brainwave.” All brain waves are of equal importance and serve their intended purpose. They all have certain benefits and drawbacks in certain situations.
The key is to cultivate a good combination of each of the 4 brain waves [beta, alpha, theta, delta] in order to take full control of your mind and life. This can be accomplished via meditation or neurofeedback. Both activities allow you to take “conscious” control over your brain wave patterns and consciously “shift” to an optimal brainwave for any given situation. This makes life much easier for us to live because we are able to optimally deal with any situation.
When you are able to incorporate theta brain waves in your life, you may feel peaceful and blissful during a session of meditation, but you may not even be able to remember it! Why? Theta brain waves involve the subconscious mind and if we don’t have any alpha brain wave activity to transfer this “subconscious information” to our conscious mind (beta waves) – you’ll believe that you know something on a deeper level, but aren’t sure what because you cannot remember it!
Accessing alpha, but not being able to tap theta waves will allow you to feel relaxed, more internally aware, but will not have the emotional intensity, creative insights, or the spiritual-connection that can only be accessed through theta waves. This is why being able to tap both the theta brain waves, while also having access to alpha waves, allows our brains to transfer important information, emotions, and insights to our conscious mind [because alpha bridges the gap between the “subconscious mind” (theta waves) and “conscious mind” (beta waves). This allows us to actually use the information that our theta range can provide.
Hopefully that last paragraph helped you understand why all four patterns of brainwaves are needed to master the brain. And in case you were wondering about delta brain waves – just think of them as one stage deeper than theta brain waves. In order to transfer information from the delta brainwave range to your “conscious mind,” you need to utilize “theta” (receives information from delta) – “alpha” (receives information from theta) – and “beta” (receives information from alpha). This allows us to be consciously aware of even the deepest universal knowledge and truths.
As you may have already guessed, mastering your brain waves will allow you to live the life of your dreams and consciously create your reality. However, it takes work – and, most people don’t put in work… Which is why a minority of the population is able to live out their dreams! Anyways, the key is to be sure you’re in an optimal brain wave state for your given situation. For more information on each of the various brainwaves, and understand which brainwave pattern is optimal, check out each of the descriptions posted below!
Note: If you enjoy this article, consider reading Understanding The “Delta Brainwave”.
Delta brain waves are the slowest of all your brainwaves. They usually fall within the frequency range of 0 – 4 Hz. When your brain waves reach levels below 0.1 Hz, you will literally be “brain dead.” Unlike theta brainwaves, which are commonly associated with the “subconscious mind” – delta brain waves are associated with the “unconscious mind.” Due to delta brainwaves being the least understood amongst brain waves [besides gamma] – I’ve decided to provide you with some quality information and hopefully clear up any misunderstandings.
Delta brain waves have long been linked to stages 3 and 4 of sleep. The delta brainwave range is considered “the lowest brainwave frequency. A decreased sense of awareness, increased empathy, and access to the “unconscious mind” are common. It is extremely rare to have conscious awareness of delta brainwaves. Only certain highly spiritual individuals, gurus, yogis, monks, and avid meditators usually are able to consciously access this brainwave range.
Being in delta is like being in the most deeply relaxing trance or non-physical awareness. Usually, when individuals are asleep in the delta range, their other brainwave patterns shut down and delta takes over. If you’ve ever woken up and felt irritable, unconscious, confused, or disorientated, you likely woke up during your delta stage of sleep.
The slower, delta brain wave frequencies have long been linked to boosted intuition and even the cultivation of “psychic skills” in certain individuals. What’s interesting is the fact that in some individuals, delta brain waves are present [show up in the E.E.G.] of people while they are awake – along with the other basic brainwave patterns [beta, alpha, theta]. They will never be found as the only brainwave pattern while someone is awake! There usually needs to be some beta, alpha, and theta if delta is displayed while awake.
Anyways, researchers have found that individuals who usually have an uncanny intuition and possibly psychic abilities, usually have delta brainwaves appearing in their waking E.E.G.’s. Think of delta brain waves as a radar system that helps our intuition sense when any form of danger is lurking. Though we don’t always need to sense danger via “gut instinct” or intuition, delta brain waves can be a great form of help. Delta brain waves are a very indigenous, anamalistic, primal-type brainwave rhythm that give us a deeper sense of “instinct.” Basically, the delta brainwaves allow us to be more aware of information that isn’t available to our conscious, beta-brainwave fueled, brains.
Frequencies in the delta range have been linked to healing the mind and body of a wide-variety of ailments and illnesses. Researchers have even discovered that within the delta brainwave range, some frequencies are even able to produce healthy substances such as: DHEA, melatonin, and H.G.H. (Human Growth Hormone). When the delta rhythms run through our brain, it naturally produces a different set of neurotransmitters and substances. With software like Neuro-Programmer 2 Professional, you can stimulate these delta brainwave frequencies and increase the healing speed of your brain and body.
The melatonin, H.G.H. (human growth hormone), and DHEA that delta brain waves are able to slow and or reverse the effects of aging. Another benefit of increasing the amount of delta brainwaves is the reduced production of the “stress hormone” called “cortisol.” Reducing cortisol is great for the body and brain! Why? Because increased levels of cortisol can and will actually kill brain cells, plus speed up the process of physical and mental aging.
In the book “The High-Performance Mind” [written by Anna Wise], Anna Wise writes that individuals who are therapists, guides, teachers, and those into professions which involve “helping others” tend to have delta brain waves while awake. She also notes that spiritually advanced individuals and healers tend to display plenty of delta brainwaves. It has been said that these “unconscious brain waves” give them more understanding and access to other individuals’ mental and emotional state.
The rhythms of delta brain waves allow us to tap into “universal knowledge,” or the mind beyond our own. This “universal knowledge” has been referred to as the “collective unconscious” – which is comparable to one large pool of the collective knowledge and understanding all of humanity. The delta brain waves give our minds’ the opportunity to enter the gateway which connects our intuition with the collective unconscious.
How are delta waves compared to theta brain waves? Theta brain waves give us insights from our “subconscious mind” – our deepest being and deepest internal spirituality. Theta brain waves look internally and are much more personally meaningful to each individual. Delta waves provide us with access to external unconscious material.
From theta and delta, we will never be consciously aware of the information we have access to unless it gets transferred through our subconscious via the alpha brain waves. Alpha brainwaves are able to pass insights and messages from the deeper, theta and delta brainwaves. Usually, they add specific pictures and imagery around the messages in order for our “conscious beta-brainwave geared” mind is able to understand the messages. After the messages from the theta brain waves and delta brain waves get transferred through the alpha range to the beta range, they can be understood and acted upon.
It is important to realize that there is no single brainwave pattern that is optimal to have at all times. Each of the four main types of brain waves come with benefits and drawbacks. Beta brain waves are great for communication and thinking logically, while delta brain waves are great for intuition and accessing “universal knowledge.” After reading this article, I hope that you understand that in order to take full control of your mind and maximize your brain power, you must learn to take control of each of the four brain waves!
After spending time reading about brain waves, you probably have gotten the impression that slowing down your brain waves from a high-beta state – or even from a normal beta state – down to an alpha or theta brainwave state can be very beneficial. There are tons of great side-effects that can occur from being able to shift your brainwaves to a slower, synchronized rhythm in the alpha or theta wave ranges. In this article, I hoped to cover some of the healthy effects that have long been associated with slowing your brain waves to a slower alpha or theta state of consciousness.
Do you often have trouble remembering where you set your car keys? How about your sunglasses? After meeting someone new, are you able to remember their name? Or are you the type of person who remembers the face, but can never remember the name? Maybe you forgot where you placed your i-Pod… You are desperately trying to think of where you put it, but no matter how much thinking you do, you just drive yourself crazy! Then, out of nowhere, a few days later, the exact location of your i-Pod magically pops into your head.
Each time you have the ability to recall a person’s facial features, past events, name (or nickname), or recall any other past information, the rhythms of your brain waves usually change temporarily from a state of beta to one of alpha. If you have ever been stressed for a long period of time, you get what’s called “alpha block.” Alpha block is a reduced ability to generate alpha brainwaves due to the high production rate of high-beta frequencies. When you aren’t able to generate a healthy amount of alpha, you’ll likely have reduced ability to remember things.
Understand that alpha brain waves are like a “go-between” that connect the conscious brain with the subconscious. This is why when you attempt to remember a past event, the brain quickly shifts into an alpha brainwave state – which allows you to dig up a memory from the subconscious and transfer it to your conscious mind. Once it is in the conscious [beta brainwave] mind, you are able to talk about the experience, write about it, and think about it.
When you are able to easily relax after a stressful or highly-stimulating event, you’re brain waves are likely very flexible. You are likely easily able to shift to the slower, higher amplitude brainwaves of alpha and theta. In the alpha and theta states, you feel very peaceful, content, and relaxed – no matter what’s going on around you.
What many people may not realize is that it is impossible to access a state of alpha brain waves when you are not relaxed both mentally and physically! I think we all know that being able to remain calm and cool even when others are nervous or scared can definitely help you remain collected and allow you to make wise decisions – even when others are in states of panic. For this reason, slower brainwaves can help you make smart business decisions, peacefully mediate arguments, and even help others remain calm when they are in those high-beta brainwave, panicky states.
Have you ever looked directly at the eyes of another person when they attempt to remember something or dig up a past memory? It is common, in most people, to look directly up when trying to remember a past event. This is for a good explanation for the “looking up” though: researchers have discovered that each time that your eyes look 30 degrees upwards, the brain produces a short, quick burst of alpha brain waves.
The simple act of “closing your eyes” has been linked to an increased production of alpha brainwaves. Each time that you close your eyelids and look up [with your eyes still closed], the production of alpha brain waves becomes even more powerful. Most researchers on the topic aren’t fully knowledgeable as to why this happens. With that said, many spiritual teachers have come to believe that the increase in alpha is due to accessing your subconscious mind via an energy center on your forehead called the “brow” [or “third-eye”] chakra.
Note: If you’d like to further improve your memory, I highly recommend checking out my article: “Tips To Improve Your Memory.”
States of “peak performance”
Do you ever get the feeling that your life is going perfect? Or have you ever experienced a period of time in your life where you would describe things as “the best?” Maybe you got a hole in one golfing for the first time and improved your score for about a month straight. We all have had times in our lives when everything felt damn near perfect. This state of mind is referred to as “peak performance” or “in the zone.” Everything seems to “flow” perfectly and you feel as if nothing will go wrong. Time goes by incredibly quickly, and before you know it, you’ve already accomplished a huge task – that felt easy.
Though, not all of our days here go as smoothly as when we are in a state of “peak performance” or “optimal functioning.” The phenomenal news is that you can actually train your brain to shift into that “peak performance” or “in the zone” state of consciousness. Often times people aren’t aware that they can consciously replicate this state. Great ways to replicate this state of mind and take control of your reality are as follows:
Alpha brainwaves improve our ability to concentrate
Alpha brain waves are able to significantly improve our ability to focus and concentrate. Why? Because alpha brain waves make you use both hemispheres of your brain in the process – instead of relying on your dominant side for concentration. Usually, individuals have a hemispheric dominance in their brains: either right or left. The majority of people have a dominant left-hemisphere. When you are able to access the alpha brainwave state, both hemispheres of your brain are able to share the dominance – they work together.
Sports Teams: Beta brainwaves = 1/2 team vs. Alpha brainwaves = full team
Think of it like a sports team – we’ll use football as an example. When you are in a beta brain wave state, usually only your left-hemisphere is active. So to go along with our “football example” – this would be like only the defense playing well, with the team’s offense being a non-factor. This team would likely loose the game, no matter how good their defense plays – they need to score on offense.
When your brain is able to shift down to an alpha brain wave state, think of it as both the offense and defense playing great together. Both are doing a great job and the team will have absolutely zero problems with winning the game. Alpha brain waves: things go much more smoothly when the team is playing well together and every player is performing. Beta brain waves: it is much more difficult to win when only 1/2 the team “shows up to play.”
Have you ever wondered why young children have tons of energy in comparison to adults? Usually, children have so much energy and self-esteem that many adults literally can get tired just watching them. They are like little Energizer bunnies the way they keep going and going without any expression of fatigue… Take a second to think about how energized and “pumped up” children feel about their life. Kids always have a positive, happy-go-lucky, ready-for-anything, look on their faces.
Brain waves: Children vs. Adults
Scientists have thoroughly researched the brain waves of children. They found that children spend most of their time in either the “alpha brainwave” pattern, “theta brainwave” pattern, or a heavily mixed combination of both. As children grow up and become adults, their brains begin producing increased beta brain waves.
This is definitely not a bad thing, as mentioned in the article: Beta Brain Waves: Alert, Awake, and Stressful States. Why? Because without beta brain waves, we’d have a difficult time logically communicating, writing, analyzing, thinking, and organizing. The beta brainwave state is optimal for completing tasks like these.
A key problem, though, is that the majority of the adult population fails to recognize that they spend too much time in the beta brainwave state, and don’t get enough alpha or theta waves. The lack of alpha and theta brainwave patterns can reflect the feelings that adults have. Many may feel that “something is missing” in their lives, or even have a midlife crisis and attempt to rediscover their youth.
The alpha and theta waves are what people are missing when they are talking about trying to find the same happiness and carefree attitude as they did when they were a kid. The alpha brainwave patterns can bring back some much needed energy, happiness, and self-esteem that young children generally display. What if you were even able to direct your excess energy towards completing your goals?
You’d be literally unstoppable and the time you spend “working” would seem to fly by because you’d much more zest and excitement in your life. You can only imagine how much better your life would feel if you had extra self-esteem, a larger energy supply, and felt as happy as you did when you were a kid. Likely, you’d have much less resistance when attempting to accomplish bigger goals because you’d feel so great!
Scientific breakthroughs have recently found a direct relationship between the health of the brain and the health of the body. Look up “psychoneuroimmunology” sometime and you’ll read about some interesting discoveries. Psychoneuroimmunologists understand that people who are consistently stressed out, emotionally drained or depressed, or other mental health issues, have a much more difficult time fending off sickness. These individuals come down with sicknesses much more often than those who feel positive, happy, and have a healthier brain.
Other scientific research has shown a clear link between slower brain waves and a quicker “healing time” from bodily injuries such as: bruises, cuts, scratches, or other deep wounds. What’s crazy is that some scientists even believe that when a person is in a state of alpha or theta brain waves, the healing-rate becomes 10 times quicker! This is really an impressive find.
The slower, alpha and theta brain wave patterns are often very common in the brains’ of people who consistently practice meditation. For this reason, it is not at all surprising that individuals who practice meditation can reap significant health-related benefits. Accessing alpha or theta brainwaves for just 20 minutes can result in lowered stress and anger levels, lower blood pressure, headache relief, and in some cases, even a happier mood!
After reading these claims awhile ago, I remained a bit skeptical. With that said, when I finally did some experimentation in the alpha and theta brainwave ranges, I came to notice an improved immune system, I felt healthier, and had more energy than normally. I still did get sick at times, but it was less frequently and I usually recovered at a quicker rate.
I love the way alpha and theta brainwaves can work wonders for insomniacs. I used to struggle with insomnia and sometimes my only options were to: A) pop a Xanax and fall asleep or B) Stay up until 3:00 A.M. before finally managing to fall asleep. When popping a Xanax, I didn’t like the feeling of being “drugged up,” and having to rely on a pill to fall asleep. That is purely unnatural. When I stayed up until 3:00 A.M. I felt completely burnt out and tired the next day. Both options were horrible and stress had me in what I perceived lose-lose situation.
After finally discovering brainwave entrainment, I began to experiment with various sessions. I realized that in order for us to get quality sleep, our brains need to ’shift’ from the intense, fast-paced beta brainwaves down to alpha brainwaves. Without being able to shift from beta to alpha, we shift from the stressful “high-beta” directly to “theta” or “delta” and skip alpha. Skipping alpha in order to fall asleep results in terrible quality of sleep.
What worked best for me was using various alpha brainwave entrainment sessions via Neuro-Programmer 2 Professional while laying in bed, hoping to fall asleep. It seemed that even if I wasn’t able to fall asleep, I was in fact able to calm my racing-thoughts / rapid-thinking down to a relaxed state. This allowed me to at least fall asleep in a quicker period of time. After a couple weeks of consistently listening to alpha sessions before bed, I was able to fall asleep when I wanted and very quickly.
Stop and take a second to think about this. Being in an alpha brain wave state means feeling both mentally and physically relaxed. When your brain calms down into a state of alpha, the constant chatter [rapid-thoughts] of your beta brainwaves slow down. This state of “idling” in alpha allows your brain to shift even further down into the theta brain wave frequencies. You are now able to enjoy a healthy, good night’s sleep!
It is also important that in the first stage of sleep (N1), your brain always enters alpha. This is why when you slow your brain waves to the alpha range from beta, your brain naturally believes you are ready to fall asleep… Followed by this, something amazing happens: you do! You actually fall asleep and defeat your insomnia! Say goodbye to Ambien, Lunesta, [insert sleeping pill here], Xanax, alcohol, etc. Whoop whoop!
Waking up in an alpha brainwave state
Ever wake up feeling alert, energized, refreshed, and pumped up for the day? Well, each time that a person wakes up in an alpha brain wave state, they’ll usually feel highly energetic and is literally able to “jump out of bed.” No matter if you just slept a short period of time or a full night – if you wake up in an alpha brain wave state, you’ll feel extremely refreshed. Nearly 20 minutes after falling asleep, your brain shifts down into a state of alpha. After around 20 minutes, your brain dives down into the range of theta brain waves.
Famous people who had much success with “power naps”
The whole key is to wake up in a state of alpha. If you consistently wake up while your brain is in the delta brain wave rhythm or even theta, you will feel very groggy, tired, and will feel like sleeping a lot longer. This is why research has proved that taking a short power nap can increase your overall energy levels and boost your brain power.
When you take a short nap, you are very likely to wake up in a state of alpha. Many influential leaders who enjoyed taking power naps throughout their day include: Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Napoleon Bonaparte, Salvador Dali, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Thomas Edison.
Why napping is good for your brain
A study done by researchers at Harvard University, found that individuals who took a small “power nap” at around midday, actually performed better at memory tasks and learning when compared to individuals who didn’t take a nap. Though it may seem ridiculous, many companies who have advocated napping at around lunchtime noticed significantly boosted mood and productivity amongst their workers.
The director at the Sleep Disorder Center of the University of New Mexico, named (Dr.) Amanda Beck, believes that it is best for everyone to take about a 15 minute nap at around noon. Why? Because even taking a 15 minute “power nap” can boost energy in tired workers. Dr. Beck also stated that, “In a lot of ways, taking a nap is lot better than a cup of coffee.” It definitely wouldn’t hurt to remind your boss of this interesting fact when he finds you asleep shortly after lunch break!
A cool side-effect associated with increased alpha waves- and especially increased theta brainwaves is a boosted intuition or “gut instinct.” Often times using our “gut instinct” and intuition can be of great help when making decisions. When your brain is in an alpha-theta brain wave state, you have access to the subconscious and deeper intuition. Has there ever been a time in your life when you were thinking of a person – and before you know it, you see that same person later in the day?
Some believe that it is the intuition – or even psychic ability – [provided by theta brainwaves] that allows us to be aware that we will probably see the person who pops into our head, predict that a person is going to call before they do, or even predict a song will come on the radio right before it does. This is how things work: alpha brain waves link your conscious mind with your subconscious mind.
When you are in an alpha-theta state, you are able to dig up some subconscious knowledge and intuition and transfer that information from the subconscious [theta waves], through the conscious-subconscious barrier [alpha waves], and into the conscious [beta waves]. This is why when your slower brainwaves are stronger, it is easier to dig up subconscious advice, memories, or other information.
Women are naturally more intuitive than men
Have you ever heard the rumor that women have strong intuitions? Well, if you have, that rumor is actually true! After analyzing the brain waves of women and men, scientists learned that most womens’ brains are naturally running at slower brain wave rhythms than the brains’ of men. On average, the brains of women were found to be operating near the alpha range during their waking hours. For this reason, women can tend to dig up a lot of subconscious dirt via their intuition and sense certain things that most men likely aren’t aware of.
Younger children are highly intuitive
Younger children are also very intuitive. Right before arguments or negative situations, most children can sense when there’s something wrong. This is because most kids have plenty of alpha and theta brain waves. Interestingly enough, the same concept applies for animals – your pets. Oddly enough, the brain waves of animals have been discovered to be primarily in the theta range of high intuition and emotion.
Your pets are extremely intuitive too
For the pet owners out there – you probably understand that your dog or cat seems to know when something is wrong or when you feel angry. Many times, animals have been reported as having E.S.P abilities: they warn their caretaker in some way before a devastating event – they usually act very funny or differently. There are also sometimes cases where dogs seem to sense their owners coming back to the house – without actually seeing them pull in to the garage. It is the intuition that is provided by theta waves that gives them some extra knowledge about their owners’ returning to the house.
Out of all the brainwave patterns, beta brainwaves are most commonly found in awake individuals. They are the fastest brainwave pattern, ranging from 12 Hz to Hz to 38 Hz – [anything beyond 38 Hz is usually classified as the gamma brainwave rhythm]. The left-hemisphere of our brains, involved with the production of beta brainwaves, has been linked to conscious thought and being “fully awake.” Virtually all individuals besides children, and people with A.D.D., are in beta brainwave states upon awakening.
Beta brainwaves are what is used by your brain to help you function in society. If you were without any beta brainwaves, you would be unable to function while you are awake. You would basically be an awake, “brain-dead zombie.” As you are reading this article, your brain is generating beta brainwaves. Activities such as: reading, writing, calculations, and work which involves thinking, all require your brain to amp up the production of beta brainwaves.
Other things such as: reasoning, alertness, logical thinking, and critical thinking are all linked to the production of beta brainwaves. Your brain also uses beta brainwaves to memorize things, plan, think deeply, interpret data, and to organize things [including your thoughts].
The older you are, the more beta brainwaves you’ll have.
Beta brainwaves are very common in adults in comparison to children. Therefore, beta brainwaves are considered to be a “grown up” type of brainwave. Scientists have long understood that most children spend most of their waking hours in theta and alpha brainwave states. Researchers have also understood that as children get older and learn to be more “mature” or “grown up,” the amount of their beta brainwaves increase. With very few exceptions, most brains of adults commonly generate lots of the beta rhythm.
Usually, beta brainwaves increase in children when they begin going to school. This makes perfect sense, due to the conscious, left-brain promotion at schools. You are taught to be highly logical and creativity usually isn’t rewarded – except in art or music classes. All of the activities that children do such as: solve math problems, write papers, read books, all increase the production of beta brainwaves and allow the alpha and theta rhythms to slowly dwindle. Nearly every skill that kids learn at school: memorization, planning, logical thinking, and the interpretation of information do a great job at enhancing and promoting the production of beta brainwaves.
The act of memorizing facts and data is a very different memorization process compared to when an individual is in an alpha brainwaves state. Therefore, I thought it would be helpful to give you a general overview of memorization in both the alpha brainwaves and the beta brainwaves. The most common way for most individuals to memorize something is via “rote learning.” In fact, the whole education system in the United States [and most other countries] is based on “rote-learning.”
Can you remember back to when you were a small child? If you can, think back to when you began to learn multiplication math tables. Likely, you repeated the tables over-and-over again until they were finally embedded into your brain. You probably wrote or vocally repeated the entire multiplication table until it was finally ingrained into your memory.
What’s happening here is that you’re forcing information down your conscious, left-brain and after constant repetition, that information gets transferred to your subconscious. With that said, you are only able to store information into your subconscious mind if you are able to produce alpha brainwave rhythms, not beta brainwaves.
So, by using “rote-learning” for memorizing the multiplication table is like breaking down your front door (beta brainwaves) to get inside your house instead of just using a key (alpha brainwaves). For this reason, you need to sometimes “beat yourself up,” or spend countless hours with “repetition” before you finally memorize the complete multiplication table. This is why most adults can usually benefit greatly from some extra alpha brainwave production.
The memorization process while you are already in the alpha brainwave state is a completely different experience. Memorizing in alpha, as you may have already guessed, is much easier than shoving information down through your beta brainwaves. Memorizing in beta is like choking down food that you don’t like when eating dinner. Memorizing in an alpha state much more natural. It is like eating a food you really like – it goes down smooth and is easy to retain. This is why affirmations are so much more effective when you are in an alpha or a theta brainwaves state – they are easily implanted into the subconscious brain. In the alpha brainwave state, there’s absolutely no need for “rote-learning;” or constant repetition to memorize.
Next time you are trying to memorize something, try it in the alpha brainwave state
The next time that you have something you need to memorize or learn, slow down your brainwave rhythm from beta to the alpha rhythm. If you’re like most people, you’ll realize that the memorization process takes much less time, is a lot easier, and feels completely natural – because you eliminate the need of constant “cramming” or repetition.
If you are looking for more information on how to increase your alpha brainwaves, I recommend reading my article: “Understanding The Alpha Brainwave,” in which I provide some examples. Another phenomenal and quick way to increase the production of your alpha brainwaves is to utilize the technology of brainwave entrainment. I recommend Neuro-Programmer 2 Professional, due to the high rate of success that many people [including myself] have experienced with the software.
Slower brainwaves linked to being “down to Earth”
Another interesting fact is that individuals who feel connected to nature and are “down to Earth,” usually have slower brainwave patterns in the alpha, and sometimes even the theta brainwave ranges. These “down to Earth” people actually have brainwaves that are much closer to children than most other adults. And this does not reflect their maturity level, it just resembles that they actually show the exact same type of appreciation for nature as children.
The main problem with most highly-mature individuals or adults is that they actually generate too much beta brainwaves in relation to alpha and theta brainwave rhythms. This is why they don’t feel the same energy and youthfulness that many hope to recreate in their lives. It’s funny because recreating this state can be relatively easy with brainwave entrainment or via practicing meditation.
Higher beta brainwaves usually above 18 Hz can result in feelings of: tenseness, anxiety, stress, and nervousness. When your brainwave levels increase above 30 Hz, they’ll interfere with your ability to think clearly and effectively process, and understand your own thoughts. I have personally experienced stress to such a high-degree in the past, that I literally felt as if I had little control over my life due to the constant rapid generation of completely random – sometimes unwanted – thoughts.
High-beta brainwaves and random, stressful thoughts
When your brainwave levels climb the charts, up to the high beta brain wave frequencies, neurons (brain cells) begin firing at random and in an unorganized pattern. This leads to a highly-unfocused, completely disorganized, and confusing state of mind to be in. I can testify for this claim, because I personally have experienced this state. This is another reason that A.D.D. / A.D.H.D. can be experienced in high-beta brainwave states. When your brainwave state remains in high-beta for any extended period of time, you will likely experience a “nervous breakdown.”
Lateralization and high-beta brainwaves
In the majority of people, either the left or right hemisphere is more dominant than the other. This “dominance” by one half of the brain is defined as “brain lateralization.” As your amount of beta brainwaves increase, brainwaves from both sides of your brain can easily get thrown out of sync and “brain lateralization” can be significantly affected.
Slower brainwaves and neural communication
When you allow your brainwave patterns to slow down to the alpha and theta ranges, their is usually much more brain synchronization and communication amongst your neurons. The neurons in your brain begin to efficiently communicate and fire in a healthy, pattern. They aren’t firing at random like they do when you’re in a stressful state of mind.
Say goodbye to all stress and worries
When you do in fact manage to shift down to a theta or alpha brainwaves state, you’ll feel peaceful, calm, refreshed, and natural. Most things that stressed you out in the beta brainwave state may not even bother you anymore. There’s really not many worrisome-type thoughts that ever surface when you’re in an alpha brainwave state.
Are your thoughts becoming a nuisance or self-defeating?
Are you ever excited about beginning a difficult, challenging project? Well, have you ever heard a self-defeating or negative little voice from within that emerges with rapid thoughts telling you that you can’t do it? It’s almost like a voice trained to attack our dreams or any big goals that we have. It may even begin asking questions like: “Do you really think you can do it?” “Isn’t that task a little bit too tough for you?” “How are you possibly going to do that?” All of those questions are asked with hopes that you’ll give in to that little [annoying] voice inside your head and quit your project.
High-beta brainwaves throw away dreams
When you allow your mind to “give in” to this little pestering voice, you actually can talk yourself out of rewarding tasks before you even start! This is terrible. Before long, if you allow this voice to control your life, you satisfy for much less than you know you are capable of doing and accomplishing in this lifetime. Giving in to this voice is like throwing all of your aspirations and dreams out the window and settling for mediocrity. This is incredibly depressing and self-defeating.
High-beta brainwaves make you “sweat the small stuff”
Sometimes, you need to lay down the law and get that voice to shut up! First of all, realize that the bothersome voice is due to an increase of high-beta brainwaves. It’s not really a state you want to be in for any extended period of time. When you allow high-beta brainwaves to overtake your mind, it goes into a rapid-thinking “overdrive” brainwave state. This high-beta brainwave state will make you think deeply about little. Basically, these brainwaves make you “sweat the small stuff.”
Reliving the past or fearing the future
In most cases, high-beta brainwaves cause individuals to either: remember negative events or experiences in the past OR imagine a scary, fearful-type future. This obviously, easily creates states of high-anxiety, self-doubt, and negativity. If you’re like most people, you don’t want to experience depression or anxiety… So, all you really need to do is slow down your high brainwave patterns.
Have you ever laid down on your bed with expectations to fall asleep, but you never were able to fall completely asleep? You end up spending most of the nighttime hours tossing, turning, and feel like you need to “try harder” in order to fall asleep. Your body may even be physically tired, but for some frustrating reason, you can’t seem to quiet down your brain. Thoughts flood your mind and no matter what you do, your brain cannot seem to access the lower states of theta and delta brain waves that allow you to sleep.
Missing alpha brainwaves is like driving stick-shift without a gear
This is due to the fact that most people’s brains shift from beta down to the slower alpha brainwaves right before falling asleep. And shorty after accessing alpha, they fall into a deep theta or delta brainwave state of sleep. When your brain is in a prolonged state of high-beta, alpha brainwave production is significantly hindered or diminished.
Because of this, your brain has a difficult time shifting to alpha before sleep and when you finally are able to fall asleep – you inefficiently shift from beta to theta or delta – while skipping alpha. Think of it like driving a stick-shift [manual] vehicle with 3rd gear missing. You need to shift your brainwaves from 4th gear down to 1st, but 3rd is missing. You can bet that you will experience some difficulty and problems like insomnia.
A personal experience with insomnia
I used to have a lot of difficulty dealing with insomnia. I would be thinking about my future, past experiences, stressful experiences, the health of others, my personal health, etc. My brain was flooded with rapid, uncontrollable thoughts that really hurt the quality of my sleep. As a result of this “rapid thinking,” I often times wouldn’t be able to fall asleep until the early morning hours.
Insomniacs should avoid certain substances
At the time, I was completely unaware of beta brainwaves, and had no idea that shifting my brain to a slower pattern like alpha would significantly help with my insomnia dilemma. It really wasn’t until I began using Neuro-Programmer 2 Professional that I was able to consistently get a healthy night’s sleep. The only interference with slowing brainwaves are substances like caffeine, stimulants, or anything increasing beta brainwaves. Substances like stimulants change your brainwave patterns and make is very difficult to sleep after ingesting them.
“Natural leaders” and decision making
You probably know people who usually make terrible decisions when they are stressed out or in a state of panic. People who are born “natural leaders” are almost always able to think clearly, stay calm, cool, and collected even when faced with scary, frustrating, or panic-type events and situations. This is why they are “natural leaders,” they are able to react in a calm manner to any situation – no matter how stressful.
With all of the unhealthy effects surrounding “high-beta brainwaves,” it is not at all surprising to me that many individuals come to believe that all “beta brainwaves” are terrible and that other brainwave patterns are always better. However, this could not be further from the truth! There are tons of benefits to having a healthy production of beta brainwaves.
Though high-beta brainwaves are far from optimal, regular (low to medium) beta brainwaves are healthy. Beta brainwaves are the best brainwaves for concentration, critical-thinking, scheduling, planning, and for the interpretation of data. And our entire education system involves learning how to do most tasks in beta brainwave states. Most business operations and companies are carried out by using the logical beta-brainwaves.
With that said, it can be very difficult for some individuals to eliminate stress and quiet their “inner self-defeating voice” – especially when you’ve had negative thought patterns for an extended period of time. The most effective way to slow those high-beta brainwave patterns that’s worked great for me is Neuro-Programmer 2 Professional in combination with activities like meditation, self-hypnosis, and other positive lifestyle changes such as: eating good “brain foods.”
Other than the mentioned activities, there are some great techniques that you can use to help you relax that I’ve written in my article 20 Ways To Murder Stress: Killer Relaxation Tips. So, next time you notice that you’re getting stressed out, you should be able to relax knowing that there are so many solutions towards reducing your high-beta brainwaves to slower, more relaxing ones. You’ll feel great, healthy, and have the necessary technique to remain calm, cool, and collected in even the most intense situations. This control over your beta brainwaves gives you full control over your reality and actually boosts your brain power to make coping with stress much easier.
Ever wonder how you’re brain is able to control the perception of time? At times it seems as if life is flying by – especially when we are involved in a fun activity or event. At other times, though, when we are stressed out or witness a scary event, time seems to stop or even freeze in our brains. Our perception of time is different from person to person, and definitely has a deep biological-rooted influence from within our brains.
Though we have things like watches and clocks to help us keep track of time, our brain is involved in the perception of how fast time passes. Like I’ve already mentioned, some people feel that one hour of listening to country music may go by extremely quick, while for others [that maybe aren't interested in this genre] feel as if one hour was actually 3 or 4 hours. Being able to keep track of time is a skill that our brains’ have that allows us to determine what is happening in our surroundings and when to respond to that event.
Simple functions that we take for granted such as: hearing speech are even involved in our brain’s perception of time. As an example: we need to tell where a voice is coming from, how long the sound of it takes to reach our ears, etc. Also, when we respond to voices through the act of “talking,” we need to be timely with our responses.
Researchers have found that telling time is even widely utilized by animals. University of Edinburgh researchers were able to study hummingbirds to determine how they told time. Researchers used fake flowers with sugar inside. They found that after hummingbirds drank the sweet nectar contained within real flowers, it took time for the flowers to replenish their nectar supply. The fake flowers were refilled every 10 minutes , while the real flowers were filled every 20 minutes. The hummingbirds were able to catch on to the time period it took for the nectar came back into both the real and the fake flowers.
Many other animals are also great time-tellers. Research on rats at the University of Georgia showed that rats do a phenomenal job at telling time. Rats can be taught to wait over 2 days after a meal to poke their noses through a trough and be given fresh food. Psychologists have hypothesized [for over 40 years] that both animals and human beings kept track of time with a biological version of a “stopwatch.” They strongly believed that within our brains, we had a “series of pulses” that were being generated. They thought that when our brains needed to “time an event,” a gate opened and those electrical pulsations turned into a “counting device.
There was definitely good reasoning behind the brain-clock model of time perception. You’re time perception always will speed up when you are caught up in a pleasurable or fun event, while your brain will naturally slow down time perception when you are in a place you dislike or feel stressed out. These good and bad experiences were believed by psychologists to trigger the “pulsation generator” within our brains – thus speeding or slowing time depending on the given situation.
With that said, the biological roots within the brain don’t work like “clocks” that we understand. Neurons in our brain are able to produce steady pulses, however, our brain doesn’t have what it takes to count accurate pulses for even a few seconds. How we tell time is definitely far from the way a clock tells time. This is why scientists had to dismiss the brain-clock theory mentioned above.
Had our brains been built to work like that, we’d definitely be able to do a great job at estimating long periods of time better than short ones. Any individual or single pulses from the hypothetical clock within would be either a bit too slow, or a bit too fast. In short periods of time, the brain would begin to retain just a few short pulses, leaving plenty of room for error. The extra pulses that our brain would naturally error, would cancel themselves out [i.e. errors of telling time would be canceled out by the brain]. Though it sounds like it could be true, it’s not. Whenever we estimate longer periods of time, our errors don’t cancel themselves out – they keep accumulating.
At this day in age, tons of new breakthroughs and experiments are surfacing to help scientists better understand time within the brain. Things such as: studying genetically engineered mice, computer simulations in combination with E.E.G.’s, are being used to help scientists. The results of their studies prove that our brain doesn’t use any form of a “stopwatch.”
Our brains do not work like clocks or stopwatches that come to mind when we think of elapsed time. Instead, our brains utilize several other methods in order to tell time. Neuroscientist Dean Buonomano from U.C.L.A. believes that our brains tell time like they were observing “ripples in a pond.” He continues to argue that they perceive time in “fractions of seconds.” Let’s say you are listening to the sound of a summer cricket. The criket’s chirps are split by just one-tenth of a second. The cricket’s very first chirp immediately perks up our auditory neurons.
Sound signals are sensed by the neurons for less than half a second – same time as it takes ripples from a skimming a rock across the river to disappear. When the second cricket chirp is heard, the auditory neurons are still perked up. Therefore, the second chirp creates a different signal pattern. Dean Buonomano believes that our brains are able to compare the first pattern to the second patter in order to determine how much time has elapsed. Basically, the brain doesn’t contain an internal clock, because the telling of time is fixed in our neuronal behavior.
Should the U.C.L.A. researcher’s [Dean Buonomano] theory turn out to be correct, he will have explained only the “fast time telling” within the brain. Why? Because after half-of-a-second, the ripples in our brain clear out. On a bigger scale, which would range from a few seconds to a few hours, there must be a different way to study the brain’s time control processing.
That’s where Duke University’s Warren Meck comes into play. He has a different theory stating that: the brain measures long periods of time by producing pulses. However, he also believes that the brain doesn’t count the pulses like the way a “clock does.” He strongly believes that the brain listens to the pulses in the same way that our ears listen to music.
Warren Meck started developing his first “musical model” of time processing when he was studying the time perception of rodents; more specifically, the time perception of rats. All that Meck needed to do in order to kill their time processing was to destroy certain neuronal clusters within their brains. After taking a closer look at the situation, Meck found that some of these neurons differed from the rest of the neurons in the brain.
Each neuron was linked to a at least 20,000 other neurons in the brain. The “linked neurons” were able to be seen throughout the cortex. Many even linked to the outer parts of the brain which handle “sophisticated information processing.” While other neurons were linked to “controlling vision,” and even others worked to bind other areas into our perception. Because these neurons received many signals from “all over the brain,” he believes that these medium spiny neurons provide us with an accurate perception of time.
Picture yourself listening to a 30 second constant sound. At the beginning of listening to the constant sound, your neurons [found within your cortex] will reset themselves in order to fire in synchronized fashion. Some of the neurons fire faster than others, while others remain inactive. In between one split second and the next, the medium spiny neurons are able to read a unique pattern of signals from the many [20,000 +] interconnected neurons.
The pattern changes similar to pitch changes in between various notes of music. When the 30 seconds of the beat are up, the medium spiny neurons are able to “listen” to the “pitch changes” to determine the amount of elapsed time. Warren Meck has been able to provide evidence supporting his theory. How? Warren has recorded neuronal electrical activity and analyzed them deeply and has studied individuals with a “skewed sense of time.”
There are also specific neurotransmitters like dopamine which control the pulsing of neurons. Crystal meth and cocaine are examples of drugs that control the pulsing rate of neuron groups. They do this by overpowering the brain with abnormally high levels of dopamine. Several studies have proven the increased dopamine to have a profound effect on changing the perception of time.
In 2007, U.C.L.A. also ran an experiment. In the experiment, scientists rang a bell after 53 seconds of pure silence. Healthy individuals were told to guess how much time had passed. Most guessed an average of 67 seconds of time had elapsed. People on stimulants [which boost the amount of dopamine in the brain] guessed that an average of 91 seconds had passed. Many other drugs have the exact opposite effect on the amount of dopamine in the brain – thus compressing the subjective experience of time.
In even the most healthy brains, the processing of time varies. Staring at a scary face for 5 seconds feels significantly longer than staring at a neutral or happy one. It may not even be coincidence that pulse-generating neurons are embedded within regions of the brain that process emotionally-charged sounds and sights. Recently, researcher Amelia Hunt from Harvard University addressed the idea that every time we move our eyes, we may in fact be “pushing back our mental time.”
Even more recently, Amelia Hunt conducted an experiment where she had individuals stare “straight ahead” with a ticking clock off to one side of their gazes. Hunt then asked the individuals to move their eyes in order to see the clock. She told them to attempt to remember the time each time they had looked at the clock. On average, participants reported seeing the clock about four one-hundreths of a second before their eyes actually arrived at the clock.
The act of “pushing back” time may actually be a good thing, believes Hunt. It may allow us to cope with our slightly imperfect nervous systems. Every person has a highly-dense patch of light-sensitive cells in our retinas. These cells have been dubbed the name: fovea. We must move and jerk our eyes around several times in order for our fovea to generate an accurate, detailed image of our environment and surroundings; this gives the fovea enough time for scaling the features of our surroundings. The stream of signals from our eyes creates a series of jumps or bumps on the road. The human brain naturally will then allude us to believe that we are experiencing one complete “flow of reality.” When our brain realizes that it is still editing the “signaling jumps,” we may have errors in time perception.
However, the most shocking reworking of time may be the way it gets embedded in our memories. We usually always recall memories that include both: what happened, and when it happened. We understand how much time has passed since a certain past event by drumming up an event of the old memory. People who have brain damage as a result from injury or surgery – which depleted a certain part of the brain – gives researchers clues as to the way the brain embeds time within memories.
In 2007, scientists from France studied a group of individuals that were suffering from left-temporal lobe brain damage. The study participants then watched a film in which a familiar object appeared on the screen and reappeared a few minutes later [8 minutes later]. The study participants were then told to guess how much time had passed since first seeing the familiar object and seeing it for a second time. On average, the brain-damaged participants thought 8 minutes was really around 13 minutes. Healthy brain subjects were only off in guessing by roughly only one minute.
These type of experiments are great progress for researchers and scientists. They are slowly bridging the gap and honing in more on the regions of the brain which store memories of time. What is still unknown, is how these brain regions are able to record and understand time. Listening in on the brain’s signaling for a few minutes is one thing, but it is completely different [and much more complex] to understand how the brain’s neural networks of memories are able to deposit and withdraw [for later recollection] elapsed time during certain events.
It is interesting though, because scientists have by no means given up on understanding time-control in the brain. Researchers in Berlin, Germany have been working to build an accurate model of how memories may embed time. When neurons produce a normal generation of signals, some signals are received sooner – while others, a little later. These Berlin researchers believe that as the neurons communicate with one another, they pass the signals. While they are passing the signals, they can create slight adjustments ["wobbles"] – some bigger, some smaller. With these tiny “wobbles,” the brain is able to embed memories of time by compressing them. The brain is able to compress memories of several seconds down to “several hundreths” of a second. This allows the brain to save it’s space and easily have enough room to store many memories.
When your brain stores time in its memories, the brain is able to alter it in another significant way. Your brain could record the time such that we recall the events in a “backwards order.” M.I.T. researchers found that the brain was able to form reverse memories. They ran an experiment which included rats running down a track and stopping to eat food at the end of the track. When rats become more familiar with their environment, individual neurons became more active when they reached familiar spots.
Researchers discovered what are called “place cells.” These “place cells” fired off signals when rats moved to different places along the track. When the rats took a break and stopped to eat, researchers checked their brain activity again. They realized that the “place cells” fired again – due to the fact that memories of the track became stronger within their brains. However, the “place neurons” at the end of the track signaled first. The ones at the beginning of the track fired last. It is definitely possible, though, that we can reverse time processing in our memories in order to focus on our brains’ on something rewarding or a goal. Though we are not free from time, we are able to maintain some control over it. Our brains can bend it and twist it to properly fit our needs and reality.