5 Types of Brainwaves: Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, Gamma
When we think, feel, and act, we are creating a communication between neurons and our brain. Brainwaves are the result of synchronized electrical pulses of this communication. Our brainwaves slow or speed up depending on what we're doing and how we may be feeling.
Brainwaves are measured in Hertz, which is cycles per a second. They are then divided into the following categories, depending on their speed:
DELTA WAVES (.5 - 3 HZ)
Delta brainwaves are slow and generated during the deepest meditation and completely unconscious, dreamless sleep. In this state your body releases anti-aging hormones like melatonin which helps regulate sleep, as well as DHEA Dehydroepiandrosterone and HGH Human Growth Hormone which aid in improving skin, bone density, cartilage and joints, and sexual and mental health. It is also activated during states of empathy. Experiencing Delta waves too frequently can manifest as brain injuries, learning disabilities, and ADHD, whereas too little can result in inability to rejuvenate the body and brain, as well as poor quality of sleep.
THETA WAVES (3 - 8 HZ)
Theta waves are induced during light sleep, deep meditation, or extreme relaxation. When experiencing Theta waves, we are very receptive to hypnosis. It is a gateway to intuition, memory, and learning. It is often where we store things that are beyond our normal conscious awareness - where we store our nightmares, traumas, and fears. When in this state, beneficial hormones are being released and both mental and physical healing takes place. Experiencing Theta waves too frequently can manifest as ADHD / hyperactivity, depression, impulsivity, and inattentiveness, whereas too little can result in anxiety, poor emotional awareness, and higher stress.
ALPHA WAVES (8 - 12 HZ)
Alpha brainwaves occur during meditation, and thoughtful, insightful, relaxation. When we are living in the present moment, it is likely that our brain is producing Alpha waves. Increased mental coordination, energy, motivation, calmness, alertness, mind/body connection, and learning are all benefits of experiencing Alpha waves. Reduced anxiety, high blood pressure, chronic pain, and alleviated stress and depression are also common. Experiencing Alpha waves too frequently can manifest as too much daydreaming, being over-relaxed, and inability to focus, whereas too little can result in OCD, anxiety, and high stress levels.
BETA WAVES (12 - 38 HZ)
Beta waves are activated during the sympathetic nervous state, or "fight or flight." They are emitted when we feel agitated, tense, afraid, excited, or on high alert. When we are attentive, engaged in problem solving, making decisions, or focusing it helps us by improving our ability to reason, concentrate, be alert, and be logical. Ideally we would have a balanced usage of this brainwave, due to the tremendous amount of energy that it requires. If we are not using it a sufficient amount, however, it can lead to depression and insomnia. Experiencing Beta waves too frequently can manifest as high adrenaline, anxiety, stress, and the inability to relax, whereas too little can result in depression, poor cognition, and lack of attention.
GAMMA WAVES (38 - 42 HZ)
Gamma brainwaves activate during meditation, and increase feelings of altruism and universal love. Gamma rhythms perpetuate perception and consciousness. When there is a frequent occurrence of Gamma waves it often coincides with expanded consciousness, or spiritual awakenings. Because it relates to high levels of intelligence, being compassionate, increased self-control, and awareness, it is also associated with the creation of ideas, language, memory processing, and learning. Experiencing Gamma waves too frequently can manifest as anxiety and stress, whereas too little can result in depression, ADHD, and learning disabilities.
So, as you have probably gathered, balance is key! This is why it is also so important to find time to meditate and relax amongst our busy lives. If you are interested in meditation and would like more information, take a moment to read some tips on How to Meditate and 20 Benefits of Meditation to get started :)