In today’s fast-paced world, it’s hard for many people to calm down. In many cases, it can feel like our brains are running a thousand miles per minute, constantly processing thoughts when all we want to do is clear our heads.
If that sounds familiar and you’re looking for a literal change of pace, brainwave entrainment may provide the serenity you seek.
What Is Brainwave Entrainment?
Brainwave entrainment is the process of synchronizing a person’s brainwave frequencies using a repeating stimulus that has a frequency matching the desired brain state. Usually, the frequency is a vibration, sound or light source. Many people don’t realize there are several brainwave frequencies that correspond to different activities.
For example, beta waves, at 13 to 30 Hz per second, are related to being awake and active. They’re associated with learning and focusing. However, beta waves also occur when people dwell on things and worry. On the other hand, alpha waves, which happen at rates of eight to 13 Hz occur when you’re relaxed, perhaps even daydreaming.
You may have even unintentionally brought yourself to an alpha brainwave state by drifting off while gazing at a campfire or candle flame. For most people, it’s not hard to shift into an alpha wave state. It can usually be done purposefully by closing one’s eyes, taking some deep breaths and trying to meditate.
Brainwave Activity Associated With Deeper Meditative States Or Sleeping
Theta brain waves are linked to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that causes dreams. However, young children’s brains stay in Theta activity for most of the time. In that state, brain waves occur at 4 to 8 Hz.
When adults sleep deeply, they are usually in Delta brainwave patterns, although these can often occur when completing tasks that require continuous attention, as well. Carl Jung thought of Delta brainwaves as the “collective unconsciousness.” Ongoing research has also suggested that Delta brainwave activity helps clear toxic material from the brain that could cause dementia.
Gamma brainwaves, which happen at 25 to 100 Hz, are associated with an even deeper state of being that some neurologists believe is related to transcendental consciousness.
Finally, the Mu frequency comes from large groups of neurons, and occurs at a rate of 8 to 13 Hz. This frequency comes about when we imitate behaviors we see, and some scientists are seeing if biofeedback treatments that encourage Mu activity could help autism patients.
Experts who offer brainwave entrainment to interested individuals say the technology can prevent people from having wandering thoughts, using nothing more than sound and lights. The future seems to hold many possibilities related to brainwave entrainment, but for now, it’s offered as a way to help people quickly transition into dream states, meditate, relax and calm their anxious minds, all without having to resort to pharmaceutical interventions.
How To Try Brainwave Entrainment
Many practitioners introduce people to brainwave entrainment. However, even if you’re not fortunate enough to have at least one of those individuals in your town, companies sell apps, compact discs and software so you can attempt to alter your brainwave frequencies in the privacy of your home.
As with any new technique though, it’s essential not to become discouraged if you don’t get the desired results right away. Being in a relaxing atmosphere is important, and you may cancel out some of the effectiveness of brainwave entrainment if you’re feeling too anxious about trying to force an expected outcome.
Simply commit yourself to experimenting with brainwave entrainment for a specific period, and then evaluating the benefits after that time frame has passed. Finally, there may be a safe and non-invasive way to calm your racing thoughts and ease your mind.