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Brain Waves

March 3, 2014

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What Are Brain Waves?

Naturally our brains produce electrical impulses that travel throughout our brains.  These electrical impulses produce rhythms known as “brain waves.”  Brain wave activity can be observed with a tool called an “EEG” or Electroencephalograph.  EEG’s are able to measure and record brain wave patterns throughout all parts of your brain.

How you’re feeling at this given moment is a byproduct of your brain wave activity.  Every state of consciousness that you experience is a result of brain waves.  It is important to understand that no brain wave pattern takes over your brain at any given moment.  All brain waves:  (beta, alpha, theta, delta, and gamma) are active in your brain at all times.  However, one of these patterns is usually dominant over the others.  This dominant pattern is responsible for your state of awareness.

Healthy individuals often shift throughout all brain wave patterns throughout the day.  As you fully wake up in the morning, your brain shifts to a dominant beta brain wave pattern and usually stays in that pattern if you are doing mentally demanding work.  As you come back from work and wind down with some relaxation (i.e. watching T.V.) – you begin producing more alpha waves.  As soon as you close your eyes before bed, your brain shifts to a completely dominant alpha brain wave pattern, sometimes accompanied by theta waves.  As you sleep, theta brain waves kick in when you have a dream (R.E.M. Sleep) and delta waves become the dominant rhythm during the deepest, most restorative sleep.

What many individuals don’t understand is the fact that they can consciously access the alpha state and theta state of awareness and remain conscious.  It has been suggested that highly successful individuals are able to control their brain wave states, even if they are unaware of doing so.

Unfortunately, the majority of people lead their lives getting pushed around by their own brain waves – having no control whatsoever.  This makes people unconsciously react to situations based on their state of mind instead of being in the drivers seat of their own mind – able to shift to a desirable state or alternate perspective.

Brainwave Frequency List


Gamma Brain Waves

(40 Hz +)


  • Gamma brain waves cycling at 40 Hz are associated with problem solving in both adults and children. Gamma brain waves are known to aid you in learning and mental acuity.
  • The 40 Hz rhythm can be observed throughout your entire brain; it is not found in one specific area.
  • Individuals with learning disorders and mental deficiency often are lacking in gamma brain-wave activity.

High Beta Brain Waves

(20 Hz – 40 Hz)

  • High beta brain waves are associated with fear, anxiety, excessive thinking, rapid thinking, OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), addiction, and states of peak performance.
  • Sometimes, high beta brain waves are created in your brain to compensate for excessive theta brain wave activity.
  • If you are highly alert, nervous, or a hypochondriac – you have likely experienced your share of high beta brain waves.

Beta Brain Waves

(12 Hz – 20 Hz)


  • Beta brain waves are considered your “fast brain wave” activity.  Each time you focus, analyze, perform calculations, or think about your external environment, beta waves are at work.
  • As an adult, you will generally have significantly higher amounts of beta brain waves in comparison to when you were a child.
  • Too much beta brain wave activity in the right hemisphere of your brain is linked to anxiety, tension, and worry.
  • Beta waves observed in the left hemisphere of your brain are considered healthy.  Beta brain wave increases may be of benefit to you if you’re depressed.
  • Beta brain waves in excess are associated with disorders such as:  anxiety, insomnia, and OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder).  Stressful events and tension are also known to increase beta brain wave activity in the brain.

Alpha Brain Waves

(8 Hz – 12 Hz)

  1. 8 Hz – 10 Hz = Alpha 1 (slow alpha)

  2. 10 Hz – 12 Hz = Alpha 2 (relaxed and alert)


  • Alpha brain waves are associated with meditative states, visualization, and idleness of your optical system.  Each time you daydream, relax, or close your eyes, alpha activity increases.
  • Normal alpha is usually found to be balanced equally among the right and left hemispheres of your brain.
  • Children who have depression or commonly daydream are known to have high amplitudes of alpha waves.
  • Alpha brain waves are commonly observed in the rear parts of your brain, while less common in your frontal parts.
  • If you are depressed, you may have excessive alpha brain waves in the left-hemisphere of your brain.  Also, if alpha is found to be high in frontal parts of your brain, it may be causing depression, ADD/ADHD, or another disorder.
  • “Alpha blocking” is a term used to describe a significant decrease in alpha brain waves when the eyes open after you wake up in the morning.
  • Alpha brain waves link the conscious mind with our subconscious.

Theta Brain Waves

(4 Hz – 7 Hz)


  • Theta brain waves may be rhythmic or arrhythmic.  Theta brain waves are commonly linked to enhanced levels of creativity, emotions, and spontaneity.
  • When your brain is producing excessive amounts of theta brain waves, you may feel depressed, be daydreaming, have attention-deficit disorder, feel distracted, and in some cases, feel anxious.
  • Fuzzy thinking, poor decision making, impulsivity, and slowed reaction time have been linked to excessive theta wave activity.
  • Children generally have considerably higher theta brain wave activity in comparison to adults.
  • Allow us to recover our long-term memories, repressed memories / repressed emotions, and improve our spiritual connection.

Delta Brain Waves

(1 Hz – 4 Hz)


  • Delta brain waves are commonly associated with deep sleep patterns and are the dominant brain-wave pattern among infants.
  • High-amplitude rhythmic delta brain waves in adults are often found to accompany brain injury or disorders.
  • Arrhythmic delta has been observed in college students during problem solving tasks.
  • Delta brain waves may also be observed in the EEG of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) accompanied by Theta.
  • Loss of physical awareness / body awareness is accompanied by delta waves.  If you got knocked-unconscious, delta brain waves would be observed in your E.E.G. reading.


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From → Brain, Health

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