Source: What are Alpha Brain Waves?

Alpha Brain Waves are a sign of relaxed activity in your brain. Alpha brainwaves are defined as brain waves that cycle between the frequency 8 Hz – 12 Hz. They are commonly produced in synchronized fashion connecting both hemispheres of your brain, though they can be found solely in the right hemisphere as well. Alpha brainwaves are the dominant brain wave activity when your body and mind are able to relax. If you have ever practiced meditation, yoga, or even felt relaxed after drinking alcohol – you have experienced alpha brain waves.

Alpha brain wave activity is common among highly creative individuals who have a clear mind or are experiencing relaxation. If you close your eyes for a minute or so, your alpha brain wave activity will significantly increase. As you open your eyes, the more stressful beta brain waves become the dominant pattern. In comparison, as a child you will have had significantly greater amounts of alpha brain wave activity than you will as an adult. Alpha brain waves have long been considered to be regarded as the healthiest brain wave range, but also the “safest” brain wave range to entrain – especially at 10 Hz (e.g. 10 cycles per second).

Benefits of Alpha Brain Waves:

•Relaxing Thoughts / Relaxed Body – The alpha brainwave is produced when your body calms down and your mind is completely relaxed. Your brain’s thinking is slower, your mind is clear and you may even feel slightly drowsy. Your body has zero stress, tension, anxiety, or other feelings of being nervous.

•Access Creative States – If you consider yourself to have above-average creativity, chances are that you often experience an alpha brain wave state. Artists, innovative thinkers, and singers are generally found to have higher alpha activity than the average person.

•Enhanced Problem Solving – Most people cannot seem to tap their alpha waves to help them problem solve. Alpha waves integrate both hemispheres of your brain for better communication and clearer thinking. The problem with lacking alpha waves is that your left-hemisphere is pulling all the weight in solving a problem, when your right-hemisphere has a solution waiting to communicate to the left. Increasing your alpha brain waves can benefit artists, writers (for writers block), and creative thinkers. You certainly won’t feel mentally “stuck” in the alpha state. In order to tap your inner creativity, your brain must be able to produce synchronous bursts of alpha waves.

•Calming, Centered Emotions – Alpha brain waves will put you in a calm emotional state. You will not feel powerful emotions, however, you will feel “content” and centered.

•Optimal Athletic Performance – Interestingly enough, if you are an athlete, you could significantly improve your performance by entraining some alpha brain waves. There is published evidence showing that just before a golfer hits their best shot or a basketball player sinks a shot (think LeBron and Kobe), alpha activity bursts in the left-hemisphere of their brain. Elite marksmen also have shown a significant burst of alpha wave activity before perfect shots. Also unique is the fact that the EEG’s (brain wave measurement) of pro-athletes are very likely to display the alpha rhythm, whereas newbie athletes and even decent athletes do not demonstrate any alpha activity. The best brain wave to entrain for peak performance has been widely considered to be 10 Hz (i.e. 10 cycles per second).

•Everything Seems to “Flow” – Being able to access “flow” means that you are able to tap a state of mind where all of life’s events seem to pass quickly and all challenges are easily and quickly overcome. “Flow” is a period of time when you do not have any resistance or problems. You are in a mental state with optimal brain wave stimulation – you are not thinking too rapidly as to stress yourself out, yet you are also not thinking too slow as to be tired; you are right in the middle between the two. You feel “balanced” and understand that you are in a desirable state of mental functioning.

•Ability to Tap “Super Learning” – The ability to learn quickly and effortlessly has been described as the phenomena of “super learning.” Basically, your brain is able to remember and recall information with less effort than normal. Alpha waves will allow your brain to retain large quantities of information. This is due to the fact that both hemispheres of your brain are integrated and communicating with each other.

•Improved Immune System Functioning – Your alpha waves are responsible for amping up your immune system. They have been linked to health, recovery from sickness, and serve as protection from stress-related illnesses. Stress can quickly ramp up damage on your immune system if you go long periods without taking some time to relax; thus increasing alpha activity.

•Think Positive – Research indicates that due to the calm, wellbeing as a result of increasing alpha brain wave activity, positive thinking and positive emotions also result.

•Alpha Brain Waves = Natural Antidepressant – Alpha brain waves allow for increased release of an important neurotransmitter called “Serotonin.” Serotonin production usually drops to lower than normal levels in your brain when you feel depressed. In fact, most antidepressants nowdays aim to increase low levels of serotonin in the brain.

•Internal Awareness – Alpha brainwaves are associated with an increased awareness of your self: body and mind. Where as beta brainwaves cause the mind to focus more on external events, the alpha brainwaves enhance the overall awareness of one’s self.

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