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Stress Brainwaves

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Article by Dieter Luske

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Brainwaves - in relation to stress…

Alpha - Beta - Theta - Delta  Brainwaves

Brainwaves are real and can be measured. The best state of mind and brain-wave to have or be in, is the Alpha Brainwave, this is the regenerative brainwave. It is also the state when you are relaxed and creative. Indeed, one of the secrets of how to get into it the Alpha wave, is by “Creative” activities, such as drawing, music, dancing, anything where freedom of expression comes first and foremost.

These activities are often called, “Recreation”, which I like to spell like  “Re-Creation”, as by doing so, you are  “re-creating” yourself, your mental and physical being.

The Alpha brain wave frequency is between 7 to 14 cycles per second.

Actually, up to 21 cycles per second, are still OK, everything beyond that is regarded as stress, and above 50 cycles per sec, you black out, nervous breakdown… and in between is what we call “the Anxiety Zone”.

I like to encourage you to get your brainwave down into the Alpha range as often and for as long as possible.  How?

By doing something creative, a recreational activity. By physical exercise, and relaxation, meditation,  visualisation, affirmation and other mind techniques.

The magic of Alpha has many attributes. One of the main attributes within this article, is the possible elimination of anxiety attacks.

How can that be possible? Very simple actually, while you are in Alpha, you can’t have an anxiety. As I mentioned above, the brain-wave of an anxiety is much higher, and you can’t have 2 different brain-waves at the same time.

However, as I have mentioned “simple”, I must explain that the function is simple, but to get into Alpha and stay in Alpha is much harder and efforts a lot of mental discipline as well as learning mind changing techniques.

To understand how to get into Alpha, we need to know a bit more about it.  If you are accessing the Alpha state, you are also accessing your “right brain activity”. Therefore, everything that is connected with the right side of the brain activity, will help you to be in Alpha. And everything to do with Alpha, will help you to get into your right side of the brain activity. Because we know that, we can sort out, what mentally to do, and maybe even easier and more important, what NOT to do.

Lets explore for a moment what the right and left side function of the brain are.

Each side of the brain controls different types of function, which means a different way of thinking. In today’s society, which is mainly data-driven, most people are "left-brained" which is the logical, analytical and objective side, whereas a person who is "right-brained" is intuitive, thoughtful and subjective.

Please don’t see above as a rigid system. We always use both sides of the brain, if you manage to use both sides effectively, having the best of both worlds so to speak; you have the most effective brain function.

However, because brain function is influenced by outside factors, which are mainly data driven, most people tend to be left-sided, which may lead to a chronic state of stress and anxiety. This may well be the reason that we see more stress, anxiety and depression in people as ever. We simply can’t cope with a hectic, data driven lifestyle. Once we are aware of this, we seek out a more balanced lifestyle.

Cityscpae drawing

Right side Function:

Creativity - presents possibilities
Intuition - Fantasy based - dreaming up "stuff"
Seeing the big picture - Holistic Thought
Using feeling – gut feeling
Reading & Expressing emotions
Recognizing faces, symbols and images
Present and future
Philosophy & Religion - Believes
Left-hand control
Music and Art & Colour Awareness

Left side Function:

Analytic thoughts
Logic - Reasoning - Data - Facts
Numbers - Math -  science
Language - words
Critical thinking - comprehension
Detail oriented
Forms strategies

Present and past
Right hand control

Now, coming back to what not to do predominantly, to give your right side of the brain a sporting change, make sure not all your thinking is within the field of logic, reasoning, numbers, data and details.

Instead try to see the big picture; there is always more to life than meets the eye!

Embrace the arts and music, think holistically, creatively, develop your philosophy, and create your ideal lifestyle. In fact, fantasize, dream up your lifestyle and make it come true.

Back to Brainwaves

The Beta Wave -  14 to 21 cycles per sec.
This is our ordinary waking state, with most of our activity being at about 20 to 22 cycles per second. At this level, we reason, rationalize, and execute whatever chores we need to do.
However, it will increase with stress, and as faster it goes as more stress and nervous you will get. Or as more stress you encounter, as faster your brain frequency becomes.
If it goes up to about 60 cycles per sec. you will get hysteric and a bit higher you will pass out.

The Alpha Wave, yes, that's the one we like most :-)
The frequency is from 7 to 14 cycles per second. This is the State of Mind where you are in a "relaxed alertness".
You are calm and peaceful, with clear creative thinking, ideas, solutions and intuitive breakthroughs.
Studying is easy. This is the State of Mind, where you can reach your full potential.
And by the way, this is also the State of Mind, where your Body is regenerating itself, with an increase in health and vitality, and here is where daydreaming and nocturnal dreaming take place.

The Theta Wave,  deep sleep - between 4 and 7 cycles per sec.
All our emotional experiences are recorded here.

The Delta Wave, deepest sleep - Frequencies less than 4 cycles per sec. are encountered in total unconsciousness, the delta state.

In an eight-hour sleep period, you might spend 30 to 90 minutes in delta, 30 to 60 in theta, and the rest of the time in alpha. Obviously, this will vary from person to person, and even from night to night with the same person.

Now that we know a bit about brain waves, let's have a look at the alpha brain-wave again...

The key words for Alpha:

"Relaxed Alertness", calm - peaceful, with clear creative thinking, ideas, solutions and intuitive breakthroughs, body regeneration, increase in health and vitality, and it is also the natural state of the right side of your brain to be active.

To add all the keywords together, we come to a very simple solution. A healthy lifestyle needs to be created with balance in mind. Not many people sit down and plan their lifestyle. Most people plan not at all, or just plan to reach an educational or money goal. Hardly anyone, right from the out-set plans equal times of left and right side brain activities. Within a natural structured life, you don’t even have to do that, as it would emerge automatically.

However, in today’s society, we actually need to make an effort, to leave enough time for creative and re-creational activities.

The solution is awareness; check your lifestyle, and see what is missing.

Next, add what is missing to create the balanced lifestyle to stop your mind from being stressed out.

Stress also means being overwhelmed, which is another good pointer of a hectic, overcrowded data based lifestyle. To stop being overwhelmed, you need to chunk down your day’s activity into manageable chunks.  That’s where the saying originated form:

“How do you eat and Elephant Trunk?” Chunk by Chunk!

Chunking down is a great technique to eliminate stress, and it also will show which chunks are most important and which ones are missing; such as exercise, creative activities, time out with friends and having “me-time” or just relaxing.

Having problems applying above information? 

The next article may help you, by using a technique to have a new look at yourself.

Next > Stepping out of yourself  - Association and dis-association

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For even more information go to the Stress, Anxiety, Depression Information Portal

20 Aug 2013

Last Update: 8 Sep 2014

Article/Information supplied by Dieter Luske

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.