Last updated: 18 December 2015
Your brain is never at rest.
Right now, as you read this text, it’s awash with beta waves.
If your attention wanders, perhaps when you zone out or start daydreaming, more alpha waves will be produced.
And if you nod off completely, you’ll register a higher proportion of delta waves.
No matter where you are or what you’re doing, there’s always some brainwave activity like this going on.
But what does any of it mean?
Why is it important?
And once you know all of that, how will it help you?
The 4 Main Types Of Brainwaves
Your amazing brain contains billions of cells called neurons.
These neurons use electrical charges to communicate with each other.
While they’re communicating, the charges can be measured using an EEG machine, an electroencephalogram.
And depending on what you’re doing at the time, these communications will show up as different types of brainwaves.
Brainwaves are measured in cycles per second, or Hertz.
They have a frequency, which is their speed measured in cycles per second. They also have an amplitude, which is the size or height of the actual wave.
The higher the frequency, the more cycles per second (Hz), and the more brain activity there is in certain parts of the brain.
Your brain is capable of producing a range of waves, but generally they fall into one of the 4 types listed below.
Beta waves occupy the frequency range between 12 and 40 Hz. They’re high frequency, low amplitude waves.
In simple terms, you produce beta waves when you’re conscious, when you’re awake.
These waves are associated with everything you do in a conscious state, such as:
- Logical thinking
- Problem solving
Every time you focus on something, more beta waves are present. They’re also stimulated when you consciously dip into your memory banks.
The thing to remember is that these waves are not exclusive of each other.
They’re all present in your brain at any given time.
So when you’re awake, working out the answer to a problem, reading a novel or a web page, or engrossed in conversation with a friend, you’ll demonstrate more beta wave activity than any of the other 3 types.
But those other types are still there – just not as dominant.
2. Alpha Waves
Occupying the range between 8 and 12 Hz, alpha waves occur during calm and relaxed periods.
While beta waves represent your conscious state, alpha waves act like a bridge between your conscious and unconscious minds.
More alpha waves are produced when your brain is at rest.
When your thoughts are sort of drifting along through your head.
You’re pretty relaxed but not quite meditating.
The alpha state is often described as being in “the now” or being here in the present.
These waves are slower than beta, which is why alpha is ideal for learning.
It gives you the mental space and quiet to absorb and digest information.
Even just closing your eyes makes your brain automatically produce more alpha waves.
The alpha state is also useful for focused meditation, for reducing stress and anxiety, and for helping you manage pain and discomfort.
3. Theta Waves
When you’re awake, your conscious mind is in charge.
Beta waves are in control.
As you start getting more relaxed, alpha waves become more prevalent.
You’re still awake, but truly chilled out.
Then, when your unconscious mind takes over, theta waves pick up the slack.
These waves are in the 4 to 8 Hz range.
You’ll naturally produce more theta waves when you’re:
- Deeply relaxed
- Practicing visualization
- In a deep hypnotic trance
- Entering sleep
These waves are slower again, putting you right on the verge of sleep.
They’re often described as stage 1 sleep, or being in the twilight state.
You’ll experience it when you’re lying in bed, just before falling asleep.
You’re aware that you’re lying in bed, though you lose the sense of lying in bed.
And if you don’t fall asleep in this state, some pretty amazing things can happen.
When theta waves are dominant, your conscious mind is more or less switched off.
That means you can tap into the potential of your unconscious.
You can access your creative side.
You can tune into your intuition.
You can dream and experience deep meditation.
You can delve deep inside and call up memories.
Theta waves are linked with memory, emotion, and something called “neuroplasticity.”
That means that, in the theta state, your brain is capable of reorganizing itself.
When you learn something new, for example, your brain needs time to soak it in.
It has to both memorize the information and store it away for later.
It does that by making new connections between brain cells.
Every one of these new connections changes your brain ever so slightly.
And that’s one of the reasons people practice hypnosis, because it enables you to make lasting changes in your brain.
4. Delta Waves
Delta waves occur when you’re asleep.
These are the slowest brain waves you can produce, occupying the bottom end of the range up to 4 Hz.
The deeper you sleep, the more delta waves will be present.
But even though you’re sleeping, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot going on.
Delta waves are particularly effective at helping you to:
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Promote healing naturally from the inside out
- Boost your immune system
The older you get, the less delta waves you produce. That helps to explain the expression “sleep like a baby.”
Delta waves are also important for regulating many of your unconscious bodily functions, such as your heart rate and digestion.
The Link Between Brainwaves & Hypnosis
The type of brainwaves you produce will depend on what you’re doing, what you’re thinking, and what you’re feeling.
When you’re under hypnosis, certain brain waves are more apparent.
That goes for when you’re being hypnotized by someone else, or practicing self-hypnosis.
Think about the way hypnosis happens…
You start out being awake and totally conscious, either chatting to a therapist or getting your room setup for your session (beta waves).
Then you gradually start to relax, possibly closing your eyes to help shut out the outside world and begin the induction process (alpha waves). This is the stage between the conscious and unconscious states.
As you go deeper, your critical conscious mind shuts off, making it possible for you to connect fully with your unconscious (theta waves).
This is also the stage where you become more susceptible to suggestions, since your critical mind is out of the way.
So far so good – but what does it mean in practice?
It means you have the power to take control of your brain waves.
If you wanted to, you could generate more alpha waves.
Or more theta waves.
Just by going through an induction and deepening process.
And if you can do that, then you can literally create your own success…
… on demand.
Brainwaves On The Business End
Sounds great, right? But how do you do it?
Suppose you’re involved in running a business.
Every day you deal with the same kinds of things: customers, sales figures, marketing strategies, staff members, budgets, and so on.
While you’re doing all these things, you might not have time for anything else.
Sure, you can sit in on meetings as the advertising department goes through its latest plans.
You can analyze product popularity and make a fancy spreadsheet about it.
You may even have the odd “aha!” moment when a solution you’ve been searching for suddenly makes itself known.
That can happen, but how often does it?
Because you’re too busy.
Your brain is ticking over, ready to manage whatever crisis situation arises.
You just haven’t got the time or space you need to be creative.
To get inspired.
And even if you’re lucky enough to find yourself struck by some remarkable revelation, it can be there and gone again in an instant.
Interrupted or blasted out of your thoughts by some trivial occurrence.
Like when the phone rings.
Or when someone knocks on your door with a problem.
Everything you do throughout the day makes an impact, but it’s not always possible or feasible to sift through it all as it happens.
You’re in beta mode, fully conscious, totally alert, but unable to switch off.
So you wait… knowing you won’t have to wait too long.
Knowing that when the opportunity arises, you can finally relax.
You can drift into a hypnotic trance and let your creative juices flow.
To recall that genius idea you had about customer loyalty.
To let your intuition take over.
To pinpoint the way forward that’s been eluding you until now.
To bring together all your built-in resources and use them to their full potential.
Because that’s when all the best ideas seem to appear out of thin air.
Not when you’re in the boardroom.
Not when you’re on the shop floor.
Not when you’re dashing from one emergency to another.
But when you’re able to relax, de-stress, let go, and allow your incredible brain to do its thing.
So how can you achieve that?
Guided Self-Hypnosis Exercise For Creativity & Clear Thinking
You naturally produce more theta waves when your conscious mind switches off.
And when that happens, it gives you access to your unconscious mind.
To the seat of your creativity.
A place where you can slow down, chill out, and let those theta waves rise to the surface.
Here’s one way you can achieve that in just a few minutes. Make it part of your morning routine. Or try it during your working day.
Any time when your brain feels scrambled, frazzled, like something’s blocking your creative juices from flowing freely.
- Find somewhere still and quiet where you won’t be disturbed.
- Close your eyes and relax.
- Breathe in and out, slowly and deeply. Focus on your breathing, how each breath makes you feel more and more relaxed.
- And as you continue to focus on your breathing, just let go. Let all the tension simply slip away. Feel yourself floating on a cloud, almost as if you’re weightless.
- With every breath you’re going deeper and deeper into blissful peace and quiet.
- And as you continue to relax, you can let your mind wander. It doesn’t matter where your thoughts take you. Just let them drift to wherever they want to go.
- Letting it all go, feeling deeply relaxed and comfortable. Your body is so comfortable now that sometimes you’re not even aware of it. So still, so quiet, able to let ideas come and go freely. Always letting your thoughts drift along, without trying to force them.
- Focusing on your breath, enjoying the peace and quiet, allowing thoughts and images and ideas to appear, almost from out of nowhere.
- Letting it all go, letting your mind wander, savoring the quiet and stillness. Alone with your thoughts.
- And whenever you’re ready, you can start to return to normal wakefulness.
- Breathing in, and breathing out, slowly and deeply.
- Counting 1… 2… 3… 4… 5…
- And now you’re wide awake again.
As soon as you’re fully conscious, jot down anything significant that popped into your head.
Go on. Give it a try.
It’s something you can do anywhere, anytime, in as little as 10 minutes.
Just long enough to shut out the world, let your brain reorganize itself, and make space for your next big idea.
If switching off like this on your own seems too difficult, ask a hypnotherapist for some help.
They’ll work with you to find a similar technique that produces the goods.
After a few visits, you’ll have the confidence to practice it own your own.
And then – you can truly set your creativity free.