When you are going about your normal daily business, in a 24-hour period your brain will naturally cycle through four predominant states (sometimes called brainwave states).
The first and most relaxed state is called ‘delta,’ which is around 1-3hz. You experience this when you are in an extremely deep, dreamless sleep.
One step up from delta is called ‘theta.’ Theta is a very dreamy state that you will experience during normal dreaming while you are asleep, and theta is characterized by 4-7hz brainwave activity.
The next brainwave state, ‘alpha,’ is activity from 8-13hz. The main subject of this article is to discuss this magical state of awareness, exactly what alpha training is and how you can integrate it into your life. Most people experience alpha many times per day, like when you are driving your car and get into a sort of dreamlike trance where you are still aware and react to your surroundings but you experience enhanced creativity and visualizations, or for the 5-10 minutes before you fall asleep at night.
The highest brainwave state that people spend most of their time in is called ‘beta,’ which is characterized by 14-35hz brainwave activity. Chances are that you are experiencing beta right now as you read these words, because beta is the active and aware state that people experence when they are reading or working. There is very little creativity in the beta state as it is a logically and analytically-based state of mind.
(Also, as a note to those who are familiar with brainwave research, you may or may not have heard of a fifth brainwave state called ‘gamma.’ Gamma is highly active, usually over 35hz. However, there is not a very detectable shift in awareness in transitioning from beta to gamma, so for all means and purposes they are pretty much the same. Except that you might experience beta when you are giving a presentation at work and gamma when you are being chased by a lion.)
Along with a primer on predominant states of awareness that humans experience, if you want to understand the power of alpha training it is also important that you understand the difference between the right and left cerebral hemispheres of the brain.
In 1981, Roger M. Sperry won the Nobel Prize for his research on the human brain. Without delving into a complete summary of his research, basically what he proved is that the left and right sides of the brain are specialized in different tasks. The left hemisphere of the brain can better handle analytical and verbal tasks such as mathematical operations or delivering a speech, while the right side of the brain is the much more creative and intuitive side that is responsible for imagination.
The reason that this is important is because a very large majority of adult humans spend close to 1/3 of their lives in delta (sleeping) and 2/3 of their lives in beta (being active or feeling stressed), while only spending a small amount of time in theta or alpha. However, it is in theta and alpha that there is significant right-brain functioning, and it is for this reason that people who are musicians or artists naturally spend more time in these important states of awareness than others.
Delta is characterized by very little brainwave activity, and beta is characterized by mostly left-brain activity, whereas theta and alpha are characterized by whole-brain functioning. This means that most people’s imaginative and intuitive capabilites are being overlooked and under-utilized, and usually they become so accustomed to a dull, 9-5 lifestyle that it can become difficult to regain their imaginative capabilities. This is where alpha training comes in.
The whole point of alpha training is to spend more time in the ‘magical’ brainwave states of theta and alpha where you will experience increased right-brain functioning.
While we are children, we will naturally use our right-brain often, which is why all children seem imaginative, carefree, and seemingly unconcerned with the societal problems that left-brain oriented adults have created. People who mostly experience left-brain functioning tend to be dull, boring, overstressed, ignorant, and angry, whereas those who experience full-brain functioning are just the opposite.
Over time, what alpha training will do is allow you to experience a renewed full-brain functioning that you probably have not experienced since you were a child, and this can have a wonderful and beneficial impact on all aspects of your life.
Alpha training is surprisingly simple, especially with advanced audio technology like binaural beats. Binaural beats can be used to induce any level of brainwave activity that you desire. However, all you really need is time to relax where you will not be distracted, and maybe some relaxing music or soundscape tracks. Faster results can be achieved with professional tools (see the websites below), but just these basic tools can be sufficient.
What you will want to do is spend about 30-60 minutes per day where you can relax, probably in the evening before you go to bed, and simply enter into a state of supreme relaxation while maintaining conscious awareness.
It is important that there won’t be anything to distract you while you are doing this like a phone call. It is also important that you do not fall asleep while you are doing this, so you can lay in bed but prop yourself up so that you are not so comfortable that you will fall asleep. You will experience vivid visualizations and a constant stream of ideas, and this means that you are using the right side of your brain.
There is a specific reason that I call this ‘alpha training’ and not ‘alpha relaxation.’ If you were to do this once or twice a month, you might not notice a big difference in your life. But if you do it consistently over weeks and months and just make a habit out of it, you will strengthen the channels between your right and left cerebral hemispheres and this will cause constant full-brain functioning, which is a very good thing.
After a while (and this is where the ‘training’ part comes in), you will come to recognize the distinct, unique, pleasureable sensations that come when you are in the alpha and theta states, and you will actually be able to invoke these states at will after about 60 seconds of relaxed concentration.
After you have been doing this for a few months, you will notice changes in your life that you will enjoy. Throughout the day, and even during times when you normally would have been stressed, you will remain calm and collected and will intuitively know how to solve every problem that comes your way.
To the people around you, you will radiate confidence and knowingness, and people will love being around you. This can also do a great deal to increase your success with the opposite sex.
You will very rarely feel stressed or worried, you will be energetic and feel more alive, and circumstances in your life will always seem to just fall into place.