What are Theta Brain Waves?
What are theta brain waves? How do they work and why are they important? There is nothing that rivals the complexity of the human brain in all the known universe. That being said, there are certain facts and truths that come to light as researchers and scientists make headway as they unravel the intricate mysteries of our brain. Some of these findings lead to an understanding of how we can better ourselves. The study of brain waves goes back further than you may think. It is only recently, however, that it has been understood how to change and correctly use our mental processes to effect positive, healthy results. So here we are ready to answer the question, What are theta brain waves?
The brain runs on and puts off energy that is basically electrical. This is what can be measured and read on an EEG (just as an ECG takes an electrical read of the heart, conceptually, an EEG does the same with the brain). The frequencies that are read have been divided into 4 categories. Each of these four waves has a unique and important function. If one of these waves were to be eliminated, there would be serious implications. Before we can explain what the theta wave does, we should look at each wave and briefly review their individual roles. Here is a breakdown of each one, alpha, beta, theta and delta.
We can begin with the beta wave seeing as it is the fastest frequency. This fast, short wave is associated with consciousness, alertness and can increase when one experiences stress. The next wave up is the alpha wave. This wave’s frequencies are slower than beta and are present when a person is alert, awake and calm. One of its most important functions is to transfer information from your unconscious mind to your conscious mind (beta). Next comes the star of this article, the theta wave. With a frequency of 4-8 Hz (hertz), this slower, higher amplitude wave is closely associated with relaxation, sleep and dreaming. It is your unconscious mind, but we will discuss this a bit later. Finally, we have the delta wave. The slowest of the 4 ‒ it is seen in sleep. Delta is an even deeper part of the unconscious mind. Now that we have a basic and simplified understanding of what these waves are and do, we can focus in on the theta wave.
A Closer Look at THETA ACTIVITY
As previously mentioned, each wave plays an integral part in the healthy and proper functioning of the brain. Each one, however is very different from the others. Theta waves, while linked to sleep and deep relaxation, have a profound effect on how we function, create and remember. How so? There is a reason why many people spend hours meditating, practice yoga and try countless techniques to achieve inner peace. Basically, these activities increase theta activity. When at their peek and accessed properly, theta waves open a door to the unconscious mind. What does that mean? The gateway to long-term memory, creativity, spiritual connection and emotional understanding is through theta activity. Theta waves tap into the parts of our mind we cannot access while alert and conscious. It reaches down deep into a veritable storehouse of information, memories, inspirations and ideas. This may all sound far out, but it is how our complex brains work. For example, have you ever gone to bed with a problem, only to wake up the next day with a solution clear in mind? Those ah-ha moments are not coincidence, they are your theta waves at work. Theta waves are linked to deep relaxation, but when accessed appropriately and utilized in a healthy way, they can greatly increase memory, learning ability and problem solving. What are some other benefits brought on through these waves?
THETA WAVES – What Are the Benefits?
Unlocking the brain’s power has long been a goal of mankind. There are definite advantages to being able to ‘shift’ from one wave to the other. Increased theta activity has astounding benefits when achieved in a healthy and controlled way. Research has shown that it increases intuition and emotional connections and understanding. Improved problem solving skills and increased learning ability (we are talking up to a 300% boost) are closely linked to an increase of theta activity. Creativity and inspiration are very closely related to theta activity, in fact many artists, musicians and writers are shown to have more theta than average.
Other benefits include improved long term memory and a large boost to the immune system. Seeing as it is associated with deep relaxation, an increase in theta activity can greatly reduce stress and anxiety. There are many other health benefits to an increase in theta activity. As with anything, the old adage ‘too much of a good thing’ can apply to theta activity. There needs to be balance with all four waves and each has important functions. One cannot operate alone, so a healthy approach to increasing ones theta is necessary. Some good ways to amp up the benefits received from theta activity is to listen to music, creative visualization, meditation and of course, getting a good night’s sleep.
There you have it. The question, ‘what are theta brain waves?’ answered!
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