Brain Waves & Meditation's Effect
What are Brainwaves?
The brain is an electrochemical machine that emanates electrical activity in the form of brainwaves. Or put another away, all of our thoughts, emotions & actions is a direct result of the communication between neurons in our brains. When masses of neurons communicate with each other they produce synchronized electrical pulses, or brainwaves.
There are five main brainwaves that are divided based on their functions, amplitudes & frequencies:
Gamma waves: High frequency – the fastest of brain waves. These pass information rapidly & quietly and was once dismissed as “spare brain noise” but recently it is speculated that a greater presence of gamma relates to expanded consciousness and spiritual emergence.
Beta waves: Active waves! These place the brain in states of alertness, awareness, extroversion, concentration, logical thinking, and active conversation.
Alpha waves: These waves represent relaxation, non-arousal, hypnosis, and states of meditation
Theta waves: Active when we are day dreaming, dreaming, using our creativity, in meditation, and also during paranormal phenomena, out of body experiences, ESP, etc.
Delta waves: Usually associated with the deepest stages of sleep (REM sleep)
So what happens in the brain when we meditate versus when we are simply relaxing? Science has shown that in states of meditation, there is more Alpha and Theta wave activity. These findings suggest that in a meditative state a person is more relaxed but maintains a sharp awareness. This increase activity is effectively like “exercising” those parts of the brain; building up more branches & connections and strengthening & thickening that part of the brain. Studies have shown that these changes also linger over time, the more we practice meditation, and even if we stop meditation for awhile the effect lingers in our brains.
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