Alpha State, a Gate to Tranquility
The Alpha state of the mind is one of the five brainwaves patterns (Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta, and Gamma). Alpha waves are neural oscillations in the frequency range of 8–12 Hz arising from synchronous and coherent electrical activity of thalamic pacemaker cells in humans. They are also called Berger’s wave. They predominantly originate from the occipital lobe during wakeful relaxation with closed eyes. Alpha waves are reduced with open eyes, drowsiness and sleep.
The graph of this state shows high frequency, low amplitude brain waves. It is a state of passive awareness and of physical and mental relaxation, at the same time. Emotional sensations in the alpha state include a sense of well being, calm, tranquility and pleasure.
Alpha brainwaves are usually achieved when you meditate, imagine, day dream, or you’re about to fall asleep, or to wake up naturally. Some researchers consider that the alpha state can occur during some periods of sleep, too, when the alpha waves intrusion cause a non-refreshing sleep.
The Alpha state and especially the frequencies between 7 and 8 Hz appear to bridge the conscious to the subconscious.
Inducing the Alpha state generates a series of advantages for your physical and mental health:
- Mental processes, as concentration, clarity of thinking, decision making, memory, ability of learning, are improved;
- It helps you relax, calming your body;
- The levels of cortisone lower and so does the level of stress;
- Alpha waves stimulate imagination, intuition and higher awareness;
- It slows the aging process because it contributes to the raise levels of DHEA and melatonin;
- Alpha state opens a door to your subconscious, helping you to program your mind for success.
If you want to feel less stress and anxiety, to strengthen of your immune systems, or to become more creative, you should learn how to increase the amount of your alpha brain waves. There are several ways for you to attain an Alpha state of mind:
- Meditation – the aim of almost all types of meditation is to lower the frequency of brainwaves to alpha or even theta level;
- Visualisation and autohypnosis– Most of the time, visualization is a method that cannot be separated by meditation. When you visualize, you transcend into the world your mind is creating, you are daydreaming. This helps you increase the number of alpha frequencies. Autohypnosis is also a method very similar to meditation.
- Deep breathing – It also works as a part of meditation. You focus on the rhythm of breathing to induce yourself into a state of relaxation, which lowers the frequencies of the brain waves and releases us from stress.
- Audio stimulations – This is simple process of listening of some binaural sounds (the recording sound is done using two microphones, arranged with the intent to create a 3-D stereo sound sensation), which forces our brain to adopt the frequency of the tone and to slow down.
- Sauna, baths, sun bathing, and massage – These are activities that help you relax and convince your mind to slow down.
- Unhealthy methods: watching TV (it helps you visualize and detach from reality), drinking or using marijuana (they act as chemical blockers); they are not completely efficient because the consciousness is altered.
Here there are some general rules to reach the alpha state through meditation:
- Choose a quiet place to meditate and sit in a comfortable position. You should rather sit then lie down, because as you meditate you might fall asleep.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Do not try to control your breath; just notice the sensation of the air going in and out of your nostrils. Focus on this sensation.
- Observe the inner dialogue from your mind! You don’t have to block your thoughts. You let your mind continue to think, but you don’t engage. You take the role of a passive observer and watch them from the back of your head. The presence of these thoughts during meditation means they are being cleared. After repeated meditations, you will gradually reach a new level of mental Zen-like quietness.
- Meditate for as long as you want, till you feel cleansed, purified, refreshed and good to go. After meditating for a certain period, you will reach a point where your consciousness starts to shift above the physical reality reaching Alpha state.
- Return to the awareness state and enjoy the sense of tranquility due to the alpha session you’ve just finished.