Alpha brain waves are the result of measurement of brain activity as measured by an EEG. The waves cycle at 8-14 cycles per second, and their nature is smooth and high.

Why are brain waves measured? They correspond to different states of consciousness or brain activity. There is no one brain wave state that is ideal – it depends on the circumstances and what you’re doing!

If your brain were a car, you would start in first gear, or the delta brain wave state. Delta is very slow (0-4 cycles per second). You can’t go very fast; this is when the body is in deep rest and your brain is in dreamless sleep.

In second gear, your brain’s activity speeds up, just a little. Now, in second gear, you’re going a little faster (4-7 Hz, or cycles per second). This is the state of dreaming sleep or very deep meditation.

You are more creative and intuitive in the alpha state.In third gear, you are in alpha. Your brain activity is still rather slow, but not pokey. It’s relaxed, present-focused and yet you can function in an awake state.

In fourth gear, you’re in beta – or “highway speed.” It’s fast, it’s quick and nimble, but it is also fraught with danger in the form of persistent negative thoughts and an overly strong reliance on the physical senses (as opposed to intuition). In beta, the mind is constantly on high alert and it’s going a million miles a minute in many directions at once – thinking about all the stuff you have to do, all the stuff you should have done and all the stuff you’re worried about.

One of the things we do in beta is we try to solve problems. But, we’re going about it in only one way – logic, and the “what is” reality as perceived by the physical senses. Unfortunately, many problems can’t be solved by logic alone because we simply do not have all the information (at least… not consciously). The result is stress, because like a dog worrying a bone, we can’t seem to solve the problem because we continually approach it in the same way.

Enter the alpha state, and you access a state of creativity that is less bound by logic and more influenced by the freedom of imagination. When your mind is in the alpha state, this is a state of relaxed alertness, creativity, peak performance (yes, the Zone), enhanced learning, imagination, intuition, visualization and it’s also a suggestible state excellent for making suggestions to yourself to change your thinking.

Your brain dips into the various states in little microbursts throughout the day – that’s why it’s called a “flash of insight”!

But you can learn to put yourself into the alpha state anytime you want, and for more than a microsecond… for as long as you need! Why?

  • Increased creativity
  • Stress relief, as your brain signals the body to stop producing stress hormones and start producing healing substances
  • More holistic problem-solving that marries logic and intuition
  • More intuition (you do have flashes of intuitive guidance when you’re in beta, but the logical mind often dismisses them)
  • Peak performance, if you relax into alpha just prior to an event (elite athletes do this, as a time to visualize success and focus, just before the event)
  • Self-improvement: when you’re in alpha, it’s a great time to say affirmations since you’re more receptive to suggestion)

You can slow your brain's activity anytime!How do you get into the alpha state? The best way is through meditation – use Omharmonics to spend time in alpha every day – to visualize, imagine, relax and de-stress.

If you need a short burst of alpha – for example, when you’re stuck on a problem or need some inspiration – simply close your eyes and turn them slightly upward and inward to the “third eye” – just between and above your eyebrows. This signals the brain to slow its activity, and you will notice that your senses relax too, making environmental sounds less intrusive (and since your eyes are closed, your attention will turn inward rather than outward.

You may have noticed how creative kids are, and how quickly they learn. It’s because kids between ages 7 and 12 tend to be in the alpha state for much of the day. So to be as creative, spontaneous and learning-oriented as a child, slip into alpha a few times during the day!