HOW DOES MEDITATION AFFECT OUR BRAIN WAVES

It is a widely known fact that meditation plays an important role in improving both our physical and mental health. It is obvious that meditation also affects our brain. Our brain uses electromagnetic energy to function and this electrical activity of the brain is displayed in the form of brain waves. Meditation causes an alteration in these brain waves.

When we are in a state of meditation, our brain waves pass through different phases of relaxation. Whether in a state of rest, activity or sleep, our brain always displays some level of electrical activity. The frequency and location of electrical brain waves is measured with the help of EEG (electroencephalography) electrodes, which are placed in standard areas of the scalp using a custom-made hat.
Types Of Brain Waves:
Our brain waves generally fall into 5 categories:
1. Alpha Waves:
These are the most common brainwaves that occur at the beginning of meditation as you try to go into a deeper state of mind. These are electromagnetic oscillations with a frequency range of 8 -12 Hz. They arise as a result of electrical activity of pacemaker cells in humans. They provide you the following health benefits:

Calm the autonomic nervous system
Lower blood pressure and heart rate

Calm the mind by lowering the production of stress hormones, particularly cortisol in the body

Encourage weight gain over long term

Promote relaxation, non arousal and hypnosis

2. Beta Waves:
Also known as beta rhythm, these brainwaves occur with a frequency range 12 to 30 Hz. They become active when the brain is working on goal oriented tasks, such as planning an event or pondering over an issue. Meditation has the following effect on beta waves:

Help create awareness
Improve concentration

Help logical thinking and extroversion

Promote active conversation

3. Theta Waves:
These waves are recorded from inside the brain or electrodes glued to the scalp. They are often considered the ‘third eye’ as they help gain wisdom. These become predominant when we do any task that is automatic like driving, washing clothes, shampooing hair, folding clothes etc. They are also present in day dreaming and paranormal phenomena. During meditation, these waves provide the following benefits:

Provide you with a positive mental state
Promote a deep sense of relaxation and encourage creativity

Improve problem solving skills and make memorisation easier

Promote improved focus and concentration

Strengthen mental connection

Promote a balanced and calm state of being by lowering stress and anxiety.

4. Gamma Waves:
Meditation also causes an increase in gamma brainwaves. These are associated with intense focus and are weak in the normal brain activity. They provide you the following benefits:

Decrease anxiety and fear, and increase positive emotions
Decrease depressive feelings and symptoms

5. Delta Waves:

Delta brainwaves in meditation are the slowest among all the brainwaves. These are basically high amplitude brainwaves with a frequency of 0 – 4 hertz. These brainwaves are associated with the deepest stages of sleep. As we all know, proper sleep is extremely important for relaxing your mind and improving the thinking capability. Here are the benefits of meditation of Delta waves:
Increase the production of two anti-ageing hormones, such as DHEA and melatonin
Helps promote deep compassion and empathy for others, increase social intelligence and avoid conflict

Rejuvenate your mind and body by regenerating the chemicals that your body uses while you are awake

Cause an increase in the release of human growth hormones (HGH)

Improves sleep

Facilitate quick healing

Excess of any of these brainwaves can adversely affect your health and mental condition. Meditation is a great way to maintain the proper balance of these brainwaves. It may sound like a scientific jargon, but the bottom line is that meditation helps the brain function at its optimum, giving us the chance to live our life to the fullest. This is why meditation is the buzz word today!

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