Mood is affected by our brainwaves: patterns of electrical activity located in the cerebral cortex. Each of these electro-chemical nerve cell signals creates a tiny electromagnetic field with a frequency of between one and 40 vibrations per second, in certain cases even over 100. Depending on the vibration spectrum, these waves are divided into delta, theta, alpha and beta waves. The Hertz unit quantifies the measured processes (communication between the nerve cells) per second.
Hence, if we make a conscious effort to change our brain waves, we can also change our mood or state of mind. Simply closing our eyes while meditating or practising Yoga creates a change in our brain wave frequency which leads to relaxation.
Four types of brainwaves:
1 – 3 Hz: Delta waves
These high amplitude brainwaves are associated with deep sleep. Delta waves increase the production of two anti-ageing hormones, DHEA and melatonin. The waves facilitate quick healing and trigger the production of growth hormones.
4 – 7 Hz: Theta waves
Theta waves occur when we are asleep, in a trance or during deep meditation. Theta waves provide a positive mental state and encourage creativity. They improve your problem-solving skills and increase your memory. The waves improve your focus and keep you calm and balanced. Interestingly, these are predominantly measured in children under twelve.
8 – 12 Hz: Alpha waves
This type of wave is characteristic of a relaxed brain, especially during the stage between sleep and wakefulness. We can create alpha waves by closing our eyes, but as soon as we open our eyes again, they are replaced by beta waves (Berger effect).
The alpha state is often referred to as the key to our potential.
13 – above 100 Hz: Beta waves
Beta waves are associated with waking, tense or alarm-ready states of mind. The typical frequency spectrum lies between 13 and 30 Hz. The higher the proportion of beta waves, the greater the release of stress hormones. From relaxed, outward attention (12 – 15 Hz) to fear or stress (18 – 35 Hz) to peak physical and mental performance (gamma, 35 Hz to 100 Hz), this frequency range encompasses a huge spectrum of active states.