June 30, 2020
Stress, Anxiousness, and the Brain Wave Connection
Stress and a feeling of anxiousness, for many people, are just an everyday part of life. Your body’s response to stress and anxiousness is designed to be temporary and infrequent, in fact it can actually be good for you to have short bursts of stress from time to time to actually increase brain function and create excitement. However, chronic stress on the brain can have a dramatic impact on your brain waves.
For people who suffer from chronic stress and anxiousness, they often find that it becomes very difficult to think positive or happy thoughts and they live in a constant state of worry and overthinking which can lead to development of physical symptoms like headaches. Their responses to stress and anxiousness become habitual to the brain and cause the brain to develop patterns. Often times, this can lead to the brain reducing its ability to calm itself in the usual manner.
How a healthy brain works.
A healthy well-balanced brain and nervous system will produce appropriate brain waves at the appropriate levels at the appropriate time. Your brain produces 5 types of brain waves, which are electrical impulses between neurons that communicate actions, emotions, and ideas: Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma and Theta. Alpha are associated with mediation and a sense of calm and peacefulness. Beta, in high frequencies, can cause agitation and anxiousness. Delta are produced at night during sleep and aide in producing hormones that are essential to helping repair the brain and body. Gamma are the fastest of brain waves (high frequency, like a flute), and relate to simultaneous processing of information from different brain areas. Gamma brainwaves pass information rapidly and quietly. The most subtle of the brainwave frequencies, the mind has to be quiet to access gamma. Thetas instigate the release of GABA which balances the brain by inhibiting over-excitement. It is the “calming” or “peacemaker” chemical in the brain. You need GABA to induce relaxation and reduce stress and anxiousness.
How an anxious brain works.
Anxiousness is associated with decreased alpha waves, increased beta waves, and can be affected by low delta and theta waves. Anxiousness and feelings of panic can be caused by more than fear and insecurities. They can be chemically driven states from an imbalanced and poorly regulated brain. It’s a delicate balance where every wave plays their part.
Managing our stress and anxiousness is critical now more than ever. But how? Increase your Alpha.
The increased production of alpha brain waves can not only reduce stress and anxiousness but allow people to maintain more focus. In his study, Dr. James Hardt concluded that there was a direct correlation between raising alpha brain waves and a reduction in feeling anxious.
Tony Robbins, a world-famous motivational coach and entrepreneur, who also received training at Biocybernaut Institute, states that "There is no problem that can't be solved in alpha."
If you’ve ever been in a flow state — where you’ve lost your sense of time and self and become extraordinarily productive — you’ve experienced a burst of alpha. High alpha does a few different things for you: Eases anxiousness, lowers your feeling of low mood, boosts creativity, increases pain tolerance, boosts resilience to stress.
Here are some simple ways to increase your alpha brain waves at home:
- Meditation – even a few minutes a day can boost your alpha brain waves
- Be gratefulness and practice forgiveness - You can carry around a lot of unconscious stress from trauma in your past. Combining gratitude with forgiveness can help you process the trauma and let it go, permanently increasing your alpha in the process.
- Block blue light – Blue light sabotages your sleep and stresses your brain, and you’ll feel a big difference in your day-to-day life if you wear blue light blocking glasses.
Stress and anxiousness will always be a part of everyday life, but by increasing your alpha brain waves, you’ll be able to better handle anxiousness and enjoy a better sense of calm, peacefulness, and focus.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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- Hardt, James, “Alpha Brain-Wave Neurofeedback Training Reduces Psychopathology in a Cohort of Male and Female Canadian Aboriginals”, 2012, National Library of Medicine, accessed 11 June 2020, <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23341412/>
- Robbins, Tony, “Biocybernaut Neurofeedback Experience”, 16 December 2017, Youtube, accessed 11 June 2020, <www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ9w-WS2ifs&feature=youtu.be&t=150>
- Moore, Catherine Psychologist, MBA, “What is Flow in Psychology? Definition and 10+ Activities to Induce Flow”, 5 May 2020, Positive Psychology, accessed 11 June 2020, <https://positivepsychology.com/what-is-flow/
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