The Four States of Consciousness

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Before you begin your journey into meditation it is important to understand how your brain can switch between different states of consciousness and also the benefits and importance of each one of these states. It is also important that you realize that you already meditate numerous times throughout your day without you even realizing, read on and I will explain.

Your brain is active during every moment of your life and is full of electrical impulses, yes you heard me right, your brain is constantly pulsating with electricity, electrical impulses that are generated by your brain. Essentially, your brain is an electrochemical organism consisting of over 10 billion interconnected brain cells constantly firing electrical impulses between them.

These electrical impulses that your brain produces can be measured with an electroencephalogram (EEG). EEG measures the frequency or rather speed of the electrical currents, or rather brainwaves in Hertz(Hz).

Now here's the really cool stuff, these frequencies can be associated with your state of mind at any particular moment, which means that your state of mind, for example being relaxed, afraid, or sleepy...can be seen in your brainwave frequencies. The speed of the frequency allows us to categorize our brainwaves into four different brainwave patterns ranging from the most activity to the least activity, these states are known as beta, alpha, theta and delta, all of which have been well researched and documented if you wish to research further.

Explaining the Different Brainwave Patterns These different brainwave patterns are associated with different states of consciousness and this is known as brainwave entrainment, the practice of entraining one's brainwaves to a desired frequency and the one that we are mostly familiar with is Beta Waves.

Beta Waves resonate at between 14 and 20Hz, the higher the resonation, the more active and alert your brain is. These brainwaves are associated with your normal waking consciousness. They are present when you are actively engaged in every day activities in the outside world such as holding a conversation, or concentrating on our work.

Alpha Waves. Whereas Beta state is associated with our engagement with the outside world, Alpha waves resonate on a lesser frequency of between 9 and 14Hz and you are in this state when you are relaxing, or taking time to reflect on something. They are prevalent when you are daydreaming and they increase when you close your eyes, it is also likened to a light state of meditation. So if you think that you have never meditated before think again, because every time you daydream, or take time out to reflect, you are actually in a light state of meditation.

Now the cool thing about being in this state of consciousness is that it is known to accelerate learning, focus and enhance creativity, so next time you notice that you are daydreaming try to get a feel of what it is like and try to remember that feeling of relaxation and calmness within you. What you are feeling is a light meditative state and when you begin meditating it is this feeling that you want to recreate as the start of your meditation session and after some practice you will quickly and easily be able to enter this state of consciousness with ease.

Theta Waves resonate even lower than Alpha at between 4 and 7Hz. Theta waves occur during heightened states of creativity and are found with a deep meditative state. Once again we experience theta state during our every day lives, ever driven down the highway and then suddenly realized that you cannot recollect the last five miles, chances are that you were in theta state. Some of you who are regular drivers on the highway may also realize that you often get a free flow of good idea's during the time that you are in theta state. Theta state can also occur during routine chores such as when you are shaving, or brushing your hair as it is in this state that tasks become automated and so you can mentally disengage from them. Take a moment to think about this and the next time you notice it happen I want you to think about your state of mind as theta state is typically a very positive mental state.

Now, the theta state when meditating is a deep meditative state of true bliss, you can lose your attachment with your body and this gives you the feeling of deep physical relaxation, it can even give you a sense of floating as your mind expands beyond the boundaries of your body. In disconnecting your mind from your body you allow yourself to focus on the inner you, the higher self and this is the ideal state to be in whist meditating and will probably take some practice as it rests on the threshold of the subconscious and it can take time for you to learn to let go and release yourself to continue your meditation journey.

Theta state also plays an important part in behavior modification, or rather reprogramming your mind and is used in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction, it is also an ideal for learning and also self hypnosis.

Because it can take practice and some determination to enter this state of consciousness it's not a bad idea to investigate some of the products that are available, which using new technology can have you in theta state in minutes. See my page on brain entrainment technologies, which discusses how these new recording work, and also take a look at my recommendations, which I have categorized to assist you in deciding which product would best suit you. In fact, all of my recommendations come with free samples for you to try out so why not experiment and see which one works best for you.

Delta Waves resonate at between 1 and 3Hz and is the brain wave signal of your subconscious mind, the place in which your intuition arises. We experience Delta waves when we are in a deep state of sleep, or unconsciousness and has immense benefits to those who suffer from sleep disorders. Certain frequencies within the delta wave can also trigger the release of human growth hormone which is beneficial to the bodies healing and regeneration and so it is when we sleep that our body heals itself.

The benefits of reaching delta state in meditation are immense in that it they are essential to the healing process and in helping to relax the body. Again, it takes practice to reach this state of consciousness, but when reached the benefits to both body and mind are bliss.

Conclusion Gaining knowledge of brainwave states and utilizing these different states by using meditation enhances your ability to make use of the special characteristics that each state has and thus you can benefit from being mentally productive in a wide range of activities such as intense focus, relaxation, creativity and restful and rejuvenating sleep.

Still not convinced? Then why now broaden your mind and try out some of the free meditation recordings that I recommend and find out which ones benefit you, it's a small thing to ask, but I assure you, the benefits are indisputable.

Take care and may peace and relaxation be with you.

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Steve J Young has 1 articles online

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The Four States of Consciousness

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This article was published on 2010/04/03