Meditation is something I find really useful to my daily life. When I meditate, I feel more alive. I feel clear, relaxed, positive, authentic and more myself. There is a marked difference in my state of being when I do and when I don’t take the time to unwind and ‘Be’. I live a busy life, I work a lot, and I work at home after my working hours more times than I care to admit.
Sometimes it’s just not easy to get to that place in meditation where thoughts, worries and our perpetual to do list dissolve away and we can truly relax. I found myself there last week while trying to de-stress and spend a little one on one time with myself. I got into my comfy position, closed my eyes and tried to let it go. A few minutes in, I was thinking of an email to a colleague I need to write, how best to tackle a new project, what to say in an upcoming meeting, what to do with the rest of my day, that I should call my mom. “Let the thoughts drift in and out,” I said to myself. Gahhh.
Ok…time for plan B. I went onto youtube for one of my trusted 10 minute guided meditations. It was ok…it got the job done, but instead of my voice, it was the voice of someone else telling me to “Relax” and to “Inhale” when I was already exhaling. Truly…I can never get my breathing in sync with whatever pace they are trying to set. I don’t bother trying much anymore, or I find myself worrying so much about breathing that it becomes hard to breathe! How is one supposed to relax when they are worried that they may never be able to breathe right again!?! The act of breathing is normally subconscious and automatic…taking nice, deep, cleansing breaths should suffice. No?
NOTE to SELF: If I ever make a video on meditation, do not include when to breathe in and out…
It was after the 10 minute guided meditation that I noticed a few links to Alpha Wave Music. I clicked on one of the links…Eureka!
What’s an alpha wave you ask? Ok…so I’m going to geek out here for a second!
The brain is like an electrical circuit board, emitting electrical impulses of various frequencies to various brain cells called neurons. The frequency or wave can be measured and is called a brain wave.
Common types of brain waves and when we use them:
- Beta: Wide awake. Consciously alert. Doing stuff. Problem solving. We live most of our waking lives in this state.
- Alpha: Associated with a relaxed mental state. Some might call it a state of relaxed wakefulness or mindfulness. A state of presence, being and ‘now’. Sounds nice huh?
- Theta: Light sleep or deep relaxation. This is where our ‘stuff’ is kept. Our subconscious. This is the state that we have vivid dreams when sleeping or experience during deep meditation. We are withdrawn from the external world.
- Delta: Deep, dreamless sleep. Deeply penetrating waves, like a drum beat.
Note to readers: In satisfying my curiosity, I read about other types of waves too, but I’ve only named 4 here. It gets crazy out there!
Brain function is a hot topic right now and tons of new information is coming out about neuroplasticity, subconscious thoughts, how to train your brain, etc. Essentially, mind over matter. I find myself curious. If the brain and neural system use a language of electrical signals, waves and impulses, then why wouldn’t music, or light be an amazing tool to help us with our brain, body and thought performance?
Anyhow, I’m getting off topic. Alpha waves. Meditation. Right.
I played the music, closed my eyes and was amazed at how quickly I was able to reach and sustain a relaxed state of mind. With the alpha wave music playing, I was easily able to let go, clear away outside thoughts and distractions and get in sync with the music. Afterwards, I felt focused, energized and rejuvenated. It was amazing. I loved it so much, I started play it multiple times a day when I feel myself getting out of balance or stressed or just needing a little extra help quieting my mind.
I’ve inserted one of my new favourites from YellowBrickCinema. They have a ton of great meditation, relaxation and sleep music available on youtube. There are other good links too, but this one is the one I’ve used most often. Enjoy!