How To Do Alpha Meditation To Access Alpha State Of Mind

alpha meditation

In this guide, we look at how to do Alpha to access alpha state of mind 

Science shows that meditative practices increase alpha brainwaves—my personal favourite is the technique that I’ve shared below. 

There are many reasons to use Alpha meditation techniques. For starters, they are one of the best types of meditation for concentration. The flow state that you enter into helps you to take in and remember information, which is why it is fantastic for studying. It is also one of the best types of meditation for relaxation.

As a mind-athlete, I train my mind every day. From personal experience, I’ve found that understanding and using different brain states can make an enormous difference in our lives. So, let’s investigate alpha meditation technique so you too can access alpha state of mind.

What Are Alpha Meditation And Alpha State of Mind?

The human mind is one of the most amazing and sophisticated machines in the universe, especially once you learn to tap into your subconscious mind power.

When you know how to use your mind properly, you gain immense strength.

Writing for Scientific American, Ned Herrmann, the “father of brain dominance technology”, says that when we understand the brainwaves we can use their strengths, which means “being mentally productive across a wide range of activities, such as being intensely focused, relaxed, creative and in restful sleep.”

One of the most important aspects of the brain to understand is how and why the brain switches between different states. 

The brain is constantly alive with electrical activity because, according to the University of Queensland, neurons use electricity for communication. Neuron cells send electrical signals to other neurons, and this produces brain waves. You can see those brain waves if you look at an EEG (electroencephalogram), which is when a lab technician places electrodes on the scalp that send the brain’s electrical activity to a machine.

There are five frequencies of brain waves. And Alpha is in the middle of those five. According to Herrmann, “Alpha represents non-arousal. Alpha brainwaves are slower, and higher in amplitude.” That’s why Alpha mind state is a good middle-ground resting state of mind. Incidentally, it is also the first of the brain waves to be discovered. German psychiatrist Hans Berger discovered it after he invented the EEG.

When we talk about “states of mind” we are talking about the frequency of brainwave signals. There are different frequencies, with the main five being Beta, Alpha, Delta, Theta, and Gamma.

The brainwave frequencies:

  • Gamma (38-42)
  • Beta (13-38)
  •  Alpha (8-12)
  • Theta (4-8)
  • Delta (0-4). [1]
brain waves chart and frequencies
brain waves frequency chart 

The human mind naturally switches from one dominant brain wave to another at various times during the day, depending on what we are doing.

Alpha mind is the term that scientists use to describe right-brain activity, which is mostly associated with creativity, imagination, memory, and intuition  [2]. The Alpha state of mind occurs with brain activity between 8 and 12 Hz (cycles per second).

Although the brain naturally switches between mind states throughout the day, we can learn to deliberately induce these state through various techniques: Alpha Meditation Techniques.

So, what are the best brain wave frequencies for meditation?

 

Meditation is the science and practice of focusing the mind on one thing at a time and is often done by focusing on the breath. There are many different meditation techniques, ranging from Buddhist methods like Vipassana, to more modern approaches such as Alpha Meditation, which is used to access alpha state of mind. You may have heard of some of the famous meditation teachers like Jack Kornfield, Pema Chodron, and Sharon Salzberg.

Some of my students have asked me what the best brain wave frequencies for meditation are. It depends. There are benefits of each brain wave frequency. The slower ones are there for resting and healing. The faster ones are there for concentration and productivity. So, as you can see, it really depends on what you want to get out of meditation.

 

What does alpha state of mind feel like?

The best way to describe Alpha state of mind is “Wakeful”.  Alpha state of mind feels like a natural and easy state of mind. When you’re in Alpha mind state you’re relaxed and feeling restful, but you are also able to focus enough to complete tasks. Basically, it feels like “Easy mode”.

 Alpha state of mind feels like a state of light relaxation. 

Have you ever been driving your car at night when you’re relaxed and driving safely but at the same time you feel like you’re just chilling? Or have you ever been reading a book when you drift away in it? You’re still conscious, but you’re not aware of what’s happening around you, you’re simply engrossed in the book? Perhaps you’ve been doing a creative pursuit like painting a work of art when you start to feel incredibly relaxed while still being productive. That’s alpha mind power.

According to Herrmann, Alpha state of mind occurs at a brainwave frequency of between 8 and 12 Hz and is characterized by relaxed consciousness. It’s a great state of mind for when you’re absorbing information. That’s why it’s a great state of mind for studying. It’s also why many students use the alpha meditation technique before they study.

Alpha mind is healing too. It’s a state in which the brain is more relaxed and there is next to no stress. This gives the body an opportunity to focus on what it does best: Healing itself. 

Benefits of alpha state of mind and alpha meditation technique

  • Healing (although it should be noted that Delta brain waves are better for this). 
  • Relaxing (Theta, however, may be better for deep relaxation)
  • Reduces stress and anxiety (a 2014 study revealed that people with Generalised Anxiety Disorder can find calmness by increasing Alpha waves by using neurofeedback, a form of biofeedback in which you voluntarily attempt to adjust your brainwaves. 
  • Excellent for resting
  • Increases creativity
  • Helps to filter out distractions
  • Good for studying (though the faster frequencies, beta and gamma, are considered better for studying). 
  • Depression: A 2019 study showed that a brain stimulation technique called transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) can decrease depression by boosting alpha brain waves. 

The Effect Of Alpha Meditation on Alpha Mind Power

Scientific research shows that specific meditation techniques can increase alpha brainwaves [3].

Research from The Norwegian University of Science and Technology shows that these brainwaves increase in the posterior parts of the brain during meditation.  The researchers state that “This wave type has been used as a universal sign of relaxation during meditation and other types of rest…  these waves increase when the brain relaxes from intentional, goal-oriented tasks. This is a sign of deep relaxation…”

The researchers state that meditation makes us more aware of the spontaneous wandering of the mind and that this “wandering” helps the brain to connect different kinds of mental processing and experiences and put them into perspective.  This is important for removing excessive information from the mind and can help us to relax.

However, if you want to meditate to increase alpha mind power, some methods are better than others. Try the technique I’ve shared below.

Alpha Meditation Technique To Access Alpha State of Mind 

Here is the best Alpha meditation technique to access Alpha state of mind.

  1. Sit somewhere quiet and relaxing. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure your spine is straight but relaxed. Slightly lower your chin to elongate your neck. Put on the sound of a Tibetan Singing Bowl (you can use a recording, but it is best to have your own singing bowl.).
  2. Ground yourself. To do this, inhale deeply through the nose and release any stress.
  3. Focus on your breathing. The right breathing for Alpha state of mind is deep and diaphragmatic. But you don’t have to force this state of breathing.  You will naturally start alpha breathing once you’ve been mediating for a few minutes.
  4. Continue meditating on your breath until your heart rate has slowed.
  5. As you relax and let go of stress, you will gradually begin to increase alpha brain waves. This is also when you will naturally start to perform alpha breathing.
  6. Visualize a mental picture of the number 3 three times, then repeat with the number 2 and finally 1.
  7. Now visualize yourself in a relaxing environment, somewhere divine and serene. Visualize this area in detail.
  8. See the scene in detail; noticing the colours and the shapes. Vividly imagine this incredibly relaxing scene.
  9. Hear it.
  10. Feel it.
  11. Touch it.
  12. Taste it.
  13. You should feel as though you are actually inside this visualization. Stay here for at least ten minutes (or 54 breaths) THE DAILY MEDITATION’s Facebook fans tell us they find this technique highly relaxing and excellent for boosting focus. Many of our student-followers report that alpha meditation technique helps them to focus on studying.
  14. Count from 5 to 1 and open your eyes. You have now accessed alpha state of mind.

Notes on Alpha meditation technique

You will find this Alpha meditation technique very relaxing, and it will help you to process information, which is beneficial to both work and personal life.

Note that there are many types of meditation for alpha state of mind. Most deep breathing meditative exercises will let you get into the same state. One especially good method is Acem or “Open Meditation”, where the mind is not focused on any one thing but open to our present environment. 

It is best to use Alpha meditation and Alpha state of mind when you want a relaxed but productive state of mind. For instance, if you are doing a creative endeavour like painting the house and you want to be productive while also being relaxed, that is a great time to access alpha mind power.

Some scientific research suggests that this mental state is also advantageous for memory. You might like to use Alpha Meditation before studying so that you can relax while studying and retain more of the information that you study.

Ultimately, look for times when a relaxed but productive state of mind would be ideal. Use Alpha Meditation technique at those times.

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By Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.