by: Ana

We can all agree that meditation is the way to a better life. Some call it meditation, others call it prayer but we shouldn’t be concerned with what it is called but with what it does. Contrary to some old-fashioned views, meditation has nothing to do with religion. Buddhism itself is a collection of teachings, not a religion. It has been adopted as a religion by many eastern cultures, but the guidance is not attached to any faith. Whether you associate your meditation with the Rosary, the Siddur, the Qoran or a secular mindset; dedicating a few minutes of your day to reconnect with the higher power is very invigorating.

Some people seem to have an on-off button on their minds and can easily distance themselves from the stress of daily life. But if you, like me and many others, find it hard to calm your thoughts during meditation, you can listen to binaural beats to help your mind concentrate. It is believed that as your brain perceives the different frequencies, it alters your brainwaves to match that tone. This technique can help you control your neurologic system in very positive ways. Some slightly unpleasant sounds have been used to induce concentration for centuries. It is in the hypnotic effect of reciting mantras, chanting monks, choir hymns, gongs, and bells. We can mostly perceive the music, but each ear filters different tones stimulating our brain. It wasn’t until the eighteenth century that science came up with an explanation for the soothing effects of dissonant tones. In 1839 Heinrich Wilhelm Dove an eastern European scientist figured out binaural beats, where somewhat different frequencies played separately to each ear created a perception of opposing beats at the same rate as would be physically produced.

Binaural beats work through the use of acoustic tones that, when listened on each ear, stimulates the brain. (and because of that it works best when you listen using headphones). For example, if you play a 200 Hz rhythm in your left ear and a 180 Hz in your right ear your brain perceives a 20 Hz binaural beat. Our healthy brain works on frequencies ranging between 4Hz and 40Hz. When we sleep, it slows down to long drawn out Delta waves. When we are awake, alert but calm our brain emits Alpha waves that are strong with high amplitude. When we are actively thinking, concentrating, learning, or simply aware of our environment our brain waves jump up to superfast Gamma waves. (if you can’t remember the physics of waves with frequencies and amplitude just look at the pictures and you will understand all you need to know).

Binaural tones can help you fall asleep better by reducing your brainwaves naturally. After the brain interprets the difference between the two sounds, it synchronizes its rhythm to a lower frequency. It works much like the white noise sounds some people use but more targeted because you can adjust the difference. If you have a project to finish or need to concentrate, meditate listening to higher frequency tones. It will stimulate your brain to synchronize with the Gamma waves you need to be productive.

Here are two playlists for you to listen and share. One has soothing tones that will help your brainwaves to slow down so you can have a restorative sleep. The second list has stimulant beats to increase the frequency of your brainwaves supporting concentration and problem-solving skills.

Binaural Beats for meditation

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvDPb1LXvnKByCjEfpb4ouFtaDd_jJ2cq

Binaural Beats for Relaxation

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvDPb1LXvnKAhgUcjiDUAbI24hJg-J2NQ

 

About Ana: Ana likes to write. When she is not writing about spiritual stuff, she is probably reading about spiritual stuff. Leaving little to no time to do spiritual stuff like meditate and practice yoga before grabbing her chai latte. Ana likes to write about herself in the third person. It makes her feel like an important author and it gives her confidence to share her writing. Her debut book called ‘The girlfriends’ guide to your spiritual self’ is about to be published and she is kinda freaking out but mostly feeling very accomplished.