Here's my elementary understanding of them at this point. If you are looking for a storehouse of research, checkout the work of Anna Wise.
Our brain is electrically charged and neurons are constantly firing and wiring. Did you ever wonder why you are prone to having the same thoughts over and over again? (This gets into another amazing concept, neural plasticity). In one of the anatomy trainings I attended, the presenter shared that, "The neurons that wire together fire together." As these electrical currents travel throughout our brain, they do so in wave like patterns. Our mind is able to regulate these patterns. As we measure the brain wave states, scientists have identified these four frequencies:
1. Beta- This is the state we live in. We might identify this state when we are in our monkey mind, or wrapped up in our to-do lists. In this state we are constantly alert. As humans we spend most of our time here, and according to Wise, "If we did not have this state, we would not be able to function in the outside world."
2. Alpha- This state is where we have daydreams, fantasies, and it becomes a space of focused intention. According to the work of Wise, this state links the conscious with the subconscious mind.
3. Theta- This is the subconscious state. This is the frequency in which the experience of meditation happens. Wise highlights that, "Theta also contains the storehouse of creative inspiration and is where you often have your spiritual connection."
4. Delta- These brainwaves are identified as your sleep states as well as the unconscious mind. Wise highlights that these waves, " provide intuition, empathetic attunement, and instinctual insight."
I'm so excited to learn more about accessing these frequency states! Be sure to check out Anna Wise's website as well as her books, The Awakened Mind and The High Performance Mind.
May You Sweetly Seek:)