Learn about the importance of beta brainwaves, what benefits they bring to you in terms of your mental fitness, and more!
Beta brainwaves are one of the five types of brainwaves that our brains produce, ranging in frequency between 13 Hz and around 30 Hz.
Science has shown that beta brainwaves are most dominant during the daytime, when people are wide awake and actively engaged in mental activities.
It’s also worth noting that every type of brainwave is present within the brain at any given time; however, certain types of brainwaves will become more active, or “dominant”, under certain conditions.
In this blog post, we’ll detail the importance of beta brainwaves, what benefits they bring to you in terms of your mental fitness, and explain the best ways to bring your beta brainwaves back into balance in the event their relative activity levels are thrown off.
Our brains are always active, even when we’re asleep, and that electrical activity is generally classified under five different categories of brainwaves.
Naturally, for scientific purposes these categories can be further broken down into more specific subsections, but for general purposes those five categories are as follows:
– Delta brainwaves: 0 – 2.75 Hz
– Theta brainwaves: 3.5 – 6.75 Hz
– Alpha brainwaves: 7.5 – 11.75 Hz
– Beta brainwaves: 13 – 29.75 Hz
– Gamma brainwaves: 31 – 49.75 Hz
Note: general consensus differs in terms of the exact frequency range values for each brainwave. The above figures represent the ranges we acknowledge at Healium.
Each type of brainwave has a different frequency range. Beta brainwaves have some of the highest frequencies of all the types of brainwaves (except for the ultra-fast gamma waves), and they are dominant in most people during the daytime.
Beta brainwaves are also associated with alertness and cognitive activity, often seen during stress or mental effort. However, too much beta activity relative to your normal beta activity levels can also be detrimental, leading to anxiety and restlessness.
While beta waves fall in the frequency range of 13-30 Hz, they can be further divided into three beta subcategories:
– Low beta waves (12-15 Hz): Low beta waves are associated with focus, introspection, and calm.
– Medium beta waves (15-20 Hz): Medium beta waves or “beta two” are seen in times of increased energy, stress, and performance.
– High beta waves (18 Hz and up): High beta waves are associated with high anxiety, agitation, and restlessness levels.
Beta brainwaves are associated with several benefits, including:
Beta brainwaves are present when we are mentally alert and focused. This state is necessary for clear thinking and analytical problem-solving. For this reason, beta brainwaves are often seen during times of mental effort, such as studying for an exam or working on a challenging project.
Beta brainwaves are also associated with increased energy levels. This is why they are often seen during physical exertion. Beta waves have been shown to increase stamina and endurance. They can also help fight fatigue, making it easier to stay energized throughout the day.
Beta brainwaves can also help enhance motivation since they are closely associated with the fight-or-flight response. This natural survival instinct allows us to take action in times of danger.
When faced with a challenging situation, beta brainwaves can help us summon the energy and courage needed to overcome it.
While beta brainwaves are necessary for optimal mental function, too much beta activity relative to your brain’s normal range of activity can lead to problems such as:
A common problem associated with excessive beta activity is an inability to relax. This can be because beta waves are constantly stimulating the mind, making it difficult to wind down at night or during times of leisure. This can lead to problems such as insomnia and anxiety, which may cause further beta activity, creating a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break out of.
For those who suffer from insomnia, balancing their brainwave activity through sleep meditation is an excellent self-managed option that may help.
Mental fatigue, poor concentration, and brain fog are common problems associated with beta activity. Beta waves can interfere with our ability to focus and think clearly. When beta activity is excessive, it can be challenging to pay attention or to remember important information. This can lead to problems at work or school and in everyday life.
Beta activity is also closely linked to anxiety. High beta waves are often seen in those who suffer from panic attacks or generalized anxiety disorder. Excessive beta activity can make us tense, nervous, and on edge. It can also cause physical symptoms such as a racing heart and sweaty palms.
There are several ways to reduce beta activity. Some standard methods include:
– Meditation: Meditation is a great way to calm the mind and reduce beta activity. There are many different types of meditation, but those focusing on breath work or visualization tend to be most effective for reducing beta waves.
Combining meditation practice with new technology makes it easier than ever to target and balance specific brainwaves. At Healium, we combine virtual reality with neurofeedback to present users with their brainwave data in real time as they meditate. Through operant conditioning, users can learn to self-manage stress, anxiety, and sleep.
– Yoga: Yoga is another excellent option for those looking to reduce beta activity, especially yoga routines that place their focus on mindfulness. The combination of physical movement and deep breathing can help calm the mind and ease anxiety.
– Exercise: Exercise is also a great way to reduce stress and tension, feel more alert and mindful, and even release dopamine and serotonin, all of which can help improve your brain’s health and normalize your brainwave activity levels.
– Diet: Eating a healthy diet is also important for reducing beta activity. Certain foods, such as caffeine and sugar, can increase beta activity. Avoiding them, or avoiding them at night especially in order to maintain proper sleep, will also help to regulate beta waves.
If you believe you are struggling with excessive beta activity, talk to a doctor or seek clinical neurofeedback therapy.
Healium is powered by your body’s electricity and uses real-time data to train your brain. Our unique, active approach to meditation grants you the ability to self-manage anxiety, improve focus and concentration, and get better sleep.
Wondering how Healium works? Check out our comprehensive guide or simply watch the video below!
Sarah Hill is the CEO of Healium, the world’s first biometrically-powered VR/AR immersive media channel controlled by the user's brainwaves and heart rate via consumer wearables.