Guess what…there is a significant cost to being in the wrong brainwave state, you can struggle to accomplish certain tasks and quickly run into performance limits because of it.  When we are wanting to achieve high performance in stressful environments, understanding how to navigate brainwave states is pretty critical. 

The brainwave best for creative thought and big picture thinking is much different than the one needed to write proposals.  Depending on your habits around stress management and subsequent levels of stress hormones in your system, you can favour using a predominant beta brainwave state.  Beta (14 - 30 Hz) is great for arousal, alertness, concentration, and cognition but when overused (due to effects of prolonged stress) you can run the risk of operating at the higher spectrum of a beta brainwave (25-30 Hz). This where anxiety, racing thoughts, unease, and the fight or flight response live.

How a hyper beta brainwave state and stress hormones were designed to be used to our cognitive advantage would be a situation similar to this…

You are working away, then all of a sudden, a crisis hits and needs your immediate attention. 

You have a minor feeling of panic but then get hyper focused not only handling the crisis perfectly but doing so in lightning speed.  You look at the time and are shocked 3 hours has passed.  That is using both stress hormones (adrenaline, norepinephrine, cortisol) and brainwave states to our advantage.

Great for short periods of time when you need to meet a deadline, solve a software crash, or run away from a tiger.  Not so great over prolonged periods of time as you begin to treat everything as a crisis situation and become more and more anxious, scattered, and have a constant feeling of unease in the body.

So what if you want creative thought?  A symbiotic relationship exists between our physical-emotional-mental states and our brainwave states.  The slower more relaxed you are, the slower more relaxed the frequency of your brainwaves are.  Cool right?!  It would make sense then if you are struggling to access creative thought that you need to slow down, relax, and get out of beta and into alpha.  Alpha (8 Hz – 12 Hz) is where a sense of calm, creativity, and … live.  It is also where your optimal system function resides and where wellbeing cognitively, physically, and emotionally you thrive. 

If you are interested in learning more about high performance, stress, and brainwave states.  Join Jamie Wood as she conducts a 2-week study with EEG that maps the brain and trains it to access the Alpha Brainwave state.

 

By Jamie Wood {[email protected]}

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