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Theta Brainwaves and How They Can Affect Creativity

Article ID: 64
Written by: rhknigh
Written on: Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:19 pm
Article Description: Self Improvement:Mind Development - Brain specialists find that theta waves activate memory, vivid imagery, new ideas, and a deep lasting state of calm. In doing so, creatives can surpass their mental blocks and pick up the tools of their trade and materialize something inspired from the realm of the imagination. How can we get our brains to the state of tranquility and vivid imagination?
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If you are a creative type that is often high-strung or prone to being anxious it can put you into a predicament: You want to do your art in order to relax yet you need to detach from your worries and just be in the moment in order to allow the creative energy to flow. How can we get our brains to the state of tranquility and vivid imagination? Whether you are looking for outside-the-box brainstorming, access to your deepest intuitive thinking, or just a relaxing daydream brain-vacation, there are different ways to help achieve this by slowing the frequency of our brainwaves.

Theta Wave, digital art © Eddie Arndt (with permission) see more at his ASC Gallery
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We tend to spend most of our active waking hours in the high frequency beta state, in which our critical selective thought processes are enforced and determine that what we should pay attention to is what is responsible, logical, and realistic. Art, music, intuition, creativity, and inspiration all fall outside the general focus of our minds when our beta brainwaves are dominant. Scientists have pinpointed the theta state is dominant when our brains are on the verge of sleep. If you follow my articles, you may recall when I wrote about creative writing I made note that this ability to tap into the dream or post-dream state is part of the natural process of pulling new ideas from our imagination.

Brain specialists find that theta waves activate memory, vivid imagery, new ideas, and a deep lasting state of calm. Physically and emotionally we become soothed and allow creative thoughts into the forefront of our consciousness. When finding a new idea, the "A-ha" moment, EEG monitors detected a noticeable increase in theta wave activity in people participating in a study doing problem-solving exercises. For an every-day commonplace example, consider how when thinking really hard produces no solution but upon relaxing it comes to you - this is an "A-ha" moment, with the slowing down in our brainwave activity. Critical resistance in our normal state of consciousness gets in the way of being able to think about something new. The ability to think in a new way is the very essence of inspiration which all artists, writers, and musicians etc. strive for.

Brainwave entrainment or "brainwave synchronization," methods aim to induce brainwave frequencies to fall into step with a stimulus with the same frequency. Alpha, theta and delta are slow, and in the slower frequency ranges the right-brain and left-brain communicate better. This would allow both macroscopic "big-picture" and detail-oriented thought processes equal consideration. It can also bring harmony to ideas of logic vs. emotion. When awake and alert a pure theta state is not possible, but there are ways to get the brainwaves to alpha and theta together, both relaxing the brain and turning it on.

Binaural beats or isochronal tones are a highly regarded sonic form of brainwave stimulation. Music with steady beats, especially with layers of pulses will tune brainwaves to theta. This is possible because the brain has a "frequency following" response to aural provocation. There are also visual stimuli that can create specific brainwave response. For instance there are audio-visual entrainment videos like the ones on Squareeater - for theta waves I would recommend trying out the Lucid square.

Sensory deprivation tanks, or float tanks, allow for an extended theta state experience. Letting go and exploring a different state of consciousness can be a way to let the mind truly wander, completely withdrawn from sensory input. Up until the age of six our primary mental activity is done in Theta which explains flashbacks to early childhood memories occurring in the float tank. If you opt to try sensory deprivation, take a means of recording your immediate ideas that result as you may not hold onto them for long similar to the difficulty of recalling a dream once awake. In our daily lives we are bombarded with overwhelming sensory agitation so a float tank is the opposite extreme that can help to open the mind to internal instead of external ideas. Of course you cannot actually practice artistic endeavors while in the tank, the benefit you get is the state of serenity and the ideas that you hold onto directly after.

Runner's high or the sense of elation felt during vigorous athletic activity or physical exertion is another way to experience a theta state. Other examples of ways to achieve theta are with self-hypnosis and practiced meditation. Although meditating helps people find long periods of theta, it can take the better part of a lifetime to accomplish.

With the aid of the theta brainwave we can break outside of the limitations of the physical senses and expand or shift our perception of reality. Everyone can train their brains to awaken a latent ability and believe in boundless possibilities. In doing so, creatives can surpass their mental blocks and pick up the tools of their trade and materialize something inspired from the realm of the imagination.
This article was last edited by Singular on Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:05 pm
This article has been viewed 1671 times

Rebecca Knight, representing artist Tanya Davis & author of a blog celebrating creativity:

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Tags: theta state, theta brainwaves, theta waves, stimulate creativity, entrainment, new ideas, creative thought
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