What is Cultivating Alpha?
What is Cultivating?
The dictionary definition of Cultivating that we usually think of is “to promote or improve the growth of a plant or crop by labor and attention.” However, it also means “to develop or improve by education or training” and “to promote the growth or development of an art or science” and “to devote oneself.”
Cultivating is an important concept in Buddhist praxis – bhavana – and as such normally appears in conjunction with another word, such as citta-bhavana, which means cultivation of the heart/mind. When it is used on its own bhavana signifies ‘spiritual cultivation’. The term also suggests hope, because no matter how damaged a field may be, it can always be cultivated — endlessly enhanced, enriched, developed — to produce a favorable and nourishing harvest.
What is Alpha?
Alpha has several means from “the first in a series”, “the beginning”, “the first letter of the Greek alphabet”, “the brightest star in a constellation”, “the best or highest level in a group”, and from my finance and investment days “the difference between an expected return and the actual return on an investment.”
So, what type of Alpha is being Cultivated here? The Alpha that I am interested in helping you cultivate are your Alpha Brain Waves. They are defined as brain waves that cycle between the frequency 8 Hz and 12 Hz and are the dominant brain wave activity when your body and mind are able to relax. If you have ever practiced meditation, yoga, tai chi, chi gong, or experienced energy healing from an experienced therapist, you have experienced alpha brain waves.
If you close your eyes for a minute or so, your alpha brain wave activity will significantly increase. As you open your eyes, the more stressful beta brain waves become the dominant pattern. In comparison, as a child you will have had significantly greater amounts of alpha brain wave activity than you have as an adult. They are considered to be the healthiest brain wave range, and yet for the majority of people alpha brain waves happen to be the frequency range that is the most lacking. Things like environmental stressors, fear, anxiety, tension, and overworking tend to deplete your alpha wave activity.
Benefits of Alpha Brain Waves
- Relaxing Thoughts / Relaxed Body – The alpha brain wave is produced when your body calms down and your mind is completely relaxed. Your brain’s thinking is slower, your mind is clear and you may even feel slightly tired. Your body relaxes as your parasympathetic nervous system is activated. You feel less stress.
- Access Creative States – Artists, innovative thinkers, and singers are generally found to have higher alpha activity than the average person. Thus, with the cultivation of alpha brain waves, you have greater access to your own inner creativity.
- Enhanced Problem Solving – Alpha waves integrate both hemispheres of your brain for better communication and clearer thinking. By cultivating your alpha waves, you can tap into the power of the intuitive, right-hemisphere of your brain.
- Calming, Centered Emotions – Alpha brain waves will put you into a calm emotional state. You will feel more content and centered. If you are stressed out or overwhelmed, cultivating alpha will stabilize intense emotions and you will feel better about yourself.
- Optimal Athletic Performance – If you are an athlete, you could significantly improve your performance by cultivating some alpha brain waves. There is published research showing that just before a golfer hits their best shot or a basketball player sinks a shot or an elite marksman make a perfect shot, alpha activity bursts in the left-hemisphere of their brain. Increased alpha waves indicate being “in the zone.”
- Reductions of Fear, Tension, Stress, Nervousness, Anxiety – If you suffer from any of these challenges, increasing your alpha brain waves will help you immensely.
- Being in “the Flow” – Being able to access “flow” means that you are able to tap into a state of mind where all of life’s events seem to pass smoothly and all challenges are overcome effortlessly. “Flow” is a period of time when you do not have any resistance or problems. You feel balanced and grounded and feel that you are at peace with yourself and everything and everyone around you.
- Ability to Tap “Super-Learning” – The ability to learn quickly and effortlessly has been described as the phenomena of “super-learning.” Basically, your brain is able to remember and recall information with less effort than normal. Alpha waves will allow your brain to retain large quantities of information. This is due to the fact that both hemispheres of your brain are integrated and communicating with each other when your alpha brain waves are active.
- Improved Immune System Functioning – Your alpha brain waves are responsible for amping up your immune system. They have been linked to health, recovery from sickness, and serve as protection from stress-related illnesses. Stress can quickly damage your immune system if you go for long periods without taking time to relax, and thus increase your alpha brain waves, your immune system is likely to suffer.
- Think Positive – Research indicates that positive thinking and positive emotions result from increased alpha brain wave activity.
- Natural Anti-Depressant – Alpha brain waves allow for increased release of an important neurotransmitter called Serotonin. When you feel depressed, Serotonin production usually drops to lower than normal levels in your brain. In fact, most anti-depressants aim to increase low levels of Serotonin in the brain. And, if you can do this yourself or with the help of a therapist, why take the medication?
- Internal Awareness – Alpha brain waves are associated with an increased awareness of your self: body, mind and emotions and less focus on external events.
I propose that if you are interested in your self-development and your well-being, be it physical, emotional, mental or on the spiritual level, Cultivating Alpha in your life can help you in many ways. Contact me at email@example.com for a free 30-minute consultation at either l’Institute de Médecine Naturelle in Geneva or at Strawberry Hill Healing Atelier in Hermance.