What’s Happening in your Brain? And Can it be Improved?
If you knew how to access an optimal brain state that made you the happiest, and most productive version of yourself, wouldn’t you do it? Well you’re not alone. In 2022, more than 70 million adults resolved to find ways to improve their mental health.
New supplements and diets pop up every day claiming to have the answer for ‘mental clarity,’ ‘flow state,’ ‘better sleep,’ ‘more focus,’ on and on and on. But the truth is, you can’t improve what you can’t measure.
How Do I Know What’s Working?
Everyone wants to improve their mental health, increase focus, and ultimately become the happiest, highest functioning version of who they are. So what is the best way to do that consistently over time? They say everything starts in the mind - but until recently, we haven’t had access to affordable technology that allows us to measure and analyze how our unique mind operates, and how it could improve.
We rely on our brain to perform at a high level, but we do a lot of guess work in making sure that it does. There is no perfect brain, but there are ways to improve the function, communication, and interconnectivity of the neurons in your brain. By improving the function, communication, and interconnectivity of neurons, you ultimately become a more capable human being, and I think we all want that.
What are Brain Waves?
The brain communicates by sending little electrical impulses between neurons. These impulses are called brain waves. Certain brain waves provide certain aptitudes, and generate certain responses in the body.
Alpha waves provide a state of relaxed awareness that can benefit creativity, problem solving, and focus. Beta waves aid concentration and can improve language and reading skills. Theta waves can provide relaxation, and are associated with drowsiness and meditation. All of these waves are present throughout the day, and have their unique benefits. But, the frequency and timing of these waves in your specific brain is what determines your mood, emotions, personality and experience of reality.
The difference between a motivated or a lethargic day at work could come down to which brain waves are active, and when. With a better understanding of these brain waves, and how to create more or less of them with our habits and actions, optimum daily performance, health, and happiness can be an equation rather than a guess.
The world has become obsessed with tracking information and data to “biohack” their way into the future they want. We want to see how well we’re sleeping, how many calories we burned, how far we ran, etc. Up until now, there have been limited tools to track the overall performance of our brains - enter the EEG.
EEG Brain Scans
An EEG is a brain mapping technology that tracks and records brain wave patterns. A helmet filled with small electrodes is placed on your head as you sit in silence for 10 minutes. The electrodes analyze electrical impulses in your brain and send signals to a computer that records the results. Brain waves differ from person to person and can reveal a lot about personality, individual aptitudes, performance, and shortcomings. Someone who is experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression for example, could have a dominating presence of theta wave activity throughout the day, causing feelings and emotions of drowsiness, and demotivation. Someone who is in a creative flow or immersed in a fulfilling project will likely have strong alpha wave production. Most of us don’t even know what type of brain waves we have going on. Not long ago, something would have to be very wrong for you to get a brain scan. You would have been injured, or displaying signs of severe mental instability for it to even be considered.
Now you can get one done any day of the week without a doctor’s note. You don’t have to be sick to want to perform at a higher level. An EEG is one of the best resources available to truly do so.
EEGs allow overall brain health to be measured, which as we know is a prerequisite for improvement. An EEG scan at Braincare Performance Center takes 10 minutes, and gives you a detailed look at how healthy your brain really is - how it functions and processes information at base level. They also provide a follow up consultation where a Brainwave Specialist breaks down the various components of your scan with you. You can see what’s working well and what could use improvement, and develop a plan to move toward optimum performance.
Quantify your Progress
Before you commit to another supplement, diet, or exercise routine, consider scheduling a baseline EEG so you have a data point to work from. There are many things you can incorporate into your life to increase alpha wave production and improve the functionality of your brain. Exercise, natural light, nutrition, meditation, supplements, sleep, etc. Start here. Then return for a follow up scan to see if there have been any improvements. The EEG technology represents a legitimate way to quantify how you’re progressing over time.
The path to mental and physical wellness (and greatness) stems from a generative relationship between your brain, body and spirit. When you gain a deeper understanding of how something works, you can make it work better. Historically, we've done this relatively well with physical fitness. We exercise, see some improvement, begin to understand what makes the body stronger, and build habits that cater to that growth with the way we eat, move, supplement, sleep, etc. Now, with EEG technology, we have the ability to take an objective measurement and assessment of our mental fitness.