Brain waves

I went to Green Bay this last weekend and had a chance to spend some
time with my good friends from high school.  It’s something that I
enjoy more than they’re aware, I’m sure.  One of the conversations
that I had was with a good friend, Andy, who hiked the entire
Appalachian Trail.  I believe that experience was truly a life
altering experience for him…

Anyway, one of the things that he told me was that his most enjoyable
time thus far, was when he didn’t know what day it was.  This
happened while he was hiking the trail.  There was no reason to
know if the day was Monday or Saturday… I think there is a lot to be
said about that.  I don’t think I could count how many people
despise Monday and embrace Friday.  To be indifferent to all days
because they all provide equal joy, would truly be a nice
feeling.  I experienced this feeling, to some extent, when I was
un-employed last fall.  I didn’t work for about 6 months (sort of
on purpose) and days seemed to lose their meaning.  Everyday felt
like Saturday (or Tuesday for that matter) to me.  I don’t think I
felt quite what Andy felt, but I’m sure it was along the same lines.

So, Andy proceeded to then tell me about brain waves.  I hadn’t
really thought about them before, and I have to admit that I found this
very interesting… The fact that people study (and can prove) more
than the conceptual psychology of situations is pretty
interesting.  Now, he said that the first couple days in the woods
affect people differently.  The reasoning was that their brain was
switching from mainly operating in beta waves to more of an alpha wave
form.  He said that once you have been in the woods for a few
days, you’re brain waves are generally in the alpha state.

The closest thing that I can relate to this, is when you
meditate.  Meditation generally brings you from the (sometimes)
chaotic beta state to a more relaxed alpha state.  The idea is
that you push the immediate thoughts, needs, and desires aside and just
allow yourself to relax.  I personally think that if you “train”
by meditating consistently, it is easily possible to change your brain
wave from beta to theta in a short session.  The trick is to get
to delta without falling asleep 🙂  My experiences with meditation
is that it can be really quite pleasant for overall mental (and
physical?) health.

As a side note, if you ever have trouble falling asleep, try
meditating.  I have done it in the past, and it has not failed me.

For further information, despite it’s extremely annoying style, this
does a pretty
good job of summarizing the different brain waves (beta, alpha, theta,
and delta). Also, have a look at the wikipedia page on Electroencefalography