How Are Binaural Beats Similar and Different to Other Forms of Mindful Exercise?

pexels-tirachard-kumtanom-1001850 Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels

Practicing mindfulness as part of your wellness routine can be incredibly beneficial in accelerating your long-term health and fitness goals. 

Allowing yourself to relax your mind and body may sound easy to some, but it's increasingly challenging in today's world. You can work on mindfulness in your breath flow, and in turn, reducing stress levels and improving your overall well-being. 

Some other forms of mindfulness exercises can include practices such as full-body scans, which are intended to help focus on relaxing and being more aware of specific parts of your body, or mediation and working on being more present in your surroundings. But what's the difference between mindfulness and binaural beats?

What are Binaural beats?

When your brain hears two slightly different tones simultaneously, it creates an illusion of a third frequency. This phenomenon is because of something called brain entrainment, which is the synchronization of neural activities across the brain. 

Binaural beats work by playing the two tones at slightly different frequencies, and a rhythmic beat is produced as your brain interprets the difference between the frequencies. These sounds induce rapid communication between the two sides of your brain, creating the binaural beat. A range of frequencies is used in binaural beats that all have been proven to provide slightly different benefits. 

ne of the most popular frequencies used is the Gamma range (around 40 Hz), which can be used to decrease your resting heart rate and stress levels and reach full body relaxation. Some of the other frequencies, such as Theta, Beta, Alpha, or Delta, can be used to help with sleep patterns, relaxation, concentration, and even creativity. There's even some evidence to suggest that specific binaural beat frequencies can be used to induce lucid dreaming.

How should you use Binaural Beats? 

Binaural beats are best listened to with headphones or earbuds. Stereo headphones are best as they are capable of playing different sounds on each side simultaneously. You should also be in a location where you can be fully relaxed and free from distractions. It can be helpful to focus on visualization or personal affirmations, but it's also important to make sure you have enough time set aside to enjoy the full benefits of binaural beats!

Binaural beats are especially good for meditation and helping you read a deep state of relaxation. They can also be good for helping you reduce stress and increase your attention span, increase your learning capabilities, and helping you with analytical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

Your brain needs at least 7 minutes to become in sync with the frequencies, but to get the most out of binaural beats, 15-30 minutes of listening is recommended. During this time, you can either close your eyes and meditate or keep them open and try to focus on a single neutral object or area to remain fully present.

What are the benefits?

Over time, binaural beats can be shown to have a multitude of noticeable benefits:

  • Makes meditation more accessible. Many people notice that they have an easier time meditating and being aware of their surroundings after regular and consistent use of binaural beats.
  • Concentration. There is also some correlation between binaural beat usage, and intelligence, as it can help to increase your concentration and creative thinking skills.
  • Stress relief. Arguably the more important benefit is stress relief, as continuously high-stress levels can be extremely detrimental to your physical health.
  • Increased Metabolism. The use of binaural beats can even be shown to increase metabolism and influence weight loss!
  • Reduced anxiety. This is best achieved with binaural beats in the alpha and theta frequencies. There's some evidence suggesting that listening to binaural beats for longer than you normally would help achieve this benefit.

It's important to remember that like physical fitness, it can take time and practice to develop and become accustomed to binaural beats, and it's important to remain patient with yourself.

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