I am, admittedly, not a person with great concentration skills. My mind tends to wander when I have to do a lot of sitting, and I doodle during important meetings, and I fidget, and I show a remarkable aptitude for misplacing my keys and wallet and phone simultaneously. Obviously, none of these things are particularly conducive to being a functioning human or whatever, so I'm always searching for ~tips 'n tricks~ to boost my attention span. Enter Brain.fm, an app that provides "brain stimulating" music for all your functioning human needs: focusing, relaxing, and sleeping.
Launched last year, Brain.fm strives to control your mood by harnessing your brain waves with "binaural beats." Wowow this is the future, amirite? Our brainwaves (electric impulses in the brain) are at the core of every reaction and emotion and mood. Different frequencies indicate different vibes. "Over-arousal" of brainwaves can point to anxiety and aggression issues, while "under-arousal" is indicative of depression, ADD/ADHD, and insomnia.
Brain.fm operates within three of the major brainwave frequency levels — Beta, Alpha, and Delta — and engages them to help users achieve... whatever it is that they're hoping to achieve, whether it be cranking out a term paper or getting their snooze on. Users have reported experiencing tingling sensations, different heart beats (one Reddit user noted their heart beat "harder, though not faster"), and a distance from the world around them. Here's why:
Beta waves (12-38 HZ) are associated with getting sh*t done — productivity, engaging with tasks, problem solving, critical thinking. You know when you drink a lot of coffee and are like, "HERE I AM READY 2 GO"? You're experiencing Beta waves. You just don't want to be experiencing Beta waves all the time — that's when your stress and anxiety levels skyrocket.
All that talk about mindfulness and being in the moment and conscious meditation? It's this vibe right here, Alpha waves (8-12 HZ), that they're referencing. Alpha waves put us into the ideal "resting state." Marijuana and alcohol can also spark Alpha waves. When you're super stressed, your evil, evil body can sometimes go into "alpha blocking mode," which is exactly what it sounds like. Your body being like "nah we are not resting today sorry dude."
Delta waves (0.5-3 HZ) do more than just aid in deep sleep, though I think we all know at this point that that's an incredibly important element to being a healthy human. Delta waves also facilitate healing and regeneration, hence the term "restorative rest."
The Brain.fm instructions for engaging with the three wave levels is thus: plug in headphones. Listen to music for 15 to 30 minutes. Focus on the beat as much as possible. And... that's it. While this kind of app isn't a cure-all — the work still needs to be done on our end as well, dudes — it can still help with getting work done, getting sleep done, and getting your big time relax chill vibes on.
Images: Fotolia; Giphy (3)