Retune Your Mind


Like late-’80s TV your brain processes information on four different wavelengths. Ace any task by choosing which one to harness – and when.


Theta Waves

What? When you’re doing automatic tasks, your brain produces theta waves. These create a detachment of mind from body, which can enhance recall.

Use it to prepare a speech Create a high Theta state with a 30-minute walk around a repetitive route, says Professor Øyvind Ellingsen, a medical imaging neuroscientist at NTNU. Straight after is ideal for fact-cramming.


Beta Waves

What? When you’re completely focused on a task, you’re generating beta waves, says neuroscientist Sarah Jarvis at University of Freiburg, Germany: “They assist intense mental activity.”

Use it to analyse a report Shift into Beta gear with spatial awareness exercises and memory games like pairs. Download an app to help, used by Harvard researchers, at


Alpha Waves

What? These mind-cleansing anti-stressors occur when you’re aware of what’s going on around you, but are feeling calm and reflective.

Use it to de-stress A new study found 20 minutes of Acem Meditation (relaxing with the help of repetitive sounds) boosted alpha waves.


Gamma Waves

What? These aid learning, sweeping from your brain’s thalamus, linking new thoughts with memories.

Use it to learn fresh skills Boost learning skills or prepare for new tasks with binaural beats – synchronised tones played in stereo – to induce gamma waves.



Words by Ed Chipperfield. Illustration by Spooky Pooka at Debut Art.


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