How to Balance Your Brainwaves, the Different Brain Frequencies & How They Impact Our State of Mind + The Difference Between the Mind & Brain

Dr. Caroline Leaf
7 min readAug 9, 2021

In a recent podcast (episode #306), I spoke about what brain waves are, why they are important and how we can balance our brain waves to improve our mind and brain health.

Our brain waves are active all the time because the brain is always active. The brain is active 24/7, 7 days a week!

Our brain waves change in terms of how they move through the brain, which is based on what we are thinking, doing and feeling. When slower brain waves are dominant, we often feel tired, slow, sluggish, or dreamy, and are not able to process information or emotions very well. When the higher brain wave frequencies are dominant, we can feel wired or hyper-alert, like there is just too much going on in our brains. A healthy brain tries to balance these extremes.

How our brainwaves function and our daily experience of the world are inseparable because the mind moves through the brain, and the brain responds to the mind. When our emotions are out of balance or very negative (like when we aren’t rising to the challenge and building new knowledge into our brains daily, or when we are responding in chaotic and reactive ways to the chronic and acute stressors of life), this will be reflected in our physiology (blood, hormones and so on) and in our brainwaves, which will be out of balance. Consequently, our self-regulation and self-assessment can be affected because we experience our mind in our brain and body. There is a corresponding relationship between the mind and brain that plays out in our mental, emotional, neurological and physical health.

When we change our perceptions, however, as we observed in our most recent research study, we can potentially change our brain’s response, our physiology and our cellular health, which plays back into our minds because of the feedback loop between the brain and body. For example, stress, when managed in a healthy way, can be a real asset to how we function, and we can see this in the brain. When we use stress to our advantage, we essentially use our more aware and ready state of mind to spring into action — we see balance, coherence and connectivity in the brain.

On the other hand, prolonged and unmanaged toxic stress can result in anxious, racing and chaotic thoughts in the brain, which can, in turn, affect the physiological system

Dr. Caroline Leaf

Mental health expert. I have spent the last 30+ years researching ways to help people manage mental health issues in school, work, and life: