Meditation has been practiced for centuries as a way to achieve relaxation and deeper connection with self and spirituality. Today, many people use binaural beats music to assist their meditation sessions.
But what is this technology, and how does it work when it comes to meditation?
Binaural beats are created when two different sound frequencies are presented to each ear through headphones. Upon hearing these frequencies, the brain creates a third phantom frequency, based on the mathematical difference between the two, known as the binaural beat. The brain then follows along at this frequency and entrains the listener's brain to a particular state.
Depending on the frequency you're listening to, this has variety of effects on the brain and body, including relaxation, improved focus, better sleep, and even pain relief.
There is deeper insight on how this works here.
In this article, we will discuss how you can use binaural beats music during your traditional meditation practice.
Research on Using Binaural Beats for Meditation
We all know there is a plethora of research into the benefits of meditation, and that's probably why you started or what piqued your interest. But what about using binaural beats for meditation, specifically?
The good news is that research has shown that binaural beats are an effective tool for meditation.
Here are some examples of research studies that have investigated the effects of theta binaural beats (which we will discuss next) on relaxation, stress, and related outcomes:
- A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that participants who listened to theta binaural beats experienced increased relaxation and reduced stress, as measured by self-reported anxiety levels and cortisol levels (a biomarker of stress) (1).
- Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that theta binaural beats were effective in reducing feelings of anxiety and improving mood in a sample of healthy adults (2).
- A third study published in the Journal of Neurotherapy found that theta binaural beats were effective in reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in military veterans (3).
- A meta-analysis published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology analyzed the results of 22 studies on the effects of binaural beats on mood and reported that theta binaural beats were effective in reducing anxiety and improving mood (4).
This research suggests that theta binaural beats are a helpful tool for promoting relaxation, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving mood.
So, how do you get started with binaural beats for meditation? Here are some simple steps you can follow.
How to Get Started
Listening to binaural beats music while you meditate is very similar to standard meditation practice. The only difference is that you have an aid that will help move your mind into a deeply relaxed state. To do this, we need to choose the correct frequency band.
Choose the Right Frequency
When wanting to meditate, you should choose theta binaural beats because they are associated with deep relaxation and a meditative state of mind.
Theta brainwaves have a frequency of 4-8 Hz and are present during deep meditation, daydreaming, and hypnosis.
Listening to theta binaural beats can help to slow down your brainwaves and induce a more relaxed and meditative state. This can be particularly helpful if you have trouble quieting your mind or if you experience anxiety or stress during meditation.
Research has also suggested that theta binaural beats may have a range of other benefits for the brain and body, including:
- Increased creativity and problem-solving abilities.
- Improved working memory and long-term memory retention.
- Reduced feelings of anxiety and the promotion of feelings of calm and relaxation.
- Pain relief, particularly in combination with other pain management techniques.
Indeed, in terms of benefits, there is a lot of crossover between the different frequency states (delta, theta, alpha, beta). In this regard, binaural beats music provides a holistic self-improvement tool
At this point it is worth noting that you don't need to meditate formally to listen to binaural beats music, not even with the theta state tracks. You can just listen along and relax. However, if you enjoy the traditional format of a meditation session, the tips below will help you combine the two.
Find a Quiet and Comfortable Place to Meditate
First, you need to find a quiet place where you can meditate without any external noise or disturbance. This could be a peaceful room in your home, a quiet park, or any other place where you feel comfortable and relaxed.
It is important to turn off any electronic devices or notifications that might disturb you during your meditation session.
Next, it is important to ensure that you are physically comfortable and relaxed. You should wear comfortable clothing that is not too tight or restrictive.
You can sit on a cushion, chair or the floor, but ensure that your back is straight and your posture is good, as this helps in deep breathing and relaxation.
Don't worry if you aren't able to sit up straight, or in the traditional lotus meditation position, as you will still benefit from the frequency response process.
You might also want to avoid meditating on a full stomach, as this may cause discomfort and distract you from your meditation.
Put On Your Headphones
Binaural beats require headphones for the audio to be effective. This is because your left and right ears need to receive specific frequency information.
You can use any headphones, but over the ear, closed back headphones work best because they help block out external sound and give you a more intimate listening experience.
Put on your headphones and press play. Make sure that the volume is set to a comfortable level, as you would with any genre of easy-listening music.
You can also close your eyes, if you want to.
Focus On Your Breath
As you begin to listen, focus on your breath. Take slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Pay attention to the sensation of your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Notice the rise and fall of your chest and abdomen, and allow yourself to become fully absorbed in the sound of your breath.
By focusing on your breath, you can enhance your meditation practice and promote deep relaxation and mindfulness.
As you continue to practice this technique while listening to your binaural beats, you may find that you are better able to manage stress and anxiety, and that you feel more centered and grounded in your daily life.
Let Go of Your Thoughts
As you continue to focus on your breath, you may notice that your mind starts to wander. This is normal, and it is important to simply observe any thoughts or distractions that arise without judgment or attachment.
When you notice that your mind has wandered, simply acknowledge your thoughts and gently bring your attention back to your breath and the sound of the music.
Ending Your Meditation
We recommend a minimum session durations of 15 minutes to ensure you benefit from the frequency entrainment. Your download package will contain a 30 and 60-minute version, so if you want to stop earlier than 30 minutes you can use a timer.
When your session comes to an end, slowly open your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Take a moment to reorientate before getting up. Don't rush back into your day, but rather merge back into your schedule, remaining mindful and present.
That's it! We hope you found this information useful. If you're ready to get started now, you can visit our store to choose your downloads.
You can also download some free samples here.