Regular use of binaural beats can result in a number of beneficial outcomes on the brain.
This form of brainwave entrainment (BWE) helps shift the brain into states conducive to better mental health. This includes lowering symptoms of stress and anxiety and improving sleep, focus, and memory.
Because this is a natural therapy, the effects may be more profound for some than others, and may occur faster in some than others.
If you're new to this form of audio, this article will give you an overview of some of the ways in which listening to binaural beats may help improve your mental performance.
Some of the improvements are backed by scientific studies, for which I will link the studies in the text, and others are my personal experience and that of other users I know.
12 Ways Binaural Beats Improve Your Brain
1. Lower Levels of Stress & Anxiety
Listening to Theta wave binaural beats is proven to induce a meditative state of mind, one that will make you feel calmer and less anxious and stressed.
As anxiety levels drop, peace of mind increases and you feel more at ease with yourself and the world. Entraining the brain to be less anxious will, over time, give you more confidence in social situations, and help you relax more, which is better for your health.
In one particular study, binaural beats helped lower pre-operative anxiety in dental patients. And in another study that looked at effect on mood, it was noted that “Binaural beat technology may exhibit positive effect on self-reported psychologic measures, especially anxiety”.
2. Increased Happiness
There are specific binaural beats tracks that target a more positive mood and the release of happy chemicals, including serotonin, DHEA, and endorphins that make you feel good – think that post-exercise feeling.
This effect is similar to that which results from meditation. Being present in the moment and not overthinking your circumstances, not regretting the past and not obsessing over the future makes you feel happier. You are more engaged with life: your work, your family, your passions and hobbies.
3. Whole Brain Functioning
Using binaural beats to meditate encourages a balance of both hemispheres of the brain (left and right), encouraging them to work in harmony. Scientists call this “whole brain synchronization”, a process where your brain experiences beneficial changes in hemispheric blood flow and chemistry.
It's a little scientific, but this is essentially exercising your brain, which will benefit your overall mental health, enhance cognitive performance, and promote better memory and intellectual functioning.
This is why meditation is linked to lower levels of anxiety and depression, and increased feelings of optimism.
You'll be pleased to hear that “whole brain functioning” is a quality attributed to genius folks such as Edison and Leonardo Da Vinci.
4. Deeper Consciousness (Awareness)
The “binaural brain”, as I like to call it, is more aware and awakened, in my opinion.
I believe this to be due to the increased time spent in the Alpha and Theta states, which promote greater clarity of mind and a better connection with the subconscious mind that dictates our habits, actions and feelings about life.
Having a better awareness of why we are thinking the way we think and doing the things we do gives us more control over our lives, giving us the ability to make changes and improve outcomes.
A big part of this is a trait that is often linked to experienced meditators – greater intuition. This helps us navigate life with a sixth sense. Though not necessarily scientific, we all have those gut feelings that we sometimes ignore but that at times are so strong we follow.
I think we'd all agree that there is an energy, be it external or internal, that we don't fully understand yet is able to guide us to better outcomes and avoid potentially negative situations. Being in better tune with our mind is conducive to
5. Better Decision Making
Feeling calmer, less anxious and more aware helps you manage your reactions to life's events. You will make better decisions because you will have the clarity of mind to think things through properly and be less reactive. This means fewer angry confrontations and regretful decisions.
6. Increased Creativity
Creative inspiration and “outside the box” thinking is associated with the Theta brain waves state, which again is generally considered the dominant state in meditation practice.
There are specific binaural beats audios you can buy to promote creative thinking, which is great for creatives such as writers, designers, painters, and musicians.
7. Less Frustration & Anger
With regular listening you'll find that you're more chilled out. Having a daily session or two helps you re-center and you're less likely to become agitated or frustrated by minor incidents.
Your tolerance to stress over simple things like missing a bus or being delayed over something will increase.
8. Better Sleep
One benefit that binaural beats are synonymous with is sleep. People all over the world struggle with getting enough shut eye, largely because we live such busy lives with so many things pulling our minds in different directions.
Right up until the time we go to bed we are stimulating the mind with work and screens, and of course worrying about where the next dollar is coming from to pay the bills.
Some of us worry more than others, and overthink situations, making it hard for us to sleep.
Binaural beats, particularly in the lower Theta and Delta frequencies – which are the slowest, most relaxing waves – can help us relax and calm an over active mind, helping us sleep deeper.
One study in particular showed that participants who listened to a 3 Hertz Delta binaural beats track experienced deeper sleep.
9. Mental Sharpness
Alpha binaural beats in particular are associated with improved focus and concentration, and the flow state, which is characterized by being zoned into a task and effortlessly performing to your potential.
I often use Alpha tracks while working to achieve this state of being completely immersed in what I'm doing.
10. Greater Productivity
With improved focus and concentration comes greater productivity. I challenge you to put on an Alpha or Beta track while working on your computer or studying textbooks. I guarantee you will zone in and be super productive within a short space of time.
I recognize that this is also the case with certain types of instrumental music such as meditation music and Lofi beats, but binaural beats can take that to another level.
11. Better Memory
As we age our long term memory decreases, indeed so does our ability to soak up information, like we did in our early years. The good news is that researchers have found a proportional relationship between gamma activity and long-term memory.
12. Pain Relief
It's strange to think that pain is all in the mind. Our nerves send messages to the brain that we are hurt, and then the brain makes us feel the pain. That sucks, but it stops us from causing more injury to the body. Pain medication blocks pain receptors, but it can be addictive and isn't healthy to take long term.
Relation techniques can help us manage chronic pain, and binaural beats in the Theta Delta wave states appear to have an anesthetic effect that tells the brain to calm down a bit!
In one particular study Theta binaural beats were able to lower pain severity.
Music is able to make us feel a range of emotions, depending on the key and instruments used, and meditation has a range of proven benefits that span all round better mental health. Binaural beats essentially combine these two mediums, by using specific sound frequencies – usually overlaid with meditative music – to reproduce the benefits of meditation, but in a more accurate and specific way.
Some people dispute the claims made about binaural beats, and I agree to some degree. They won't make you taller or better looking, but they are scientifically proven to help with anxiety, sleep, pain relief, and memory.
And, if you feel happier, sharper, and better rested, they it makes sense that this will have a knock-on effect on your life and you'll see improvements in your state of mind, performance at work, and personal relationships.
And this is what brainwave entrainment, meditation, hypnosis, sound healing and all natural therapies are about: it's a holistic approach to improving one's whole life experience, not just one specific outcome.
The improvements can be subtle and incremental, but overtime they amount to profound change.
At the end of the day it's just sound, just audio, just music. I say “just”, but as simple as it is music has been a healing tool for humans for centuries. So the concept is really nothing new; we just have the knowledge to make it even better and more effective.
Give it a go. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.