How do you enter the Alpha state in your mind? When is the best time to enter the Alpha state?
“Alpha” refers to a particular brainwave state. It’s one of several scientifically recognized states in which a person’s brainwaves can be measured within a certain range of frequencies.
Here’s how to enter the Alpha state, according to The Silva Mind Control Method by José Silva.
How to Access the Alpha State
According to Silva, the Alpha level has a shallow sublevel and a deep sublevel. Since you’re naturally in a shallow Alpha state when you first wake up in the morning, Silva recommends learning how to enter the Alpha state first thing in the morning since it will be easier to access the deeper Alpha levels when you’re already in the shallow Alpha levels (as opposed to the fully awake Beta state).
(Shortform note: Many modern scientists don’t differentiate between “shallow” and “deep” levels of Alpha (although some people’s Alpha waves are naturally slower or faster than average). However, researchers do recognize three distinct levels of Beta: low, midrange, and high. Your brainwaves are in low Beta (ranging from 12-15 Hz) when you’re calmly focused on an external problem. You enter midrange Beta (15-23 Hz) when you’re more actively alert and focused, and you cross into high Beta (23-38 Hz) when you’re engaging in deeply complex thinking or experiencing anxiety or excitement.)
To begin, when you first wake up, with your eyes still closed, look up slightly above your head. Then, slowly count down from 100 to one. This will take you into a deeper Alpha state. Silva recommends repeating this exercise every morning for 10 days. Then, count down from 50 (instead of 100) each morning for 10 days. Gradually reduce the starting count for 10 days at a time until you’re only counting down from five to one. (Shortform note: At this point, you’re merely training yourself to enter Alpha on command; later in the guide, we’ll describe how to further use the Alpha state to achieve your goals.)
When you finish counting, you’ll have entered the Alpha state. Then, when you’re ready to come out of Alpha, do so gently by counting upward from one to five (the inverse of the process you used to enter Alpha). As you count upward, tell yourself that when you finish counting, you’ll feel healthy and energized.
Once you’ve mastered going into Alpha first thing in the morning, you can begin to practice entering Alpha when you’re already fully awake. You can do this exercise at any time of day. Find a comfortable place to sit, with your spine straight. Mentally scan each part of your body, beginning at your feet and ending at your scalp. As you scan, consciously relax each body part. Then, as you did before, close your eyes and point them slightly upward, then count down slowly from 50. After 10 days of practicing this, begin counting down from 10, then from five. Eventually, you’ll be able to use the same technique—counting down from five—to enter Alpha, regardless of whether you start first thing in the morning or during a hectic moment in your day.
|Why Do Silva’s Techniques Help You Enter the Alpha State?
Counting down from 100 (or 10, or five) as Silva recommends is a common hypnosis technique. But why does counting down help you enter the more relaxed Alpha state while counting up brings you back to the more energized Beta state? Hypnosis experts say this technique works because we have cultural associations between “down” and being calm, sleepy, or sad—as in when we say we’re “feeling down” or putting a child “down” for sleep. Similarly, we associate “up” with energy and activity—like when we “get up” out of bed. These associations might cue your mind to automatically shift toward the more relaxed Alpha state while you count down and return to the energetic Beta state when you count upward.
In addition to counting, Silva recommends scanning your body and consciously relaxing each part before trying to enter Alpha from a fully awake state. Relaxation is an important component of self-hypnosis because relaxation lightly sedates the conscious brain, making it easier to slip into the Alpha state.