Find your creativity, gain more focus and just easily manipulate your brain (and ears) to function in specific ways? Besides just doing the work (which I highly recommend, stop procrastinating now!) there are several tools you can use to make it more efficient. My recent experiments have been with binaural beats.
What are binaural beats?
The word binaural means exactly what it says, having or relating two ears. What it means in action, is that when your left ear hears simultaneously a different frequency than the right one, your brain makes a new tone out of it based on the mathematical difference between the two frequencies.
Binaural beats are audio files specifically produced to adjust your brain on the particular frequency depending on what you’re trying to achieve. The main goal can be anything from gaining focus, relieven pain, sleeping better or increasing creativity. Different frequences adjust your brain for different things.
How do binaural beats actually work?
For example if your left ear hears a sound which is 100 Hz and your right one hears a sound of 70 Hz, your brain processes it as a one sound in 30 Hz. The main thing is to listen both sounds simultaneously and via both ears separately so to gain the benefits of it, you should use headphones instead of speakers.
States of brainwaves and frequencies
When the brain produces the “third” sound from the two you’re hearing, it also starts to align to the frequency of it. Different frequencies affect differently to your brains. Brainwaves and frequencies are roughly sorted on five different categories which are Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta and Gamma.
Delta is approximately 0.1-4 Hz and its associated with deep sleep, healing and pain relief. Theta, from 4-8 Hz is said to help you to relax, get to the REM sleep, meditate and increase your creativity. Alpha 8-14 Hz is associated with relaxed focus, stress relief and that so very chased flow state. Beta state varies from 14-30 Hz and it’s supposed to help you to gain more focused attention and increase analytical thinking and problem solving. Gamma state from 30-100 Hz is for high-level information processing, memory recalling and peak awareness.
Do binaural beats really work?
I found binaural beats quite recently and since then I’ve been testing different tones, frequencies and situations to use them. Multitasking with many companies, clients, brands and projects I’ve created several tools to focus, manage everything and create new things regularly but this area was completely new territory for me.
What I used to do before is to have different kind of rituals or small habits to help me from differently scented candles for different occasions or projects (highly recommended!), listening different music to get myself in the right mindset to several planning, organising and goal setting tools from bullet journaling to morning pages and so on.
Why I got interested in binaural beats is that these have actually a lot of those mentioned above gathered in one single tool which I can vary depending on the outcome I’m looking for.
I’m highly visual person, so I wasn’t sure if this kind of naural method would work and I’m still not completely sure on how much of it is a placebo effect and how much I actually manipulate my brains to work in a certain way. Nonetheless I have gained way more efficient way to work and I’m able to focus better on one thing at the time when listening binaural beats. If it’s placebo, I don’t really care, as long as I see some benefits coming out of it.
There are, however, some studies that show binaural beats affecting to brain or functioning after listening those but this is very complex area as many other things affect to you at the same time and it’s hard to tell which one is the main factor. It might be the binaural beats or it might be your alertness etc.
Binaural beats at work
What I’ve tested the most is to use binaural beats to work more efficiently. Using headphones is really common habit of mine in general as we work in an open space office. Using headphones gives you privacy to do your own thing and distracts distractions. Changing my usual music listening to binaural beats have had several benefits though.
First, I don’t have to use my time for picking up the right music for different projects or worry about the music being for example too emotional which is a distraction in itself. I don’t have to avoid Finnish songs which completely mess up my writing if listened while typing. Picking up a binaural beat with the right frequency is way easier and it’s also more easily paused as it’s not really a song that has the start, the chorus and the end.
Listening frequencies that are supposed to increase my focus has made my working more efficient and distraction free. I really feel more focused and get things done faster. Of course it might be just me focusing better as I’m waiting for that effect to show but nonetheless, it seems to help me to do my job better.
Binaural beats for sleep
That’s one part I really didn’t gain anything. As I see the benefits of binaural beats while working, I believe that you can affect your sleeping too but for me it wasn’t really a choice. I think this depends on your other habits as for me the main problem was to sleep with my headphones on which ended up pretty badly. I can’t use any of those small ones, they just don’t stay in my ears and you can imagine how relaxing it is to sleep with the huge ones pictured above. So nope, that’s not for me.
In general sleeping is not really an issue either. I sleep very well when I can, so I’m not so worried about this and discarded the binaurals from my nights after few failed tryouts which caused more drama than just sleeping normally.
Binaural beats for stress relief
That’s actually the one where I started this whole binaural journey. When I go to work, I quite often use public transport, so I have time to listen different things when I sit in a tram. Besides that I also still try to establish some kind of daily walking routine to get some fresh air and my mind organised.
Earlier this year I used both of these time slots to listen podcasts and similar content but I realised that it wasn’t that relaxing anymore. I love to learn new things, gain more insights and develop myself and everything but to make that really happen, you also need to rest. So I stopped using my relaxing time to educate myself and switched it to binaural beats. Way better!
Now I walk (relaxed!) on the seaside almost daily and listen some stress relieving binaural beats at the same time. That gives me both more peace of mind and fresh air but also time to think when needed as the binaural beats are not really distracting me from going through my own thoughts like the podcasts did (and should do of course!).
Where do I find the binaural beats that work for me?
Well, that’s something you need to seek and try out. I use Spotify by just searching with words binaural and the effect I’m looking for (focus, stress relief, creativity and so on) and pick one that seems to fit. If it doesn’t feel good, I skip it and try another one. Quite simple.
What I’m also trying to do is to encourage my beloved fianceé to make some of his own ambient binaural beats but it’s still a bit in progress. I hope he’ll finish some of those as I love his other musical experiments and especially the ambient ones I’ve heard recently. So hopefully I can share a very unique playlist later on. 😉 Meanwhile if you want some recommendations, you can check out for example these:
And hey, let me know if you have some recommendations regarding this too or if you try these out! Feel free to comment below or reach me in social media. On instagram you can find me with name @ainoawashere
See ya! Or hear. 😉
P.S. You can download the floral wallpaper seen in my computer from here.