Your brain is an electrical system. You’ve heard of neurons? They are electricity producing devices in your head, and they fire in predictable patterns (I am grossly oversimplifying).
According to EEG readings, the brain operates in 4 patterns.
- Delta waves (below 4 hz) occur during sleep
- Theta waves (4-7 hz) are associated with sleep, deep relaxation (like hypnotic relaxation), and visualization
- Alpha waves (8-13 hz) occur when we are relaxed and calm
- Beta waves (13-38 hz) occur when we are actively thinking, problem-solving, etc.
Guess which one is the best for learning? Not beta, surprisingly. It is Alpha. You learn better when you are relaxed. I think that is a good physiological analogy for the conscious and unconscious mind.