28 days of me

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Day 2

What's With The Fancy Graphs?

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015
Show today's brain activity
Alpha 60%
Waves which occur when relaxed and calm
Beta 30%
Waves which occur when, for example, actively thinking or problem-solving
Gamma 10%
Waves which occur when involved in higher mental activity and consolidation of information

When I first started planning 28 Days of Meditation, I was looking for a way to make it measurable. It is one thing to be able to say I feel calmer, or I feel less stressed (or I feel no change) at the end of the experiment, but it is important to be able to see actual data that supports this.

Lucky for me the people at Muse were already way ahead of me. Muse is a brain sensing headband, that is used in conjunction with their app, to train your brain to be calmer, in a similar way to how you train your body at the gym.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 3.27.34 pm

“(Muse) improves your attention by training you to become aware of your distractions quicker and react faster to regain focus on what you’re doing.”

This sounded perfect! I contacted Muse and they very kindly gave me a headband to use during the experiment. With the help of my developer mate Ralph, we are able to monitor my brainwaves during my meditation sessions and track this information in a graph. And who doesn’t love a good graph!

Muse Headband

Below is my brainwave reading from today’s session.

meditation graph, brainwaves, musebeadband

Blue = alpha waves, 60%
Yellow = beta waves, 30%
Pink = gamma waves, 10%

I am by no means an expert on brainwaves, or meditation, (or anything really, ha!) but I know it is a good thing if you can increase the percentage of alpha waves as these become more prevalent when you are relaxed and calm.

I can already see that today my alpha waves were higher. Now, this probably has nothing to do with me getting better at meditation and everything to do with the fact that it is a non work day, and I got to meditate in bed! I love bed, it is one of my favourite places, so it is no surprise I was more relaxed and calm during my session this morning.

“We are able to monitor my brainwaves during my meditation sessions and track this information in a graph.”

I didn’t really feel any significant difference after the morning meditation session. Perhaps a tiny bit calmer, but I think this is more wishful thinking. I am predicting I will find it is the hardest to meditate in the morning because my brain is so active at this time and wants to plan the day ahead.

Resources

Mindful in May is an organisation that encouragers you to meditation for 10 minutes a day during the month of May. They supply online guided meditations sessions for a small registrations fee, and then you fundraise on top of that to bring clean water to developing countries. Neat idea, and I think you have until 10th May to register and get involved.

Daily meditation

Today I did the 10 minute body scan meditation from Mindful in May. Plus a 3 minute Muse session (using the Muse headband)

P.S This has absolutely nothing to do with this experiment but I couldn’t resist… even Nickelback loves a graph ;-)