Have you ever had a gut feeling about a decision or solution to a problem that you followed successfully even though you couldn’t explain why?

This is intuition in action with your brain in alpha wave mode!

But it’s not magic. Now science has demonstrated that it has to do with how the human brain processes sensory information, albeit subconsciously, for the end goal of survival, and it is how mankind survived for thousands of years in Nature!

For thousands of years our primitive ancestors survived (and even thrived) in harsh living conditions because they constantly pushed the limits of their mental ability in alpha wave mode to perceive the world and make instinctive decisions:

  • Using multi-layered sensory awareness in Nature to track shifting patterns of wildlife, hunt food & avoid being hunted
  • Reading the landscape for early signs of food, medicine, resources, shelter, weather, seasons & water
  • Adapting and being resilient by learning constantly and subconsciously through the senses (Embodied Learning)

But today, many of us don’t remember what it means to have strong sensory awareness or inner connection, or how we feel in our own body about certain situations.

In any given situation, many of us go immediately into traditional problem-solving (beta wave brain) mode while disregarding any intuitive insight or gut feel.

Many leaders today deem bodily reactions and insights as irrational and unreasonable. Intuition is something that is not really understood, and viewed as questionable. As Giles Hutchins states in his book Regenerative Leadership: “We are a left-brained society with leaders that ignore their senses and intuition”.

Actually, by focusing exclusively on our intellect (left brain or rational mind), we are only using 20% of our grey matter. When our brain kicks into alpha wave mode, we access the remaining 80% ! This means the ability to retrieve a lot more information, albeit subconsciously.

Recent scientific research shows our brain in alpha wave (i.e. in sensory awareness mode in Nature) processes information at 20,000,000 bits/sec, while in traditional problem-solving beta wave mode (left brain or analytical), we process 500,000 times lower at 40 bits/sec!

Being in alpha wave mode also helps to restore our “directed attention capacity” or “executive attentional control” that we use in beta wave mode. That’s because science has found that in urban environments, humans overtax their “directed attention” resulting in an increase in stress and a decrease in their capacity to use their beta wave mode to problem solve.
This finding was behind the popularity of Attention Restoration Therapy, invented in the 1990’s by Kaplan & Kaplan. Since then, science has uncovered that alpha waves play a central role in ART.

In summary, by losing our sensory connection with Nature, we have also lost problem-solving, decision-making, learning and creativity capabilities.

Actually, by focusing exclusively on our intellect (left brain or rational mind), we are only using 20% of our grey matter. When our brain kicks into alpha wave mode, we access the remaining 80% ! This means the ability to retrieve a lot more information, albeit subconsciously.

Recent scientific research shows our brain in alpha wave (i.e. in sensory awareness mode in Nature) processes information at 20,000,000 bits/sec, while in standard problem-solving beta wave mode (left brain or analytical), we process 500,000 times lower at 40 bits/sec !

Being in alpha wave mode also helps to restore our “directed attention capacity” or “executive attentional control” that we use in beta wave mode. That’s because science has found that in urban environments, humans overtax their “directed attention” resulting in an increase in stress and a decrease in their capacity to use their beta wave mode to problem solve.
This finding was behind the popularity of Attention Restoration Therapy, invented in the 1990’s by Kaplan & Kaplan. Since then, science has uncovered that alpha waves play a central role in ART.

In summary, by losing our sensory connection with Nature, we have also lost problem-solving, decision-making, learning and creativity capabilities.

But recent findings show that the damage is not only cognitive, it is physiological and psychological.

Since our core five senses are hardwired in our DNA for connection with Nature, urbanization causes our senses to fall in deficit of the natural stimuli they need to bring us health and wellbeing.

Research shows that under those un-natural stimuli in cities, our brain cannot go into alpha wave mode and remains by default in non-restorative beta wave mode with high stress levels.

For some of us, activities such as meditation become essential to survive.

Scientific evidence shows that when your senses recognize the Nature stimuli they are hardwired to interact with, health biomarkers,  improve significantly, especially cardiovascular, immunological and psychological, improve dramatically.

And the explanation points to …alpha waves in our brain!!

So now my question to you as Humans and Leaders is:

Today, do we stand a chance to thrive in the VUCA world of the 21st century if we rely on beta wave mode?

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So the time has come to remind ourselves as humans that we are are not limited to our core five senses!

The Natural Leadership Process awakens additional senses that are core tools for improved health and expanded brain potential: imagination, proprioception, mimicry (mirror cells) and above all intuition.

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Beta Wave

Standard Problem-solving mode

LIMITED CAPABILITIES

- Waking Alertness state
- 40 bits/ second
- Conscious mind only

500,000 times faster!

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Alpha Wave

Nature Immersion Problem-solving mode

EXPANDED CAPABILITIES

- Relaxed wakefulness or Flow state unlocks Intuition
- Mind-body integration
- 20 million bits/ second
- Visualization-driven
- integrates subconscious mind
- Access to all data from environment