“You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” – Mark Twain

Start melting away the fog of depression …

Triple your productivity at work …

And get better results every time you exercise.

What’s more, sharpen your reflexes, sleep better, and strengthen your immune system …

Recharge your memory, quit smoking effortlessly …

Lengthen your life span, prevent senility, make high blood pressure plummet, cut the frequency of stress headaches, increase your earning potential, and obliterate performance anxiety.

How?

I’m embarrassed to say, I just learned the secret myself …

<Concentration Techniques They Teach at NASA>

At the NASA Langley Research Center, they first used this simple discovery to help pilots keep their cool during flight simulations. Now it’s used to “cure” people with alcohol and drug dependencies — so-called “attention deficit” patients — even to help head-injury patients who have lost memory skills and succumbed to depression.

What is it? It’s called the beta wave. And you’ve got them pulsing through your brain right now, God willing.

What does this have to do with copywriting? Only this:

Those great ideas you use to sell products might exist in the ether. But the neurochemicals that help you produce them do not. Control the chemicals, control the powers of concentration and productivity. It’s nearly that simple.

You see, those chemicals produce not one but four different kinds of brain waves: beta, alpha, theta, and delta. Beta waves you get while solving problems. Delta waves, you produce while asleep. Theta waves, you get during meditation. And alpha waves? That’s what you get while daydreaming … while confused … and while watching television.

<Why Johnny Can’t Concentrate>

Herbert Krugman was a sociological researcher. In 1969, he conducted an experiment with his 20-year-old secretary. (No, not that kind of experiment.) He taped an electrode to the back of her head. Then he hooked her up to a polygraph machine and a Honeywell 7600 mainframe computer. Here’s what happened next:

Flicking on a TV set, Krugman began monitoring the brain waves of the subject. What he found through repeated trials was that within about 30 seconds, the brain waves switched from predominantly beta waves, indicating alert and conscious attention, to predominantly alpha waves, indicating an unfocused, receptive lack of attention — the state of aimless fantasy and daydreaming below the threshold of consciousness.

Summary: It’s easy to trick your brain into producing alpha or theta waves. Just switch on the television.

But realize that you’re also training your brain to operate at what is, essentially, a lower frequency. And research proves that people who produce an excess of alpha or theta waves — from head-injury patients to plain old slackers — have consistently weaker powers of concentration. On the other hand, those who have a great sense of focus also have a much higher ratio of beta brain waves.

How to move from one camp to the other? One answer is neurotherapy.

Neurotherapy is simply a computer-guided process for showing you how to manipulate brain waves in real time on a computer screen that renders images of your brain activity. Researchers at NASA use it. At the University of North Texas, doctors have an 80% “cure rate” using it to treat alcohol and drug addiction, depression, and worse.

But guess what?

Neurotherapy can be expensive — upward of $4,000 for a 40-session cycle. Besides, who the hell would sit in a room all wired up just to write better promo packages? I mean … really.

But suppose you could give yourself a “beta bath” at no extra cost? It’s easier than you might think. Just cut back on the alpha and theta activities … and concentrate on the beta ones.

It’s honestly that simple. For instance, take a break from the TV news. Take a break from e-mail. Instead, read a good book. Write. Practice a musical instrument. Get into a debate. Dig deep into a hobby. Exercise.

And, for God’s sake …turn off your television. (Sigh. If my mother could hear me now …)