Stress in the Background

Healthy Living DIY Blog

Stress Management? It's a MYTH!

Why would you want to manage all that stress...
...when you can simply resolve it?

Be done with it.

Say bye-bye.

For good!

A funny thing happens when you crisis-manage your life. You end up dealing with one crisis after the next. Instead of planning ahead to prevent emergencies (like an empty gas tank), the habitual crisis-manager waits till the last minute.

Not that she plans on it.

Heck, no! Julie sure didn't. "I'm never going to let this happen again," she panted, exhausted, the last time it happened. "Just a little break before the next wave hits. Then I'm going to get ahead on that Smith proposal."

Of course, she didn't count on the kids' team making it to the soccer tournament finals. "They were losing!" she moaned. "I was sure I'd have time on Saturday!"

Fast forward. It's Sunday evening and here's Julie, working on the Smith proposal. At midnight. The presentation is tomorrow at 8 AM. So much for a good night's sleep to start the week off fresh.

Across town, Bob Smith isn't doing much better. He's gotten to bed, but not to sleep. He'd hoped an extra cocktail would help him relax, but apparently not tonight. Bob is worried about the bid he'll receive tomorrow. He asked for it. Needs the advertising for the client's new Robo-Widget. But his budget won't stretch much further.

If only that last campaign had done a little better. If only he'd been more gracious with the agency they just fired. If only he'd been able to ramp up his enthusiasm when the TV station showed up unexpectedly. If only he'd invested better — he'd have retired last year and none of this would matter.

arrow Julie's burning the midnight oil.

arrow Bob's mind won't shut off.

They're both stress cases. Neither is likely to be as resourceful as they'd like for tomorrow's big meeting. Chances are Julie will have a whopper of a headache. And Bob's back will be acting up. Some things you just gotta figure.


Pop Quiz (You didn't know there would be a quiz this soon, did you?)

How should Bob and Julie deal with their stress-filled lives?

  1. Learn to relax. Sign up for that class at the community center.
  2. Check with the doctor about that new sleeping pill from the TV commercial. You know, the one you only take it when you need it.
  3. Handle the situations that challenge them. Resolve the stress that keeps them up at night. Create peace of mind that sticks.

Pick #3, OK? You know you want to. You know the first two answers are little more than "band-aids." Right?

bullet Stress reduction techniques are certainly worthwhile. Please don't misunderstand me. But they won't help Julie manage her schedule. They won't balance Bob's budget, either.

bullet Did you read the fine print on the insert for those pills? Julie doesn't have 8 hours left for sleep; Bob just had a cocktail. There's a risk of dependency. And they won't solve the underlying problem.


You live in a high-stress world.

Perhaps you're a bit like Julie or Bob.

  • You love your life. Yet you're sometimes overwhelmed by a fast-paced lifestyle.
  • You're tired.
  • Perhaps you're considering a lifestyle change (Bob's getting ready to retire).
  • You know your lifestyle isn't healthy, and you're concerned. (Julie's favorite aunt, her role model, was just diagnosed with breast cancer.)
  • You're self-responsible and open-minded.
  • You're innovative. If something doesn't work, you'll stop at nothing to find a better way.
  • You want to feel good, be healthy, and consistently deliver your best.
  • Yet occasionally, you are gripped by the fear that one day your quick fixes will come crashing down and you'll end up losing it all.
  • You desperately want to put things right in your life, for yourself and your family.

If so, you're in good company.

bulletAccording to data released in September 2006, two-thirds of British citizens polled are worried about the impact of social and lifestyle choices on their health — markedly greater numbers than those concerned about things like choosing a healthy diet and avoiding secondhand smoke.(1)

bulletHalf of us are often tired, fatigued, or don't feel up to par during the day, according to the National Sleep Foundation's 2005 "Sleep In America" poll.(2)

bulletStress is considered by most sleep professionals to be the #1 cause of short-term sleeping difficulties.(3)

bulletWhile a standard set of behavioral risk factors (smoking, drinking, obesity) surely impact health, they did not account for the differences found between similar groups of Americans and British citizens, in a study published last year by the American Medical Association. The Brits were healthier.(4) Could the difference be stress?

bulletAmericans, overall, feel squeezed for time. Today's highly competitive 24/7 marketplace has hourly workers and executives alike scrambling to balance home and work. For the household, there is a substantial increase in hours worked. This leads to the very real perception of "no time."(5)


Learn to thrive, not merely survive, in circumstances that others might view as a challenge.

Thrive? Sure! But you won't do it with stress managment, that much is clear.

Classic stress management techniques (like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or relaxation massage) are great short-term strategies. They're an essential part of your wellness arsenal, for sure. But they won't solve the underlying problem.

In fact, relying on those techniques long-term may do you more harm than good. Consider this:

"Contained within the myth of stress management is an unhealthy and disempowering implication ... that you have no control over your stress and are powerless to address its source."

You're not going to fall for that, are you?

No, I didn't think so.

You want — and deserve — better.


Resolve stress at its source.

That sounds better, doesn't it? But how?

After all, if Julie knew how to balance her work and home commitments, she'd be doing it. If Bob could manage his budget and leave work with a smile on his face, he would.

Here's the secret —

You're doing the best you can with what you know. But you don't know everything.

How could you? You're busy doing your life. Doing what you're good at. Making the most of your natural skills.

Who does? No one. At least nobody I know. Certainly not me.

We all have our strengths and passions, though. And one of mine happens to be helping people minimize the impact of stress in their lives. I've been doing it professionally since 1989. So perhaps I can help you out.

Allow your imagination to guide you for just a moment.

What if you were to find a simple solution for the problems and concerns that keep you up at night? It's not such a far-fetched idea once you know how. In fact, one of my basic "rules" in life is this:

"Every problem, concern, mystery, or symptom in your life can be turned into an empowered question designed to deliver the solution directly to your mind."

(I am, after all, the daughter of a research librarian. And she taught me well!)


Stress In The Background: How to Thrive in a High-Stress World

The ideal solution would provide several benefits. It would:

bullet... contribute to your understanding of many of the subtle ways that stress enters your life. Sometimes even without your awareness.

bullet... alert you to lifestyle factors you have the power to influence that you may not have considered within your control up till now.

bullet ... clearly delineate the potential health consequences of failing to gain control over your stress.

bullet ... support, encourage, and guide you to gain control over stressful lifestyle situations through health-affirming action.

Those four goals form the basis for my book, "Stress In The Background: How to Thrive in a High-Stress World."

Stress In The Background book cover

Part I, Stress Unmasked, alerts you to 12 different faces of stress. You'll learn how stress sneaks in the back door of your life when you aren't looking and threatens to take you hostage. Just from reading this section, you may realize a seemingly minor tweak or two you can make in your daily lifestyle to minimize the effects of stress.

From "Stress and Self-Protection "
"Think of the sympathetic division of your autonomic nervous system as a debit card that allows you to withdraw cash from the ATM of your physical energy supply to make needed purchases, but never allows you to stop buying long enough to fund the account."

Part II, How Stress Leads to Illness, explores 7 outcomes of unmanaged stress that you surely don't want:

  1. Hopelessness
  2. Inefficient immune system
  3. Cancer
  4. Heart Disease
  5. Muscular & skeletal system pain
  6. Accidents or becoming the victim of violent crime
  7. Premature aging

Important: While research shows that stress contributes to each of these conditions, this book makes no claim to cure them. If ill, please consult with your medical doctor.

Part III, Taking Control of Your Life, suggests 4 strategies you can use immediately to begin resolving your stress at its source.

From "Ask Powerful Questions"

"This is one of those things that occurs for me as so obvious that I nearly failed to mention it to you until now. One of the most practical skills you can learn in life is the skill of turning your concerns and mysteries into powerful, solution-oriented questions."

"This specific skill was the one I honed in each and every aspect of that six-digit education. From so many different teachers and perspectives that I could surely not have failed to get it eventually."

"Plus its counterpart skill, of course, finding the answers..."


Claim your copy now

Here's where this gets really easy. See, I know you're stressed-out and overwhelmed. You might just be reading this page at 2 AM after promising yourself (yet again) that you're never going to let this (whatever it is) happen even one more time.

No problem. You can get this book right now. It's available in three formats, two of which you get automatically as an instant download. Literally minutes from now, you can be reading or listening (or both) to your very own copy. Get the e-book in .pdf format, and you'll also get a bonus .mp3 recording. Order the audio CD version online and get both digital versions, too!

In just minutes, you can be making healthier choices than you've ever made before. And doing something concrete about the stress in your life.

Stress In The Background book cover

Stress In The Background: How to Thrive in a High Stress World
by Elizabeth Eckert, PhD
.pdf document (71 info-packed pages) and bonus .mp3 recording (read by the author; 2 hrs, 44 minutes)
Print version ISBN 0-9753780-7-4

red arrowOrder Stress In The Background Now
e-book and bonus .mp3 audio download — just $27


If you prefer, we'll also mail you a CD recording (3 CD's).
You still get both instant downloads.

red arrowOrder Stress In The Background — Audio CD's
3 CD's by mail (online ordering bonus: get e-book & .mp3 too!) — just $32
(For quantity orders, select this option.)
Audio CD version ISBN 0-9753780-8-2


Go ahead. Make your life easier.


Stress In The Background Product Questions & Answers Q: I'm busy already! When am I supposed to find the time to read a book?
A: "Stress In The Background" is automatically delivered in two downloadable formats: as an e-book (.pdf file) and as an audio book (three .mp3 files). Download and partake in the format that's most convenient for you. Listen now, read later. Read now, listen later. Whatever works best. If you prefer conventional CD's, they're available as well.

Q: I'm motivated. Can I get it RIGHT NOW?
A: Sure. You get an instant download. 24/7.

Q: What if I can't figure out how to apply it? I don't need any more great theories that don't work.
A: Increased awareness itself will help. In addition, there are application tips scattered throughout — most heavily in the 3rd section. Of course, you will need to follow through. But it's your life, after all, and you're the expert. If you have questions as you go, just sign on to our brand-new healthy living community forum and ask away.

Q: What's in this book that I don't already know?
A: Well, that answer will be different for everyone. But consider this. If you can find even one concept that you haven't been able to apply up till now and make it work in your life, that result alone will have been more than worth the small investment you'll make to get your hands on this material. As a matter of fact, the more background you have, the more each little fine point you discover makes a difference.

Since "Stress In The Background" was compiled from my experience with a wide range of traditions, it's likely that most anyone will find something presented in a way they haven't heard before. Even if you'd tailed me for the last 17 years and experienced all the same things, you'd have heard them differently than I did. You'd have been in a different place in your life. And you'd have drawn different conclusions.

It's not just what you know, after all. It's what you do with what you know. The purpose of "Stress In The Background" is to get you doing your life differently tomorrow than you did it yesterday. Not just thinking about it.

Elizabeth Eckert photo

Q: Not to be rude, but who are you?
Great question! As a bodyworker (since 1989), I got really frustrated with watching people re-create the same health problems over and over again. I'd already studied developmental psychology (got my master's at the same time as I went to massage school), and knew there must be more. So I kept going, studying various philosophies and traditions including neuromuscular therapy, philosophy of living with the earth, karate (Koei-Kan Karate-Do, where I earned Shodan rank in 1998), and energy medicine. A wide variety to be sure. Finally, I've blended it all together.

red arrowOrder Stress In The Background Now
e-book and .mp3 audio download — just $27



red arrowOrder Stress In The Background — Audio CD's
e-book, .mp3 download link, and 3 CD's by mail — just $34


Q: What if I want more?
A: Ok, ok. You're right on. Sign up for our Healthy Living Update. Stay in the loop!

'Transform Stress' guide:
Stressors that steal your health —
Six tips to get your life back.
And a weekly gentle reminder.

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(1) Fast-Living Brits Face Burn Out
(2) National Sleep Foundation
(3) National Sleep Foundation
(4) Disease and Disadvantage in the United States and England. JAMA, May 3, 2006.
(5) More Americans Feel Crunched for Time

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