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For many of us the festive holidays can be a stress-inducing time. Now that they're over and the new year has begun, it's the perfect opportunity to resolve to be calmer and less anxious in the year ahead! While stressing less and finding more peace is easier said than done, there are conscious steps you can take to help reach that goal. 

There are medications to help elevate mood as well as some natural techniques you can try too such as meditation rather than medication. After consulting your doctor first, try out some of these simple steps to help reduce stress levels.

Listen to Soothing Music

Music is a powerful tool that can speak directly to our emotions, proving to an effective stress management tool. Studies have shown that soothing music can slow the pulse and heart rate and lower blood pressure too. While slow-paced classical music is usually linked to such benefits, any music that you enjoy, no matter what the genre is of value as well – and singing along can help release tension. 

Energy Stimulation

A combination of meditation, movement, breathing and touch-based techniques can all help to calm the senses and improve vitality. If you're not sure where to start, try instructional DVDs, CDs and/or workbooks such as the comprehensive kit created by Dr. Ann Marie Chiasson. It includes six hours of instruction on CD and DVD, a 107-page workbook, and 25 reference cards for mastering powerful energy healing practices. (available at soundstrue.com)

Switch Up Your Diet

We all know that the foods we consume can greatly affect our well-being and mood. Incorporate more "feel good foods" into your diet such as blueberries. They contain rich antioxidants that can help reduce anxiety, and wholegrains are said to have a significant benefits due to tryptophan, which turns into serotonin – a calming neurotransmitter. Click here for more information and help for panic and anxiety. 

Electro Stimulation

Another medication-free option is electro stimulation. Used by the military since 2005 to address, depression, anxiety and pain, Alpha-Stim, is cranial electrotherapy stimulation device that employs a patented micro-current waveform. The method, available through prescription is gaining in popularity. The patient simply attaches Alpha-Stim to their ears for about 20 minutes each day .

These natural techniques can all help to reduce stress and depression but remember to discuss potential options with your doctor first.

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