By Alison Gammon
June 21, 2011

Could you find tranquility and peace in the middle of one of the busiest, loudest, and most hectic places in America? Today, to kick off the first day of summer and celebrate the summer solstice, yoga enthusiasts in New York City are challenging themselves to find transcendence in the most unusual place, Times Square. From 7:30 am to 7:30 pm, the heart of Times Square is blanketed with yoga mats and transformed into a place of peace, comfort, and immaculate focus.

Looking to find peace in your own busy life? Here are 5 tips to help you keep calm anywhere:

1. Find a technique that works for you. Two forms that have a lot of research backing them up are Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Mindfulness Meditation according to Dr. Rodebaugh, assistant professor of psychology at Washington University in Saint Louis. Do your research to see which methods are most practical for you.

2, Practice. Practice. Practice. The key to staying calm in high-stress situations is to practice the technique when you're not in a stressful situation. "Once you get good at it, you should be able to bring it back in stressful times," Dr. Rodebaugh says.

3. Work relaxation into your schedule. "Pick a time when there are no other competing demands," says Dr. Rodebaugh. Give yourself at least 30 minutes or more to unwind and practice your techniques in peace after a long workday or when the kiddos go to sleep, but just make sure to not fall asleep! "Although many relaxation techniques are helpful to fall asleep, it's important to not fall asleep during them," Dr. Rodebaugh says.

4. Think long-term. Relaxation techniques take time and practice, so it's no surprise that after just one session of Mindfulness Meditation one is not suddenly cured of stress. "It takes the longer practice for those techniques to make an impact in a person's life," Dr. Rodebaugh says. Hang in there!

5. Know when to seek professional help. If you try to self-help for awhile and not only do not find success, but also notice yourself becoming even more anxious or stressed, then seek the help of a professional. "When someone gets no help or creates more stress from it, then it's a warning sign. When folks experience that, keep in mind there is help." Contact a psychologist or mental health professional and take another step forward on your journey to stress-free living.

What are you waiting for? Today's a perfect day to start de-stressing your life and working towards a peaceful mindset.