The other day I went to the post office to mail out a box. As soon as I walked in and saw the long line, my thoughts started going downhill fast. I started thinking, “Well, I sure picked the right time to come here. Can’t they find a better system to help people mail boxes out? … ”

But then I thought, “I need to stop; this attitude is not helping me. The line is not going to go faster, and I am starting to feel frustrated. Blaming the world outside of me is not going to help me.”

I took a deep breath and started focusing on my in-breath and out-breath.

Whenever my thoughts started becoming negative again, I went back to my breath, noticing the air flow through my nose and back out.

I must have been breathing for five minutes, and before I knew it, I was in the front of the line. Time had passed fast, and I’d started feeling better inside.

This is mindfulness in action: noticing your thoughts, breathing through it and shifting to a better, more emotionally stable place.

Being peaceful within starts with your breath. So breathe, relax, and breathe again. And just like that, waiting in line actually becomes pleasant. So next time, look at a long line as a time to relax and feel good.

Ditteke Ederveen-Gorman writes from Keene. She has been helping people to incorporate mindfulness and meditation into their daily lives, so that they feel happier and more peaceful. A former model and actress, she writes, teaches and speaks about mindfulness to adults and children. Visit her blog at