Connecting with your breath on a daily basis is especially helpful in times of stress and anxiety. When you’re going through something challenging in your life, a connection to your breath can keep you grounded and centered.

This next mindful breathing exercise I am going to share with you has really helped me stay more peaceful when faced with fear, anger and stress: It’s called the 4-7-8 breath.

Sit in a comfortable position and, breathing in and breathing out, start noticing your breath. Do this for one minute. Next, breathe in four counts, hold your breath for seven counts, and breathe out for eight counts. Do this for three minutes. Next, start following your breath for one minute again and notice how you feel. More relaxed? You can do it again if you feel you need to. But with just five minutes a day, you can be more in charge of your stress.

Notice when you feel stress in your body, do the breathing exercise and enjoy feeling more peaceful.

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