Meditation guided techniques can often include a wide array of breathing exercises to help you calm and relax before a more intensive meditation session. In as little as five minutes a day, you can perform breathing awareness exercises that can help you relieve the stress of the day and also keep you healthy. You will likely be able to feel the benefits throughout your whole body.If you choose to do these breathing exercises during your guided meditation session, they should occur at the beginning, before you begin working on more intensive steps. Shut your eyes and breathe naturally, and allow yourself to become aware of your breathing patterns. Do not force any labored breathing on yourself, but rather let your mind notice how your lungs are working. You should take note of if you breathe through your nose or your mouth. Allow your mind to follow your breath as you breathe in, hold the oxygen in your lungs and finally exhale. Does your breath feel warm or cool? Neither is good or bad. You just want to take note of this when consciously observing your breathing.Continue to focus on your breath as all other thoughts leave your mind. Allow these thoughts to move out of your mind at their own pace, naturally, so that they do not return and disrupt your meditation. Beginning meditation practitioners may want to count breaths coming and going out, as that can be a very relaxing way to both focus on your breathing and clear your mind. Think of it as another method of counting sheep when you have difficulties falling asleep. Another option you can try is to repeat a mantra, which will have nearly identical results to counting your breath.Beginning meditation practitioners may find that silence works best for concentrating on breathing, as you can actually hear your lungs at work. More advanced practitioners, however, might be used to the sounds of guided meditation CDs and DVDs, and therefore find themselves unable to concentrate without some background noise. If you are not sure into which skill set you fall, try the breathing exercise just described in as close to complete silence as you can get, and if that fails to work, try it with light music in the background. When you feel comfortable with your capability to perform this exercise, you can do it any time you feel the need to calm yourself, as it is rather quick and effective, especially in the middle of the day when you do not have time to perform a full routine that is meditation guided.