Begin with your breath.
And please: if you run into me on the street, don't yell, "Hey! Aren't you the guy that told me to "begin with your breath" to get out of my head AGAIN? What kind of a jerk are you?"
Depending on who you ask, a big one. But that's not the point. And, yes, going back to the breath can be an annoying, pain-in-the-butt process PARTICULARLY when 1) you've done it a zillion times, 2) you don't think it works but 3) because you've signed up for these essays you figured you'd give it another go, but this is what you got.
I get it, honestly I do. But just stay with me for a second.
The breathing is a two step, and here's the first: It's a deep breath or two, THEN a focus on the breathing. THE IDEA IS TO GET YOUR FOCUS ON TO SOMETHING OTHER THAN YOUR HEAD!
The focus on your breathing is 1) Deep Breath and Exhale, then breath in, out, in, out and if you have to count one, two, one, two that's fine. But YOUR BREATHING IS THE ANCHOR, NOT THE RHESUS MONKEY PULLING AT YOUR PREFRONTAL CORTEX!!!! (yes, capitalizing IS yelling, but I'm trying to make sure you're paying attention and really getting this. OK, THEN...
...2) just let your mind rest on your nose/mouth/both. AND THEN KEEP DOING THIS! Mind comes in, breathe exhales it out. Thoughts show up, exhale it out. Focus on your nose, breathe breathes the thoughts away.
You're not used to this, so you have to MAKE YOURSELF USED TO IT!!! Every time the monkey pokes you in the back of the forehead, and those chattering thoughts dive back into your thought process, deep breath it.
The deep breath makes you stop; the exhale anesthetizes the monkey. But the anesthetic of breath lasts only as long as the monkey is asleep. You keep focusing on your breathing, not on the monkey. After only a couple of minutes, the monkey is down for the count.
Practice this. I will add that the Yoga With Adrienne video about Anxiety covers Alternating Nostril Breathing. This, too, keeps the monkey in slumber.
Practice this now. You'll be ready for the monkey when he wakes up.