What do you do when your mind won't mind? When it races or freaks out or can't stop worrying? When you're so anxious that mindful awareness seems impossible?
The breath is our most effective, most powerful means of neutralizing the fight/flight response, downshifting your brain towards calm. Breathing isn't a magic pill or an off switch for anxiety, so you have to keep after it. Simple but not necessarily easy - one of those things that work when you work it and keep on working it, a minute at a time.
Breathe some more...
Here's a few brief-but-effective guided practices from the esteemed Dr. Margaret Wehrenberg's "Ten Best-Ever Anxiety Management Workbook" to try out. If anxiety or stress is a problem for you, do them more-or-less regularly for mental and emotional strength, flexibility and endurance. The main mistake people make is to wait until they're very anxious to try a breathing practice - then think, "Oh, that didn't work for me." Practice now - don't wait.
Here at the Student Health Center, so many of the students coming for therapy are trained to do these breath practices that we sometimes joke that it's a cult - the Cult of Diaphragmatic Breathing. : )
Diaphragmatic Breathing instructions