Whenever my mind is in too much turmoil to easily settle, I rely on the following two techniques:
1. First is labeling:
It can be as simple as recognizing the arising of a thought disturbance. Or if the awareness is so inclined, it can get a bit more specific: worrying, obsessing, work, boredom, aversion, escaping . . . The labeling helps one take one step back from the content of the thought itself, into the larger awareness of mind activity.
2. Second, is counting:
Breath, steps, whatever the object of our attention, as long as it is repetitive, we can use counting as a way to keep our awareness on its intended object. I have learned to count from one to ten, starting over after number ten is reached. If the mind strays in the middle of the sequence, one is to start over from one again. I try to keep it simple and natural. Letting each number fall wherever it wants within each breath, each step.
How do you help your mind?