It's a bit of a trip to stew over the fact that the breath is both autonomic and voluntary. This means it's happening automatically, but we can also take conscious control over it. This makes it a great tool for stepping outside the endless rollercoaster ride of racing thoughts. Can't jump from thought to thought while you're covering the breath in awareness. Later on, one might even be able to move on from watching the breath, to watching thoughts. Takes time but can be well worth it.