So many parts of having experienced an emotional illness is viewed by the "general public" through the media. I have always had an aversion to the term "mental illness". It conjers up images of psychotic killers, people talking to themselves or a glamourized genius who is also "crazy" as for example in "A Beautiful Mind".
Thus, I realized that the "average American" (whatever the heck that part of the population supposedly represent) are also wary of the supposed "hocus pocus" of meditation.
I studied meditation with a doctor who began a program at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital. Now that the medical profession is borrowing from the East, New York and other parts of the United States are incorporating more meditation practices for healing.
I used to meditate a half hour in the morning and a half hour before sleeping. It framed my day. I am going back to this practice. Even if one only sets aside 10 minutes a day, it changes one's days. How? Well, it helps one to relax...take time out and focus...the stress is reduced. One becomes more aware of oneself...one's emotions...thoughts...and how one takes in the day's events.
I highly recommend all New Yorkers in this "the city that never sleeps" pressure cooker to meditate. It is a natural form of medication. I actually don't think it is a coincidence that these two words have the same root.
Try closing your eyes and focus only on your breathing. Don't change your breathing. If a sound or thought enters your psyche and you lose your concentration of just paying attention to your "breathing"...gently bring your attention back to the breath. Sound easy? Try it. It is a worthwhile experiment.