A couple of months ago I started to practice meditation with not much dedication but over the last few weeks I have made decent effort to make it a daily ritual. Meditation is now something that I am starting to feel that I "need" on a daily basis because it has had very positive outcomes in my life. Whenever I am stressed or need to clear negative thoughts from my mind, I find someplace quiet and just try to quiet my mind.
Meditation is not always easy for me as I often find my mind full of thoughts but I always try to calm down the "inner dialog" in my mind by returning to concentrating on my breathing. Another method that I have used to calm my mind is by following the "100 Breaths Meditation" which involves focusing on counting your breathing from 1 to 100. If my mind becomes distracted by thoughts or feelings I simply start over at 1 and start the process over again. Honestly I have not yet made it past 23 before I have to start over, but just a few weeks ago I couldn't get past 10-15 breaths before getting lost in thoughts.
A great Android/iOS app that I use for meditation is called "Insight Timer" which offers all sorts of options including Guided Meditation, various bell sounds for starting, interval and ending tones. It also keeps track of your meditation practice, allows you to keep a meditation journal, connect with others within the "Insight Timer Community" and much more.
A favorite quote about meditation, which turns out is not a direct quote from the Buddha, but still offers some valuable insight in to meditation practice is...
Buddha was asked, "What have you gained from meditation”. He replied, nothing. However, Buddha said , let me tell you what I lost: Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Insecurity, Fear of old age and Death."
Regardless of who came up with this quote, it holds truth to the fact that meditation can have very positive changes in your life. It has certainly worked for me.