Meditation is proven to relax people and have an effect on their bodies and minds. This is a scientific fact, not some sort of new age pie-in-the-sky holistic notion. Despite this fact, most people find it difficult to meditate and I'll admit that I am one of them. Every time I yell, "quiet you!" to my chattering mind, it sticks its tongue out at me and goes back to yammering away.
One thing that we don't realize though is that we are almost certainly meditating everyday in ways that we are not aware of. Meditation doesn't have to mean that you are clearing your mind and thinking peaceful thoughts. All it has to mean is that you are repeating a thought again and again until it has a tangible effect on you. Many people don't realize it but they are engaging in destructive and highly negative forms of meditation as they ruminate on the current state of affairs in the world and continually consume media which imprints a variety of troubling mantras on them.
In this day and age, we find that the most popular mantras relate to prices going up, quality of life decreasing with little chance of it ever going up again, and a negative outlook for jobs as globalization undermines our marketability. If repeating notions and thoughts of peace and tranquility relax your body and ease your spirit, imagine what repeating such negative notions are doing to them. You may literally be talking yourself into being sick in both mind and body.
I'm not suggesting that people forget reality and pretend undesirable changes are not at hand. I'm suggesting that they be aware of the fact that listening to and repeating the mantra of how bad things are isn't helping the situation and it's almost certainly skewing their perceptions such that they are going to feel worse no matter what the real impact on their lives such changes have. I suggest turning off the news and skipping the web sites which harp on negative changes and focusing on the reality of the quality of your daily life. Live (responsibly) in your reality and not some hypothetical future.
For most of us, our reality includes a great deal of comfort. I'm not talking about drawing comparisons between our lot and the lot of those living in starvation and poverty. I'm talking about the multitude of little joys we can experience that are so easy and mundane that we forget the pleasure they bring us. The average lifestyle of a lower middle class is often equal to or greater than that of kings in the middle ages. We forget the luxury we live in because we're surrounded by a mantra of disappointment at the luxuries we cannot have and the gloom and doom of the entire world.
So, turn off the negative mantra and try and replace it with a positive one. It may not make the world's problems go away, but it will make you happier with what you have.