I've heard of many people using meditation to reduce anxiety among other reasons. But when I try to meditate, I find it impossible to focus on my breathing! I don't know how to just stop thinking! Is there any way I can just...blank my mind?
meditation is better if you stop trying to think of absolutely nothing and try and think of something peaceful instead, create your own private haven in your mind, think of the kind of place that makes you feel serene, maybe its a forest, or a lake, for some a waterfall. create a safe area in your mind just filled with sights and sounds that are relaxing to you. The more often you picture it in your mind, the easier it will come next time and the longer you will be able to hold that image in your head, once you have mastered your haven surroundings, picture yourself sitting in those surroundings meditating, think of how the breeze feels on your face, the sweet scents of flowers, the gentle sound of a stream maybe, whatever you want.
the more you do it the stronger the image will be in your mind and the more relaxing and refreshing your meditation will be. You must be consistant and you should make sure you are in a quite place, sitting comfortably with no distractions. some find it easier to meditate by setting a scene, such as lighting candles and listening to soft music, classical or panpipes, anything that is soft with no singing is better because it will blend into your imagination more easily.
be consistant, do it regularly and for at least 20 mins i would recommend.
give it a try
yes give it a try, if you get the odd thought creeping in, recognize it but then quickly dismiss it and get back to thinking of your haven. You will find then soon enough you will get less and less unwelcome thoughts coming in and your focus will become stronger. Don't let random thoughts fliting through frustrate you, its only natural this will happen for a while, so just let it flit out just as quickly, dont dwell on random thoughts coming in, brush them aside. Let me know how it goes
I have been mediating for over 6 years now and when I began I had a similar problem. Mediating can be easy for some, but for others it takes a lot of practice. We humans are so used to constant moving, thinking, and noise that we forget how to turn all that off from time to time. So I encourage you to keep trying! Maybe listen in music and focus on the melody to guide you along. :]