Meditation comes in many different forms, but the essential concept is the same: learning to be present now, watching your thoughts until they recede so you learn that they are not in control of you. There are also religious aspects, that of reaching enlightenment, but you don't have to be concerned with that if you don't want to be. The two that have been most studied are TM and Mindfulness meditation. TM is a Hindu meditation where you repeat a word (called a mantra) to yourself silently over and over; when thoughts intrude, you gently return to the mantra as the thoughts drift away. Mindfulness is basically the meditation the Buddha taught, which is to watch your breath; again, when thoughts arise and you realize it, you gently return to watching your breath. It can be difficult to do, and for Westerners it can take some time to get the hang of -- sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but over time it's enjoyable and will slow your body systems down even if it doesn't end up helping with your anxiety. There are thousands of ways to do it, so if one doesn't suit you there are plenty of others to try. A Tibetan form has you sit and watch a point in front of you, and again, when thoughts arise, you return to watching the point until the thoughts recede. It's actually pretty enjoyable.
thanks for the info, i never knew it, but was afraid to ask about something obvious. it's remarkable how "westerners" didn't develop the meditation thingy, unless you count monks' chants and similar prayers as meditation.
Not all prayers are meditation, but some are, such as the rosary, which is like chanting. Remember, Christianity and Judaism and Islam aren't western religions originally, so there are things in them that sound a lot like eastern religion. We've just pushed them aside a bit as they became more western.