Meditation may improve a person's signal-to-noise ratio; that is, the mind works more efficiently when it has less ongoing mental chatter, or "noise".
Instead of getting involved in Eastern religions for purusing meditation, I suggest you follow Dr Herbert Benson's method, called The Relaxation Response. He uses the word "one" as his "mantra" that intentionally lacks an exotic flavor. Twice a day, the meditator sits comfortably in a quiet place and repeats the mantra silently. That's it. The method is simple - perhaps too simple, admits Dr Benson. "Many do not believe that something can be worthwhile that it is both free and safe".
Dr Benson goes on to describe meditation as an application of behavioural medicine, as a technique to help a person manage the mind/body phenomenon known as the fight-or-flight response.
For further information, read Dr Benson's books The Relaxation Response and Beyond the Relaxation Response
Based on material from "How to Boost your brain-power" by Roger Yepson published by Rodale press 1987.