Being mindful and meditation are ways of being, not something that we just do from time to time. In order to get the mind to slow down and to allow peace to be your natural way, you must bring it into your daily life.
The number 1 block to being able to meditate, is not making it a new lifestyle and way of being, and expecting it to fix everything.
If you are stressed you will only be caught in the stress. When you go home carrying stress and feeling anxious you are less likely to notice the trees on the way home, or take in the beauty that surrounds you; and then less likely to sit in stillness to let the stress go.
Gratitude would probably have left your awareness too as you get caught in the emotions and sensations that stress causes. Taking deep breaths can slow your mind down and help you to lessen the stress levels but if being stressed is your natural way of being, that is like putting a sticking plaster on a gapping wound.
When you decide that you would like to meditate, to be successful it is best to start by bringing mindfulness into your day. Take time to be aware of how you feel, notice your surroundings, walk slower and enjoy all the moments in your life as if they are a gift. Don’t think of it as another thing you have to fit into your day. Become it.
When you start moving your life in that way you become more meditative in yourself. Things that seemed like problems get easier to manage and you have tools to navigate them. Your awareness of self increases and you find that it is easier to manage stress when it does arise.