Good questions. Meditation alone, without the other path factors, is very unlikely to do the things you specify. As you say, it is good at stress reduction, but it is not a panacea that will bring about these changes automatically. There is also the fact that for most people, changes resulting from meditation takes a long time. Depending on your own personal qualities, it can take years. But here goes:
1) Meditation can reduce cravings and desires for grosser sense-pleasures because the mind will naturally incline to the finer pleasures of meditative states. Meditation can make the mind happy and therefore less likely to go wandering in search of external stimuli. In addition, some people are able to see for themselves that sense-pleasures are impermanent and therefore unworthy of the chase.
2) There are particular types of meditation which focus on sensations of the body, mind-states, etc. which reveal that impermanence. But again, you might find it helpful to "think through" these things in your daily life, and to study the suttas and articles by more advanced practitioners.
3) Same applies. You might find this little article by Ajahn Sucitto helpful:
If I go back to that first meditation class in Thailand: the monk gave us some advice on how to sit upright in a state of relaxed alertness, and start paying attention to the sensations that accompanied the process of breathing. I couldn’t have followed more than a breath or two before my mind was wandering. In fact it was careening on a wave of speculations, memories, and analyses. Every now and then I would steer my attention back to the breath sensations, and be able to maintain that for a few seconds before a fresh tide of thoughts came washing in. This is pretty much the standard beginner’s meditation. Nevertheless, what struck me deeply was that here I was witnessing my mind. And that was strangely peaceful, even reassuring: somehow I didn’t have to make anything out of my thoughts, or even out of my mind. It was just something happening. Moreover, if I was witnessing my mind, who was I, and whose mind was this?
My advice is to integrate the meditation with other practices which the Buddha recommended (the ethical precepts are most important, and you might want to explore renunciation) and not to worry too much about the insights. They will arise when the time is right...