As an introvert and someone who has observed his own thoughts for a long time, I have a tendency to try and figure out what is going on inside me when I’m feeling crap. When something has happened in my work life or relationships that causes me to feel insecure and afraid, I look inwards to explore those feelings, to find the so-called cause.
Sometimes I found something that felt like the cause and sometimes not, but over a long period of time it did not make much difference in how I felt. Initially I would be happy that I found something to work on, but soon I would become overwhelmed again and fall straight back into my mental and emotional hell.
Couple of years back, I realized that what I was focused on was what I got more of, and that had an immediate impact on how I felt and what I thought. From then, I’ve read many spiritual, religious, psychological works, as well as autobiographies and interviews of people who were doing well, and realized that my experience was universal.
It seems to be that what makes us unhappy or insecure are the negative thoughts themselves, and the more we entertain these thoughts in the hope of finding a “cause”, the more danger we put ourselves into. This is not to say that there shouldn’t be introspective work done, but that we should make sure that we aren’t focusing on our negative thoughts without a clear purpose.
I feel that it is enough to merely stop the flow of negative thoughts in order for the way you feel to be improved. This is probably why meditation is proving so beneficial for many people. Your soul’s tendency is to head towards the things that are good, and once you have untrained yourself from the habit of negative thinking, the right thoughts and emotions will flow more easily. Once you are very comfortable at not thinking negatively, you can actively imagine positive things to help develop that habit.
Once you are free from compulsive negative thinking, you will no longer need to find that “cause” which makes you feel so bad, because you have already addresses it.