Many people are afflicted by anxiety. It’s that needling feeling that something is not right and that tomorrow, or the next day things will start to go horribly wrong. If we examine all the years of our life, for most people, things have not been that bad, so the feeling of anxiety lacks an element of realism. If we look at things objectively and reasonably, the likelihood of things to go horribly wrong is quite low.
But, the mind does not respond well to reason. It is a lot more likely to respond to habit. Using reason and logic is by far the most common way to convince others that our perspective is right. And so when we ourselves have a problem to deal with, it is the natural place that we turn. But if we have the habit of worrying about things, reason only grants us a temporary reprieve. If we want a long-term solution, we have to solve the underlying problem which is the worrying mind itself.
The act of worrying about something is a useless emotion. If we know that something needs to change, then we should just do something that will change it. If we don’t know how to change it, then our first task is research. Worrying about the problem does not do anything to change it and in fact it gets in the way because it clouds our judgement. So if we agree that the worrying mind itself is an underlying problem, we can start to work towards doing away with it. That means that we need train ourselves to have different thought patterns. Instead of being in the habit of worrying when a problem arises, we need to get into the habit of simply looking for a solution without the worrying.
This is where insight meditation comes to our rescue. When we develop insight we are training the mind to come back to the present moment continually where the answers to all our problems will eventually be found.