There are essentially three types of actions or karmas:
Negative actions (vikarmas) are actions done under the influence of the consciousness of the body. When we identify with our body and think we are only our physical form, we think happiness is a physical experience and we seek self-satisfaction and fulfillment through physical experiences. Our sense organs like eyes, ears, etc. are designed to consume external sources of stimulation or excitement, so we develop the habit of taking and forget that everything we take must be given back some day in some way. The resulting dependencies give rise to tension and anxiety, generating thoughts like, “Can I have more?” or “What if I don’t get more?” Dependencies then get converted into addictions. Any physical addiction traps the soul, inner freedom is lost and real happiness is impossible. There is always the possibility that whatever we become used to being able to take or consume may finish, or stop being available, and so fear is ever present. It is here that we find the birth of stress in its most common forms.
When our sense of self and our security are both based on our position, possessions, pay or another person, then life’s daily events can easily represent a threat to any of these things, thereby affecting our sense of security in the world. The resulting fearful and angry thoughts and the negative actions which follow cause a negative karmic debt to be accumulated.