How to Stop Negative Thoughts

By Greg Baer M.D.

September 15, 2015

There is no condition amongst the people of the world more common—or more damaging—than an insufficient supply of unconditional love. This results in a pandemic of emotional pain so widespread that it has come to be regarded as normal.

People are in real pain, and then they defend themselves with a variety of behaviors. They become obsessed with thoughts of their pain and with thoughts about how to minimize it. In short, people become obsessed with negative thoughts, which only perpetuate their pain.

Every day somebody asks me, “How can I stop these negative thoughts? My head just spins, and I can’t stop it.” This obsessive thinking contributes to anxiety, poor decisions, health problems, and more.

Rarely can we just stop our racing thoughts. But we can replace them. Negative thoughts all come from fears about the future, which doesn’t even exist yet. To be sure, negative thoughts and fears are real—asking anybody who’s afraid—but they come from future fantasies that are not founded on the truth. The solution, then, is the truth. The truth.

Sarah called me and spoke one negative, pessimistic, accusatory, defensive, and angry thought after another, words pouring out like machine gun fire. After listening for a couple of minutes, I said, “You sound stuck.”

“What else would I be?” she snapped. “How am I supposed to stop this thinking?”

“The initial thoughts probably just happen as a reflex to a lifetime of emotional pain, but then you can choose to replace them with positive thoughts, TRUE thoughts. The truth.”

“Like what?”

“You have a lifetime of practice with the words of pain and fear—lies you were taught thoroughly and learned well. Now try the truth. Like what? You have real people—right now, in the present, including me—who love you. You have people who can tell you what’s true. You have mountains of emotional support. With all that, you have hope for changing everything—all the lies, the pain, the fear, and the thoughts.”

“But I tried all that.”

“Maybe a little, but not much.”

“How would you know? You’re not in my head.”

“I know you. You’re very practiced—experienced—at the negative thinking. You’re not very experienced, however, with the truth—not yet.”

“But I did try the truth. It didn’t work.”

“Imagine that I tell you to pull the weeds in my backyard, and I’ll check your work when I come back at the end of the day. There are thousands of weeds out there, and when I come back the yard is still full of weeds—everywhere. I ask you if you weeded, and you say, ‘Yes, I did.’ Okay, let’s assume that you did pull some weeds, but there’s no visible difference in the yard, so it’s obvious that you didn’t pull weeds ENOUGH.”


“Negative thoughts are like weeds. They have to be replaced, like pulling weeds, until there’s a real difference. In all the times I’ve heard you obsess about negative stuff—and it’s been many times—I’ve never heard you give any attention at all to the truth. It’s not a criticism, dear, just an observation that could really help you. Do I believe that you’ve entertained the truth here and there? Sure, but that’s like pulling a weed here and there. When you focus on the truth enough—a lot—you’ll feel a difference.”

A lifetime of pain and fear accumulate an enormous momentum. If we want to overcome that force—as we must, if we wish to be happy—we have to be consistent in the application of the truth. The truth—with the power of love—frees us from the chains of pain, fear, and negative thoughts, and then we can find the peace, happiness, and real power we want and deserve.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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