Want to be happier? Then learn to embrace your negative thinking! That’s the takeaway of a new Yale study, which basically proves that we are what we think. Researchers say that on a typical day, we process between 12,000 and 60,000 different “thoughts.” And it turns out, we generally cling to our negative thoughts more than our positive ones, which often leads to us over-emphasizing our shortcomings, and boosting our sadness.

That might lead you to believe negative thinking is a bad thing. But, according to psychologist Dr. June Gruber, some negative thoughts can actually be good for us – like if they alert us to potential threats, or signal to us that something’s wrong in our relationship. In fact, that’s why Dr. Gruber recommends embracing our negative thoughts, instead of fighting them, and figuring out what positive lessons they’re trying to teach us.

It may sound like twisted logic, but Dr. Gruber says just being aware of our negativity helps us build resistance to it. Think about it: people often say your toughest critic is yourself. And if you’ve already criticized yourself and dealt with it, then you’re less likely to feel upset when someone else criticizes you.

In other words, by embracing your own negative thoughts, you become more self-aware. And you’ll be less stressed about other people trying to cut you down with negativity.