When you feel stress or anxiety, do you double down by also feeling guilty about it? According to the Harvard Health Blog, that can contribute to poor, long-term psychological health.

Contributor Dr. David R Topor sites a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, which concluded that people who accept feeling bad fare better than people who judge their feelings as negative. The studies looked at college students and members of a Denver, Colorado community. Subjects differed in age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status.

When a stressful situation causes negative emotions, Dr. Topor recommends that we accept our feelings of frustration or upset — rather than trying to pretend we’re not upset, or beating ourselves up for feeling a certain way. In the end, this will reduce guilt and a negative self-image, which can lead to increased psychological health.