The 2 Most Important Words In The English Language, According To A Psychiatrist

If you truly care about yourself and your health, use these two words on a regular basis.

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We all want to improve and break our bad habits, but figuring out where to begin in order to experience optimal health can be draining. So, how do we shift our mindset and determine the best course of action?

Psychiatrist Daniel Amen recently shared the two words you need to incorporate into your vocabulary if you're serious about your health.



The Two Most Important Words In The English Language

If you care about yourself, before doing anything, ask yourself, "Then what?" says Amen.


For example, before eating something, you would ask, "If I eat this, then what happens?"

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You might find that your tiredness and headaches disappear, and you'll feel more awake throughout the day. With fewer doctor visits, you can use this newfound energy to pick up a new hobby or invest in your relationship.

Understanding how your new actions can impact you, will make it easier for you to change your old behavior. And when we understand the potential outcomes of our new habit, we can make a more informed decision.



Amen advises us to write down these sentences in a notebook. Once you have it written down, then list the possible outcomes of your decision-making. Will it positively or negatively impact you?


And while this is good advice, changing habits involves more than just two words. We need other building blocks to make our new habit stick. So, what else can we do to make a change?

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How To Change Your Habits

1. Keep it simple.

When we understand how to replace a bad habit, we're often eager to dive right in. However, realistically, changing a bad behavior overnight isn't possible; it takes time.

So start small, says the American Heart Association. If your goal is to get in shape, try exercising twice a week to start. Jumping into exercising four or five times a week can be overwhelming for most people. But exercising just twice a week allows you to ease into exercising, avoiding pressure and making the new habit more likely to stick.


2. Thing long-term.

What do you think about when you engage in your bad behavior? You likely think from a short-term perspective, says the American Heart Association.

However, thinking from this perspective will only make it harder to break your bad habit. This is why you need to view things from a long-term perspective.

If you think about how eating out might affect your health in the long run before you do it, you're more likely to skip it entirely.

3. Keep going.

Finally, whatever you do, don't give up. Yes, making a change is difficult and there will be days when you want to give up.



But just keep pushing and sticking to it, even if you feel tired or don't see any changes, says the American Heart Association.


They continue, "Persistence works — at first, it might be painful to get up at 5 a.m. for that jog, but soon it will be second nature."

Breaking bad habits isn't easy and takes a lot of willpower and self-discipline. But starting with two simple words can be the push you need to break your bad habit for good.

So, hang in there, and treat yourself now and then for any progress you do make, no matter how small it may be.


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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.