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Neuroscience can help you live a healthier life

February 29, 2016

About the Author

photo of Srini Pillay, MD

Srini Pillay, MD, Contributor

Srini Pillay, M.D. ( is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (Part-Time) at Harvard Medical School. After graduating as the overall top medical student in South Africa, he completed his residency in psychiatry at McLean Hospital—Harvard’s largest freestanding … See Full Bio
View all posts by Srini Pillay, MD


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Auri Ruiz-Asencio
March 5, 2016

Thank you, Dr. Pillay! I think this is the perfect thing I needed to read, just to find out why do I know what I have to do, but I never do. Now I understand what is happenning to me and now I am able to work with my problem: I need to excersise, I pay all the fees at the gym and I never go!! ?
Thank you again.

Srini Pillay
March 6, 2016

Really glad this helps Auri.

One step at a time and you’ll get there.

March 2, 2016

Thank you Dr. Pillay for this wonderful article. One step at a time and health goes first.

Srini Pillay
March 2, 2016

Thanks Sandra. Yes—and you can tinker around with the changes you want until they make sense to you too. I’m a big believer in tinkering until goals suit you.

Andrés G. Niño
March 2, 2016

This article based on neuroscience helps me to clarify some of the difficult interplay of forces within the individual struggling with a moral decision. I work on the topic of Augustine’s act of therapy, described in the Confessions (book 8) still so valid in our human experience today. In that regard, I also find Dr Pillay’s observations quite useful for integration into various forms of spiritual discernment and counseling.

March 1, 2016

This information is extremely useful — I have several large goals at this time in my life, and I find that I always make the best progress when I “chunk” them into smaller, more manageable pieces. Setting those specific accountability goals, such as completing a small task by a set date, is the most helpful action I can take.

Thank you, Dr. Pillay, for this clear and concise article.

Srini Pillay
March 1, 2016

Thanks Diane. Really glad that this confirms your experience. One more thing to add then—when you set a goal, and then break it down, it helps to not have a second one in the wings in case the first fails. Rather, designing a second one subsequently may help. Plan B’s interfere with self-control. Here’s the research:
Hope that adds to your tool kit.

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