Until recently, the cerebellum was thought to be only involved in balance and co-ordination. In this video, Dr Shyam Bhat shares new evidence that demonstrates the role of the cerebellum in emotional...
As we become a more individualistic society, young people are more susceptible to disappointment, dissatisfaction and dejection, if they don’t meet often unrealistic expectations. In this video Dr. Shyam Bhat discusses the modern epidemic of entitlement, and how to transcend...
Parenting with Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is more important than IQ. In this video, Dr. Shyam Bhat shares a few tips on raising high EQ...
Getting Over Heartbreak
When a relationship ends, it is often painful. In this video, Dr. Shyam Bhat describes what happens in your brain and mind and how you can best get over...
Being Yourself in the New India
In this Tedx talk, I discuss the challenges and opportunities of life in the new India; why existential questions have to be answered, and why we must create a new form of compassionate individualism.
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The evening news is blaring and Arnab Goswami is shouting in his trademark manner – Why?! We need that question answered! – but his face is incongruously impassive.
(His indignation seems superficial – is there a weariness to his hysteria?)
Now the panelists are screaming like a pack of rabid hyenas. News tickers below the picture – 2 of them! – scrolling relentless headlines of chaos and tragedy from...
I am watching Rahul Gandhi’s interview with Arnab Goswami.
It’s an emotional experience.
At times I find myself angered on Rahul’s behalf, and want to protect him from the big bad interviewer.
But Arnab seems to be holding back – compared to his usual aggressive bombast, he is gentler with the young Gandhi, displaying rare flashes of empathy. Could Arnab actually become a psychotherapist? I...
Does it seem that you are running from morning to night, always running, in pursuit of your dreams?
Do you have to do that? Can you achieve your goals without running?
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In contemporary psychiatry, the emphasis is usually on biological aspects of the illness. Psychiatrists study how the brain changes during an illness and what kinds of medicines are needed to normalize brain chemistry.
This has not always been the case – Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychiatry was a neurologist by training, but he was more interested in the “mind” rather than the “brain” –...
“You take the blue pill. The story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe…whatever you want to believe.
“You take the red pill, and you will see how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember. All I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”
– Paraphrased from the movie The Matrix
You’ve seen the now classic scene (and if you haven’t then you should watch it at least twice before returning to this...
“It’s kind of an awkward view because you’ve never seen a black sky. And at that moment, you realise you’ve accomplished something really big.” Felix Baumgartner
On October 14th, Felix Baumgartner, a 43 year old Austrian broke the sound barrier and the free-fall record by jumping from a balloon more than 39 kilometers in the sky.
The previous record was set by Joseph Kittinger in 1960, and many...
“Don’t push the river; it flows by itself” Fritz Perls
The self is fluid, and constantly changing, said learned Eastern philosophers of yore. Your thoughts come and go, emotions change, and although you think of yourself as the same person across time, actually you are never the same. In fact, in some ways, you have no self at all.
Now, this may sound nihilistic to many people. But, as it happens,...
William Faulkner famously advised writers to edit fearlessly, to remove particularly those sentences that they loved. Faulkner knew that the narrative and cohesiveness of a novel is ruined by sentences that are incongruent, no matter how beautifully written.
Kill your darlings, he said. If Faulkner were a psychiatrist, he would have said the same thing in psychotherapy.
The goal of all growth oriented...
We all have expectations and demands from life. When they are not met, we feel sad, angry and hurt.
For many people still, unfortunately, this sense of deprivation is real, and tragic – those who don’t have food, water or shelter.
But for a growing number of people in the new India, this sense of deprivation is not real, but a construct of the mind. After all, no matter how much you achieve, you feel...
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
In order to change unhealthy behaviour, we have to first acknowledge to ourselves that the behaviour is unhealthy.
We have to say to ourselves, “What I have been doing all along is hurting me, or those around me.” This can be frightening, because to acknowledge that we have been wrong is to see the past as a...
Forget about resolutions you are not going to keep. Try renewal instead
Depending on your perspective, Time is infinite and multidimensional. Or Time is linear (with a past, present, and future) and finite.
Our calendar, our clocks, hours minutes, days, years – these are constructs, we made these to organize our world, so we can make appointments, and meet and do business and ensure an efficient usage...
When you find yourself, you will not find an object. You will not find something that you can point to and say, “This is who I am.”
When you find yourself, you will find a flowing...
Intentions are never enough. I have not updated this blog for over two months despite my best intentions.
Almost every one of us makes plans that are never executed, resolutions that are dead on arrival – competing priorities and interests, the lack of time and energy, one day passes into the next and our plans stay unrealized.
With time, the weight of unrealized intentions becomes oppressive and many people...
India has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, perhaps the highest in the 20 – 35 age group.
But our laws on suicide are archaic and frankly, ridiculous.
In India, a person who attempts suicide is a criminal – according to section 309, “Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offense, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend...
Why care what I think about you?
What I like about you are qualities that I value in myself.
What I don’t like about you are qualities that I dislike in myself.
My liking or disliking of you is mostly about me, and very little about...