36 episodes

Neuroscience-based strategies for encouraging growth mindset, creativity, emotion regulation and resilience.

Mindset Neuroscience Podcast Stefanie Faye

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.9 • 104 Ratings

Neuroscience-based strategies for encouraging growth mindset, creativity, emotion regulation and resilience.

    Season 3 Ep 12 - Safety, Security and Systems Intelligence

    Season 3 Ep 12 - Safety, Security and Systems Intelligence

    "A problem never exists in isolation; it is surrounded by other problems in space and time. The more of the context of a problem that a scientist can comprehend, the greater are his chances of finding a truly adequate solution."


    -Russell L. Ackoff, Systems Theorist


    How do we come to the conclusion that our way of attempting to solve a problem is the most effective way to solve it?

    How do we integrate feelings and logic into our decision making?

    The above questions are important for us to think about not only for bigger decisions that relate to safety and security, but also in terms of how we interact with others on a daily basis in our homes and communities. 

    Our belief that the strategy we are using to solve a problem is the best or only way to go about it can narrow our attentional focus and limit our repertoire of what is actually possible. What many of us don't realize is that many of the ways we react to challenges and attempt to navigate those challenges are influenced by the roles we play within the various hierarchies and social systems we are a part of.  These roles can also be influenced significantly by our biology and level of physical vulnerability, and other forms of vulnerability that relate to our neural and behavioral resources, which are influenced by many overlapping systems and past experiences.

    The things you notice and prioritize are part of your attentional bias. These biases are influenced by many factors, including your accumulated social experiences, level of executive functioning, and awareness of the fact that you have an attentional bias. AN example of an attentional bias would be noticing specific facial features that are more likely to indicate aggression, and interpreting a higher number of neutral expressions as aggressive or negative. These types of distortions are controlled by the eye muscles and where they direct our attention. And these micro movements are part of what can be called subcortical shortcuts  - algorithms your brain-body uses based on past statistics and salient or highly emotional data you have gathered over time (particularly when you were young).  These algorithms are a way of the brain-body system to be more efficient and allocate resources according to what it has already experienced.

    The challenge is that we may misinterpret or narrow our focus onto aspects of a situation that then narrow our thought-action repertoire and problem-solving capacities.

    In my interview with Gina Bennett,, we discuss some of these types of biases and and how we may be get better at finding powerful solutions by expanding who we include as potential sources of wisdom for solving problems 


    Gina Bennett is a former CIA counterintelligence expert and current adjunct professor at Georgetown University.  Her mission is to include a wider diversity and range of perspectives, mindsets and types of intelligence into national security policy and decision making.


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    Please note that I’ll be taking July and August to work behind the scenes, finishing my book edits, some side projects and creating a series of short youtube videos to complement my book on the biomechanics and neuroscience of communication, attachment and systems thinking.


    I’ll also be launching a 9-part seminar series this October,

    • 1 hr 28 min
    Season 3 Ep 11 - Mission Endurance and Post-Traumatic Growth

    Season 3 Ep 11 - Mission Endurance and Post-Traumatic Growth


    “What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”

    ― Viktor Frankl



    In this interview with Brian Flynn of the Two Wolf Foundation, we discuss the idea of a Mission as being a fundamental pillar for mental health, wellbeing and resilience in humans. We look at the idea of a mission as a framework for understanding the pyscho-neurobiological necessity for deep, personal human connection, a sense of meaning - something we continue to strive towards that allows us to feel like we are contributing and paying attention to the wellbeing of ourselves and others.


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    Two Wolf Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to combat veterans and first responders who have made the choice to continue a journey of personal leadership that includes an integration of their past experiences to move into post-traumatic growth and continued service to others. They do this by leading groups on exciting expeditions to engage in wilderness and public land conservation.

    We talk about why this type of mission, mindset and activity helps transform brain activity and sensory-motor patterns into ones that help move thought away from rumination and into the realm of action and kinetic release.  These are important mechanisms for us to relieve embodied stress and engage in 'biological completion' of movements that help to amplify positive energy and wellbeing.

    The mission planning that occurs is also key in that there is a foresight and planning for things to NOT go as expected, to go wrong. This type of prepartory simulation activity is a major foundation for brain optimization and nervous system regulation - that is not talked enough about, particularly in mental health. It's a neuro-behavioral strategy that can be trained and applied to ALL situations, including social-emotional and relationship dynamics. Simulating multiple scenarios and pathways to navigate helps activate flexibly responsive networks that help us move through all types of situations more adaptively, rather than repeating our reactions from our past.



    A few other areas we touched on in this interview include elements of Post-Traumatic Growth inspired by the Boulder Crest Foundation Warrior PATHH program and Dr. Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun.. An overview of these are on the Two Wolf website.



    Psychoeducation and knowledge transfer are key pillars for change. By learning about how our nervous system is designed, how it responds to stress, and how our embodied reactions create sensations and movements within us, we activate neural circuits associated with higher order mental functions, pattern recognition, and self-monitoring. All of these create higher levels of access for us to be able to gather data about ourselves in ways that enter our conscious workspace - the place w...

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Season 3 Ep 10 - Education, Maturity and Human Potential

    Season 3 Ep 10 - Education, Maturity and Human Potential


    Because of how human brains develop, the only way for maturity to emerge is in the presence of maturity.


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    I remember the first time I gave a presentation to parents, many years ago, about how children’s brains develop.

    One of the first concepts I introduced was the fact that young brains simply have not developed enough architecture to help them self-regulate, think about long-term consequences, control many of their impulses.

    As I showed graphs and had the parents reflect on various experiences, I remember seeing tears in the eyes of a few people. They realized that a lot of their upset with their child had come from a misunderstanding of what the child needed in moments of distress. They realized that they were punishing their child for being dysregulated. (this is called misplacing emotions, and I go into this in this episode) Their anger and punishment seemed to make things worse but they couldn't figure out why. Understanding brain development shifted how they saw their child.

    Instead of seeing them as a jerk who was trying to piss them off, they saw their child as someone who didn’t know what to do with overwhelming emotions. I had many parents report improvements in their interactions with their children after understanding this.

    It also gave them compassion for what they had gone through as children. Many of them realized that they also had been rejected, ridiculed or punished for being dysregulated. It gave them a new understanding of their own childhood experiences.


    Knowing how our brains and nervous systems develop helps us see a universality to human needs.

    A sense of safety comes from knowing that someone understands us on a deeper level - that they can see through the dysregulated and defensive behaviors we might express when we don't know what to do with our emotions. This is the essence of secure attachment. One of the most important and intensive trainings I had as a school counselor was through the Neufeld Institute.  We discuss the importance of Neufeld’s frameworks on attachment and maturity in the interview and I explore these teachings in the introduction.


    This picture is from when I worked as a French school counselor in Canada


    We go into these topics and more in my interview in Episode 10 with Noor Sayed, where we cover the idea of adult-child ratios, what education is for, systems thinking and the importance of presence and attachment.

    We also discuss the neurological (and mammalian) mechanism of play as a simulation for adaptive behavior. By play, I mean some of the things we usually associate with play (like games, playfulness, sports, rough & tumble play), as well as role play.  Something I have done a lot with children over the years is role play for social situations, where we use dolls or just the children themselves (and me) to play out scenarios of social and emotional challenges, such as being rejected or not getting something we want.  By practicing different responses and trajectories within these simulations and role plays, this allows for flexible responding features of the brain-body system to be more readily accessible in 'real life' scenarios.

    Noor is the founder of a homeschooling coaching and consulting program - Leaders Among Mothers - an insight-based framework for helping parents use the platform of teaching,

    • 2 hr 4 min
    Season 3 Ep 9 - Mindset, Purpose & Neuroplasticity

    Season 3 Ep 9 - Mindset, Purpose & Neuroplasticity


    A quick episode that covers some insights gained over the course of my career in human communication and psychology, child development, teaching, and neuroscience.


    Highlights include the importance of:

    * mindset, purpose and effective teachers

    * anti-disciplinary thinking and teams of experts from diverse fields

    * prefrontal cortex models and attuned caregivers for helping children reach their highest potential

    * understanding our power to control more of our thoughts, behaviors and reactions than we currently realize or have been taught.


    A more in-depth article will be sent as a newsletter to subscribers later today or tomorrow to accompany the episode.


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    “Non nobis solum nati sumus.

    (Not for ourselves alone are we born.)”

    - Marcus Tullius Cicero



    With Love from Me to You

    xoxo Stefanie


    #mindset #neuroscience #resilience #podcast #perseverance #adventures #exploration #awareness #prepared #gohumans #newheights #newera   #heartbrainconnection #community #team #familyunit #powerpartnership #mission #purpose #endurance #warriorsheart  #behindthescenes  #offscreens #outdoors #wilderness #nature #longtermvision #love #love #love #unity #unifiedpurpose #cometogether #humanpotential #genx #awakening #unraveling #crisis #passingdownwisdom #futuregenerations


    • 43 min
    Season 3 Ep 8 - Warriors Heart - Courage, Connection and Healing

    Season 3 Ep 8 - Warriors Heart - Courage, Connection and Healing

    “One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”

    ― Shannon L. Alder


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    How we distract ourselves from our deeper sources of pain

    In my interview with Warriors Heart Healing Center, we discussed the idea of 'presenting problems'.  These are problems that feel much more urgent and obvious to patients coming in (such as losing their job or getting a DUI).  As trauma therapists, however, they understand that there is generally something much deeper going on for patients than only that immediate and current scenario.  They understand that although there may be a lot of stress from something happening now, there are generally patterns of beliefs and reactions to things that have repeated over time... and the current situation may trigger some of those deeply held and invisible wounds and scars from long ago.

    Interestingly, in my wilderness first responder training that I attended recently, an important task during various emergency scenarios was to figure out the Mechanism of Injury (MOI).  Understanding how a person got hurt was important for figuring out further steps for assessing what to do next.  (sometimes we weren't able to to know the MOI, so we had to do our best based on our training protocols).


    What sometimes happened during these scenarios was a 'distracting injury'. 

    This was something more obviously painful or noticeable to the patient (for example, an open fracture) but was not as critical as another situation going on (for example, internal bleeding).  In those situations, it was a challenge to help the team and the patient understand that certain things needed to be dealt with first before we could treat the obviously painful injury that was occupying their attention.  When we were able to assess the mechanism of injury, this also helped tune our awareness to pick up on other things in the situation we might have otherwise missed.


    So much of what we think may be wrong in a moment is related to our level of awareness. 

    If our attention gets distracted by something very pinpointed or obvious, we may miss out on a lot of other types of information and noticing of patterns that could actually help us get to a deeper root of what is going on.

    An analogy I remember hearing a while back that resonates with this is:  imagine seeing people in a pool of water near a waterfall, and seeing some of these people falling over the waterfall to their potential death.  We need some focus to go to helping those people avoid falling over the edge.  And we need some focus to attempt to save people who may have fallen over the edge.  But we also need some focus to go to why people are jumping in the pool in the first place.   The other levels of focus will always draw our attention.  But it doesn't mean that we shouldn't also include the wider span of awareness needed to understand why problems keep repeating.

    This can include not just ideas about our past in terms of childhood or other experiences, but also for example our sleep patterns, what we are eating, the activities we are engaging in.   The more we can pause and take inventory of our habits,

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Season 3 Episode 7 - Danger, Attachment and Navigating Our Neurochemicals

    Season 3 Episode 7 - Danger, Attachment and Navigating Our Neurochemicals


    How we respond to danger (perceived and real, physical and social), and WHO we turn to (including ourselves and others) in the midst of uncertainty and threat is one of the most powerful foundations for future behavior and how we process information.  

    The level of self-regulating abilities in the people we have around us during times of danger, ambiguity and uncertainty are one of the most critical aspects of how accurately we predict, prepare for and respond to future situations.  This is especially true when we are young, but affects us throughout our lives.  

    Attachment (and our social behaviors) are about information processing: whether we distort, omit data, include erroneous information, or bias feelings over logic, or logic over emotions.


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    Danger - and how it is dealt with - is the central theme of attachment - and therefore human interaction.

    The concept of how we regulate ourselves and with others, and how we deal with social danger, rejection, status, comparison, the need for acceptance, and how we diversify our abilities to navigate our neurochemicals are topics we cover this Episode of the Mindset Neuroscience Podcast, where I interview Loretta Breuning of the Inner Mammal Institute.

    In our interview, we explore many intriguing and relevant topics including:

    The neurochemicals associated with how it feels to have social support - and how this differs from social dominance

    The fluctuations of neurochemicals, feelings and behaviors tied to threat, rejection, and constantly seeking external rewards and short-term gratification 

    Being more realistic about the ups and downs of all of our neurochemical states, rather than believing we should feel good all the time. 

    The biological purposes to the fluctuations and varieties of states we experience and why it’s helpful for us to understand this so we can get better at making choices that are good for our mental and physical health

    The life-threatening feelings people experience when it comes to social rejection, and social comparison

    How our brain and body store information about threats, and how this can significantly influence our current reactions to people

    The idea of ‘dopamine droop’ and our constant urge to seek reward and avoid discomfort


    "We have inherited a brain that compares itself to others to promote its survival.

    It creates has a sense of urgency about how it measures up. If you don’t know you are creating this feeling yourself, you think the world is doing it to you. You feel bitter, resentful, and victimized.

    Instead, you can accept that the people around you are mammals, and you are a mammal too.""

    -Loretta Breuning



    In this episode, I also go over the Dynamic Maturational Model of Protective Strategies.

    This model centers around the concept of danger and how the attunement and attachment we have to others during times of danger influence our information processing.   Challenges with information processing include distorting and omitting signals and cues from the environment, and biasing our thoughts and behaviors based on protective strategies that emerged in childhood.   

    • 1 hr 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
104 Ratings

104 Ratings

CFreddo ,


Stefanie really dives into our brains work, and why would behave the way we do. I think the science behind it is so interesting. I’m learning more and more every day.

andreubaill ,

Mind reset.

Ive been looking for such a long time for a good podcast to help me rewire my brain and understand myself and why are we the way we are, other people behavior and etc. I wasn’t sure of what exactly I needed to listen to but this is it. Ive listened to so many podcasts and this is the absolute best, the way she explains everything, every detail, how deep she digs into information, the pace of her voice, how clear she talks and how everything is explained and makes it easier to understand a topic that is so complex and theres so many branches, yet she covers a lot without feeling like is too much to process. i start my day with her podcast and is a game changer. Please keep the episodes coming. I feel like this is a way of therapy since it gives a lot of information about the human mind and mechanisms and you work with it under your own system ❤️‍🩹

Mark Sargent ,

Love Her Show!

Hit play, pause, switch to Notes on my iPhone, write notes, resume playing the show, pause, write more notes. That’s how good this show is!

The interviews are great, and I really like her briefing the neuroscience topics before the interview starts.
It gives me context that I can play with, while listening to the interview.

The Music breaks seem to follow a “learning pace” that buffer the topics and help with my retention and reflection of what I just learned. 👍👍

She is an excellent source for helping me write my curriculum and articulate to my clients (in a way that makes sense) the “mental aspects” of survival.
Awesome work! Thank you 🙏

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