39 episodes

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

Mindset Neuroscience Podcast Stefanie Faye

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.9 • 106 Ratings

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

    Embodied Social Neuroscience: lower anxiety and improve mental wellbeing with these 5 fundamentals

    Embodied Social Neuroscience: lower anxiety and improve mental wellbeing with these 5 fundamentals

    In this episode, I cover 5 concrete, embodied, neuroscience-supported pillars you can use to get better at honing the incredible power of the human mind-brain-body system.  We look at several biomarkers and physiological pillars of how to combine the extraordinary, beautiful and magnificent power of the human brain with the mechanics of our body to help us achieve a state of deep fulfillment and sense of agency and alignment with our highest potential.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Mindstuck: the science of stubbornness and how to change your mind - interview with Michael McQueen

    Mindstuck: the science of stubbornness and how to change your mind - interview with Michael McQueen

    “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”

    ― Albert Einstein

     



     

    In a world that often values certainty and consistency, it can be hard to admit when we need to change our minds.

    The concept of changing one's mind is often seen as a sign of weakness or indecisiveness.

    But the fact of the matter is, because we are complex adaptive systems, flexibility is our greatest strength. It’s what allows us to adjust and take in live data that is occurring now, is constantly changing and emerging.

    In my interview with Michael McQueen, we talk about his book, Mindstuck: Mastering the Art of Changing Minds,‘the ‘science of stubbornness’ and key strategies we can use for facilitating mindset shifts.  We dive into the neuroscience of unconscious biases, polarization and prejudice.

    We also discuss:



    the neuroscience of unconscious biases, polarization and stereotypes.

    specific types of words we use that can trigger fixed or growth mindsets,

    nervous system mechanisms that control muscle movements and keep us resistant to change and perpetuate self-fulfilling prophecies.



     

    Michael also shares helpful ideas about what can make us all feel more empowered to change our minds and inspire others to challenge their own theories and opinions. Among these, he lists agency and safety as key mechanisms for increasing the chance of inspiring a mindset shift.





    Agency and control create psychological safety



    One key aspect of how to change your mind and help others to do the same, Michael suggests, is to maintain a sense of agency and control in the process. People are more likely to embrace change when they feel that they have a choice and are not being forced into it.



    The more intelligent a being is, the more it knows of its own autonomy and degrees of freedom.  When a person feels that they still have autonomy within a situation or interaction, they are more able and willing to trust.

    This sense of agency also fosters psychological safety, which allows people to explore new ideas and perspectives without fear of judgment or retribution.









    Values vs. Viewpoints

    When we talk about changing minds, it's not about flip-flopping on every issue or abandoning our core values.

    It's about being open to new information, different perspectives, and evolving as individuals. It's about being willing to explore complex and nuanced viewpoints, even if they challenge our existing beliefs.

    Michael asserts that standing up for our VALUES allows us to feel aligned and still hold what is important to us on deeper levels. VIEWPOINTS, on the other hand, are things we can be more flexible about.

     

    The brain-body system will always prefer to stick with what it knows.

    It prefers predictability because this allows it to use what it already has (in terms of circuitry, flow of resources and architecture) to react.

    This makes it hard for many of us to stay open to changing our minds.. about people, ourselves, and long-held beliefs.

    When we become more curious and willing to allow for complexity, we loosen the grip of rigid thinking patterns that are a part of our brain’s energy-conserving mechanisms.





    Mental Flexibility is a sign of strength 

    The ability to update our opinion based on new information is not a sign of weakness, but a reflection of maturity, complexity and confidence. It is also a gateway to personal evolution and deeper connections with others.

    The more we all embrace this ability and honor those who are willing to be vulnerable enough to update and expand their mind,

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Season 4 Ep 1 - Science of Growth Mindset, Healing and Resilience

    Season 4 Ep 1 - Science of Growth Mindset, Healing and Resilience

    You were born with a growth mindset.

    When you were first learning to speak and walk, you fell and fumbled over and over again. But there was a part of you - an algorithm - that understood that this was part of the process and that you would develop those skills over time and with effort.





    We can get back in touch with that empowered aspect of our mind. Doing so can change our life in profound ways.





     





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    Mindsets have the power to transform behaviors, trajectories and entire systems. 🧠







     

    A mindset is a way of seeing.  It is directed by electrochemical firing patterns in the brain that we've used repeatedly. Those patterns direct what we pay attention to, what we notice, how we believe the world operates.  





     



    These patterns develop in large part based on the mindsets of people around us - how they talk about whether change is possible, whether people are the way they are and there's nothing that can be done.. or whether they see things as changeable and upgrade-able.





     



    We can update those electrochemical firing patterns by noticing our own growth and by paying attention to others who are modeling what it looks like to persevere, adapt, build, create - despite anything that has happened in the past.



















     

    Mistakes, failure and awkwardness are not a sign of weakness or inferiority.

    They are the very ingredient of something NEW.



     

    When something feels awkward or unfamiliar, that’s a sign that you are activating new electrochemical activity in your brain... venturing into ‘new neural territory’.



     

    Every firing of new connections increases the chance that those connections will fire again. Those first electro-chemical firings don’t feel familiar or masterful. But they are necessary for launching new networks that eventually (with consistent effort) become a place of mastery and earned skill.



    That is the essence of growth mindset. It's a pillar of everything I have taught and embodied when it comes to learning about how our brains function.



    Here are two other essential videos on this topic:



    The Neuroscience of Growth Mindset: how your past affects the present



    3 Little Known Ways Growth Mindset Changes Your Brain and Improves Your life



    Dive even deeper into how powerful mindset is when we use it to help others in Season 4 Episode 1 of the Mindset Neuroscience Podcast.









    [00:01:06]: Focus on Healing, Resilience, and Purpose[00:02:22]: Mindset and Paradigm Overview

    [00:03:55]: Purpose as a Leverage Point for Change

    [00:05:36]: Transcending Paradigms for Change

    [00:08:25]: Growth Mindset and Resilience



    [00:09:35]: Lay Theory Interventions and Wise Interventions

    [00:11:37]: Persuasive Techniques in Mindset Interventions[00:16:07]: Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset[00:26:09]: Regulatory Flexibility for Resilience



     

    • 45 min
    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.

     

    EDUCATION

    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

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
106 Ratings

106 Ratings

Broccobanana ,

Very Impressive

I’ve listened to Stephanie for a couple of month now and it has really put my experiences into perspective. Not only is she impressively knowledgeable, but her voice is very soothing to listen to. I look forward to reading her book.

CFreddo ,

Insightful

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 ❤️‍🩹

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