Learn how to develop a growth mindset using science-based tools with Dr. David Spiegel
Learn how to develop a growth mindset with Associate Chair of Psychiatry at Stanford School of Medicine, David Spiegel, M.D.
Growth mindset is a learning approach that helps you learn faster, achieve better results, and optimize your performance. It was coined by psychologist and researcher, Carol Dweck.
In this free workshop, Dr. Spiegel imparts wisdom and shares from various research studies about how to develop a growth mindset. He guides us through several brief, easy to do exercises, all rooted in scientific research. Exercises include:
- Cyclic sighing
- Box breathing
- A self-hypnosis session on conquering performance anxiety and developing growth mindset
The workshop is packed with research and exercises. All resources mentioned will be uploaded to this post in the coming days. There was a lot mentioned so our team needs to go through it all.
To get access to the exercises Dr. Spiegel guided us through, and so much more, download Reveri on your Android, iPhone or iPad here: R E V E R I - Hypnosis for your wellbeing, backed by science
Resources mentioned in the workshop: [UPDATED]
- Read about the science of growth mindset
- Reveri Frequently Asked Questions
- Learn all about hypnotizability, the hypnotizability test, and the three brain styles
- Dr. Spiegel’s and Dr. Huberman’s Cell publication on the immense benefits of cyclic sighing
- Zen and the Art of Archery book
- Alia Crum milkshake study Mind over milkshakes: mindsets, not just nutrients, determine ghrelin response - PubMed
- Alia Crum housekeepers exercise experiment Mind-set matters: exercise and the placebo effect - PubMed
- Crum / Spiegel cancer patient growth mindset experiment Changing cancer mindsets: A randomized controlled feasibility and efficacy trial - PubMed
- Pain RCT Adjunctive non-pharmacological analgesia for invasive medical procedures: a randomised trial - PubMed
- From David Humble Tim Ferriss: Why you should define your fears instead of your goals | TED Talk
Q&A from today’s workshop [UPDATED]
Lots of questions were asked that we didn’t have time to answer live. Dr. Spiegel’s answers to all are below:
- Does hypnosis work even if we are not really listening? It is possible to be taking in information in a dissociated way – attending to something else but processing it – like subliminal advertising. So not ideal, but it could work.
- Is it OK if upsetting / uncomfortable emotions arise during self hypnosis? Sure – I have seen that happen many times. Can you use this to unrepress and release and then deal with these emotions? Yes, if it does happen it is important to help people put it into perspective, make sense of it. That is often very helpful. I feel there a lot going on with the subconscious which is very deep and therefore is there any potential of this being dangerous or misleading the self? What is out of sight is not necessarily out of mind, so it is often helpful to surface these half hidden feelings and thoughts. That is not intrinsically dangerous and could well be helpful.
- What’s the brainwave state hypnosis takes people to? Hypnosis has been identified with left frontal theta activity – near the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
- Is cognitive style the same as “learning style? Only partially. Those who are ‘researchers’ like to learn things through critical examination, so they learn by questioning, challenging, while the hypnotic ‘poets’ tend to learn by affiliation – taking on a new point of view and trying it out, rather than carefully examining and judging it.
- What is the relationship between Self Hypnosis and Bio Feedback? Self hypnosis does not require external validation of the experience via readouts on skin conductance, etc. With self-hypnosis the perception of the problem and its amelioration is via interoception – just feeling it internally.
- When you say to “link” something pleasurable to the activity that gives you anxiety - what does it mean to link the two? I mean picturing an aspect of the anxiety=provoking situation that is genuinely pleasurable – dissociate the situation into something more than a stressful situation – one with risks and benefits.
- I have always encountered box breathing with exhale through the mouth. Dr. Spiegel directed us to exhale through the nose. Does this exhale difference change the effect on the nervous system? Nose is preferred, but if too difficult, mouth is OK. Doesn’t change the effect on the nervous system.
- Does it help with an essential tremor? While we don’t have a specific app for ET, I would suggest that you modifying our Stress Relief app in your mind, imagining being in a physical environment where your general level of body tension goes down. Tremors can get better when the general level of physical tension goes down and you are not fighting the tremor and the tension it causes you but rather focusing on a situation that lowers arousal and enhances your comfort level.
- Is cyclic sighing the same as the pshysiological sigh Andrew Huberman talks about? No, the physiological sigh is also great for stress reduction, but they are distinct. The Reveri Team shows the Reveri Community multiple techniques for stress and anxiety reduction in this workshop, including both the cyclic sigh and the physiological sigh: Anxiety Workshop with the Reveri Community
- Can breathwork assist in achieving better sleep, particularly for those dealing with insomnia? Absolutely. Cyclic sighing has been shown to reduce heartrate, activate the parasympathetic nervous system, and calm the body. The Reveri Team is working on adding the cyclic sigh into our Improve Sleep session as it’s so effective.
- Quick question on the hypnosis method. Why make a fist and raise one arm above your head? Then ending the session by bringing your arm down, opening the fist? The suggestion is to let one hand float, comfortably by your side during the session. This creates a sense of buoyancy, lightness, and floating, which can help with the hypnotic state. If your hand floats all the way above your head, no need to fight it, but it’s unlikely it will float that high. Just let it float comfortably by your side, with your elbow resting on the arm of your chair, bed, or couch.
- Why are the suggestions on the app so fast? It seemed that the pacing was slightly slower than the pace of the app and was more trance friendly? The essence of hypnosis is to experience a change in mental state and approach to a problem rather than to analyze and understand it. So grab what you can and don’t worry about missing parts of it, as you may benefit from experiences you don’t fully understand. Your mind is capable of visualizing what is being suggested instantaneously, but sometimes the conscious mind gets in the way, casts doubt, and makes you feel like you need more time. It can take some practice to turn the volume of your conscious mind down while doing hypnosis exercises, but it gets easier and more automatic the more you do it. I encourage you to keep practicing regularly and see if you notice improvements. I also recommend you try the interactive versions of our exercises in the Reveri app, as they often give you an opportunity to set the pace of the session.
- Should the “floating” be involuntary? For example, the hand floating thing feels like I have to raise it. And it doesn’t stay up by itself. You might have to help it along at first. Keep practicing, it becomes easier and more natural the more consistently you practice. Find what works best for you and do that.
- How to approach it when the task is triggering? My body gets very tense when I do the exercise, but I still manage to get through it and feel a bit calmer, but not by much. This is not unusual. It is often helpful to surface these half hidden feelings and thoughts. Keep practicing, and if you feel too triggered or tense when you are doing the exercise, cyclic sigh a few times. It will activate your parasympathetic nervous system and help you to feel calmer.
- From Tasnuva Ashrafee : Will there be exercise in the app to process grief? Yes, Manage Your Grief is coming in November.
- It’s ok to feel a bit tense during the exercise? Yes, I have seen this many times. It is often helpful to surface these half hidden feelings and thoughts. Keep practicing, and if you feel too tense when you are doing the exercise, cyclic sigh a few times. It will activate your parasympathetic nervous system and help you to feel calmer.
- When doing exercise on our own should we do it with the hand raised and the fist? Or is not necessary? I always recommend it as it creates a sense of buoyancy, lightness, and floating. For many people, their hand floats on its own. This can happen to you with consistent practice.
- It’s hard for me to visualize my problem on the imaginary screen and that distracted a bit… any suggestion? It may be that you are trying too hard. Think of yourself as exploring unknown territory, like being on a vacation to a new place. Just see what you discover about yourself without judging how well you are doing it. If you continue to struggle with visualizing specifically, you might be a less visually-oriented person. Try imagining being in the problem, or imagine hearing it, smelling it, or tasting it. Hypnosis is your personal experience.
- I felt effort lifting my arm during this - any input on that??? It’s normal to have to help your hand float at the beginning. Some days it may be more natural and automatic than others. Try not to judge it, and just see what happens. Please note the suggestion is to let your hand float, and your arm/elbow can rest comfortably. No need for your whole arm to float high up in the air. We offer helpful educational graphics of what this motion looks like in the app before the hypnotizability test.
- Are our eyes supposed to stay up for the duration of the self-hypnosis? No, that is only for the induction. On one, look up. On two, slowly close your eyes and take a deep breath. On three, let your breath out, let your eyes relax but keep them closed, and let your body float.
- love your app, but I keep struggling with sleep, any other tips that you can share? It always seems like there is something on my mind and that stops me from sleeping. I think this is a great question to pose to the community, and I invite others to comment below what works for them. The Improve Sleep session is designed to help you release those thoughts keeping you up at night. You may need to take the hypnotizability test and practice hypnosis with Reveri according to your results. You can try cyclic sighing when falling asleep. Or perhaps you can modify the way you visualize the imagery. Experiment and find what works best for you.
- It was really good. But also it is very hard for me to concentrate. Is there anything I can do to “prepare” myself before hypnosis? It’s normal to have challenges concentrating. It may be that you are trying too hard. Think of yourself as exploring unknown territory, like being on a vacation to a new place. Just see what you discover about yourself without judging how well you are doing it. If you’d like to try to prepare prior to hypnosis, you can try mindfulness meditation prior to using Reveri to clear your mind.
- I’m aware of the many known benefits of hypnosis. Are there any potentially negative consequences? Hypnosis is safer than common medications and more accessible than common therapies for most challenges, for most people. However, people with psychiatric of neurological disorders ought to consult with their physician before engaging in hypnosis, because it is a psychological technique. Our team has written about the safety of hypnosis if you are interested: On the Safety of Hypnosis — R E V E R I
- On Huberman the ability to look up and close one’s eyes is an indicator of “hypnotizability”. Does this receptivity to hypnosis change over time with exposure or is it considered a fixed feature of the individual? Hypnotizability is considered to be a stable trait in adult life, but we have seen time and time again that adults achieve better results with hypnosis the more they practice. There is still much to be studied about hypnotizability but the best way to know for yourself is to try and practice.
- What’s the difference between meditation and hypnosis? Hypnosis involves highly focused attention that can be mobilized to problem-solve by attending to novel aspects of an experience and putting aside more troublesome ones. One can intensely attend toward and away at the same time, e.g. imagining cool tingling numbness in an injured part of the body that can ‘filter the hurt out of the pain.’ Any sensory experience is actually a combination of many - one can learn to choose among them in hypnosis. Mindfulness is also useful, but different - less problem-focused, more designed to keep people from fighting an unpleasant experience, a common practice that often magnifies it. Hypnosis and mindfulness also have related but different effects in the brain: hypnosis separates the Executive Control Network from the Default Mode Network (DMN), which involves self-reflection, while mindfulness turns down activity in the DMN.
- What exercises can you do on Reveri to be more proactive and getting more things done, not on a specific project but in life in general? You could try doing the Choose your Goals Quick Relief every morning, followed by Overcome Procrastination. You could also experiment with the Control Any Habit exercise and select “Behavior,” with the behavior you’d like to change top of mind as you do the exercise. Hypnosis is meant to be adaptable to your personal situation and you can make the sessions work flexibly to your needs.
- How many hypnosis sessions does it take to see improvements? This very much depends. Some people just need one session to make a drastic change in their lives. Others require consistent practice. Expectancy comes into play, which is the degree to which you expect hypnosis to work. The more you expect it to work, the better effect it will have. There is much to be gained and little to lose by giving it a try and finding out for yourself.
- When I do the focus sessions on the app I feel great in terms of relaxing but it’s hard for me to visualize and coordinate the problem I want to focus on. How should I abstract it out or maybe break it down to make the process more effective? The Overcome Procrastination session helps you break down problems to make them more actionable. You could give this a try, before or after the Enhance Focus session. You can also try imagining you are in the problem, hearing it, smelling it, or tasting it if it’s too hard to visualize it.
- Could you suggest a daily practice one can do to visualize their goals more clearly and enhance mental clarity? Try starting each day with the Choose your Goals Quick Relief session. The more you practice all types of hypnosis, the better your mental clarity will become.
- Which specific exercises are best for pain control? The Manage Pain exercise. I recommend doing it in interactive mode. 90% of people feel an immediate improvement after doing this exercise in the app.
- How does this kind of hypnosis work with child birth and an individual’s perception of sensation/pain? Hypnobirthing is a very common practice. Many women have reported experiencing no pain at all during childbirth when using hypnosis.
- Is there a trusted resource for finding a hypnotherapist in the Bay Area? Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (www.SCEH.US), American Society for Clinical Hypnosis (www.ASCH.net), Division 30 (Clinical Hypnosis) of the American Psychological Association https://locator.apa.org/
- What about people suffering from executive paralysis - it is hard to start on the task. How does the self-hypnosis can help with that ? Overcome Procrastination session in the Reveri app.
- Can you go from meditation directly into hypnosis? Yes.
- Is there a free but full trial for Reveri? Yes, the free trial of Reveri gives you full access to everything Reveri offers, including our clinically-validated hypnotizability test.
- I am extremely non-hypnotizable. I know you said that we can get some of the benefits, but to what extent? It always depends on the individual’s goals and brain style. There is a lot more to hypnotizability than just the final result. There are five different components of hypnotizability: sensory, physiological, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral. You will find that you respond better to sessions when they apply to one or more of these categories, if you experiment. Also, are there tailored or different exercises for very non-hypnotizable people? Not at this time, but we are working on making Reveri more customizable all the time. I encourage you to use our interactive sessions as they allow you to set the pace of the session more, but remember that your mind is capable.
- How can hypnosis can help with memory, focus and concentration that has been a whole life issue/s? Recently discovered I had C-PTSD. Hypnosis has been known to help people overcome lifelong issues as it is a very effective technique for changing behaviors. Hypnosis is a highly focused state of attention so the mere act of using hypnosis helps you improve your focus. You might enjoy reading Meru’s story about improving her focus with Reveri: Meru is becoming a calmer person — R E V E R I
- Do you. or will you have different people speaking on the Reveri app? Currently it’s just me, but we are exploring adding more voices to the app.
- I’ve tried to use hypnosis over several years for many problems including weight problems, binge and emotional eating, confidence How is reveri different? Will it help? Our community often tells us that Reveri is different from other hypnoses they’ve tried, usually because other hypnosis practitioners often focus on what you are against. At Reveri, we focus on what you are for, not what you are against. In this case, you are for caring for and nurturing your body. Protecting your body like you would protect a young child. You might enjoy reading Amanda’s story about this: Amanda quit a 17-year smoking habit — R E V E R I There is much to be gained and little to lose by giving it a try.
- I have ADHD , anxiety disorder, and suffer panic attacks. I struggle with stopping the racing mind during self-hypnosis. Is there any thing I can do to increase my chances of mindset growth. Cyclic sighing should help you a lot. Do it regularly and often to calm your parasympathetic nervous system down. Like hypnosis, it is a bottom-up approach to overcoming challenges like anxiety and panic. You might also implement a mindfulness meditation practice and do it prior to self-hypnosis. We have a session called Relieve Stress that will help you with any acute fear, stressor, or source of anxiety. And you can try Control Any Habit for generalized anxiety. The more you practice all these techniques, the better effects you will experience.
- I’d like to use hypnosis for a tremor in my voice. Can I discuss this with dr S? Hypnosis can certainly help with that. I’m only able to treat residents of California, but you can find a reputable hypnotist near you using these resources: Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (www.SCEH.US), American Society for Clinical Hypnosis (www.ASCH.net), Division 30 (Clinical Hypnosis) of the American Psychological Association https://locator.apa.org/
- Given the epidemic of loneliness world wide, would you consider an exercise on loneliness? Thank you! Certainly. We also have a forthcoming exercise on dealing with grief. Not the same thing, but adjacent perhaps. I hope you’ll give it a try and see what you think.
- Is there documentation THAT EXPAND ON THE hypnosis OF GROWTH MINDSET? Yes, start here: The Science of Growth Mindset — R E V E R I – there are resources cited at the bottom if you’d like to dig in further.
Thank you for your interest in growth mindset and science-based tools!