How Meditation Builds Grit & Mental Toughness

The Ultimate Guide To Grit, Mental Toughness, & Meditation

How meditation develops grit and mental toughness

The Marshmallow, The Jelly Bean, & The Rock

When it comes to mental toughness, it is said there are three types of people: the marshmallow, the jelly bean, and the rock. Soft inside and out, marshmallows quickly squish under the slightest pressure. With a hard shell and a soft inner core, jelly beans can withstand some stress, but in time, always buckle. Hard inside and out, rocks can handle anything.

According to the work of a world famous University of Pennsylvania psychologist, the "rocks" in this world have something more valuable than intelligence, more important than genetics, and more helpful than talent. Dominating headlines with her viral 14+ million view TED Talk and bestselling "Grit" book, Dr. Angela Duckworth makes the compelling case for "mental toughness" as the "secret sauce" pumping through the veins of successful people.

Successful People Have "Grit"

Every summer, some 1300 cadets enter the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point. To ensure they have what it takes, the cadets must pass what's internally known as "Beast Barracks," a complex, highly demanding progression of mental, emotional, and physical exercises. Because of the program's incredible difficulty, many drop out along the way.

How to train your brain to have mental toughness

To find out why some graduate and some don't, Dr. Duckworth tracked 2441 of these cadets over two incoming West Point classes. Her metrics were high school graduation rank, Leadership Potential score (extracurricular involvement), Physical Aptitude Exam (exercise capacity), SAT score (raw intelligence), and Grit Scale (passion and perseverance).

And the winner was... Grit! By a wide margin too.

Why meditation is the secret to achieving the gritty growth mindset

Because Beast Barracks tested their intellect, physical stamina, and leadership ability, it would be expected that the smartest, fittest, and most charismatic cadets had the best chance to graduate. Well, it turns out that mental toughness matters more than genetics, influence, brains, and talent.

To confirm her groundbreaking results, Duckworth and colleagues began interviewing top performers in many fields, including investment banking, art, journalism, academia, medicine, and law. Again and again, grit was found to be the most accurate "high achievement" predictor.

Dr. Duckworth on the results: "Asked what quality distinguishes star performers in their respective fields, these individuals cited grit (or a close synonym) as often as talent. In fact, many were awed by the achievements of peers who did not (at first) seem as gifted as others but whose sustained commitment to their ambitions was exceptional. Likewise, many noted with surprise that prodigiously gifted peers did not end up in the upper echelons of their field."

We all know someone who flushed their truckload of talent down the toilet or took their thimble of talent to the mountaintop. The world is full of underachievers and overachievers.

Luckily, like most traits, we aren't born with a "set" amount of grit. There are things we can do to strengthen our mental toughness. And leading the pack? Meditation. It all starts with the brain.

How Meditation Makes Your Brain "Gritty"

Why meditation builds mental strength, mental toughness, and grit

If an election were held for the "grittiest" brain region, the "anterior cingulate cortex" (ACC) would win by a landslide. With pain resistance, willpower, motivation, focus, and emotional resilience among the ACC's wide range of functions, this powerful brain region ticks all the gritty, mentally tough boxes.

How to overcome adversity by training your brain

Then, to increase grit, strengthen the ACC, right?

Correct! In a study to understand why meditators have such a high tolerance to pain (as multiple studies and countless anecdotal reports had previously shown), University of Montreal researchers (Grant et al) compared the brains of 17 experienced meditators to 18 "normal" brains. What did they find?

The meditators' brains had much "thicker" gray matter in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), with degree linked to years of experience. In other words, meditation fortifies the brain's "grit" center.

While Dr. Duckworth and colleagues have suggested that we can "get gritty" by adopting what's called a "growth mindset" (seeing challenges as learning opportunities rather than obstacles to overcome), harnessing the power of meditation to literally "grow" and strengthen the "grittiest" brain region of all takes that idea to a whole new level. Neuroplasticity is a powerful thing.

Meditation strengthens our "inner-Rocky-Balboa" in other ways too. Like what? From focusing our mind, to eliminating fear, to instilling confidence, to cranking up our motivation, meditation's mental toughness upgrades span the seven great seas.

Find fuel on an empty tank. Discover meditation.

Instant Deep Meditation

Learn about the limitless benefits of meditation, & how precisely designed brainwave technology (EquiSync) helps enable a deep, super-pleasurable, extremely beneficial state of meditation quickly, safely, & easily. Upgrade your life.

How EquiSync® Works

Learn how brainwave patterns affect your mental & emotional health, awareness, & mind state. See to what degree EquiSync beneficially influences your brainwave patterns, plus the basic differences between the 3 programs. Charts included.

Whole Brain Synchronization

Meditation works to balance your left & right brain hemispheres, resulting in what doctors call “whole brain synchronization”. In turn, you tap into a host of amazing benefits: more creativity, faster learning, better emotional health, & more. Upgrade everything. See charts.

Build 9 Key Brain Regions

Deep meditation upgrades 9 key brain regions. The result? So many benefits: great sleep, more happiness, deeper learning, better memory, higher IQ & EQ, less stress, more success, just to name a few. Change your brain, change your life.

Boost 7 Brain Chemicals

With monumental health implications, meditation has been proven to naturally boost many of your body’s chemicals: GABA, Endorphins, Serotonin, & more, while lowering the stress hormone Cortisol. The benefits are staggering.

Subconscious Mind Power

The power of your subconscious & unconscious mind are incredible. Here, we show you the vast benefits waiting under the surface, and how meditation is the best way to dive in, explore, and harness your deep mind. See detailed chart.

Immunity & Disease

When it comes to what the human body “can” and “can’t” do, a revolution is well underway. From extending life, to conquering “unconquerable” diseases, to rewriting genetic code, meditation’s latest scientific findings are incredible. Become superhuman.

Relieve Anxiety

Why is meditation such a powerful anxiety reliever? From building neurotransmitters, to quieting mind chatter, to cooling the amygdala, this highly in-depth article discusses why anxiety is no match against meditation.

Overcome Depression

Known as the world’s happiest people, scientists love studying meditators’ magnificent brains. From transforming psychology, to fully rewiring thought, to massively upgrading physiology, here we discuss why meditation dominates depression.

Sleep & Insomnia

Even if you get the recommended eight hours each night, you may not be sleeping deeply enough to fully recharge your battery. Here, we discuss why so many of us have insomnia, and why meditation is the best solution to sleeping like a log.

Conquer Addiction

Why don’t meditators have addictions? From urge surfing, to masterfully dealing with stress, to uprooting deep seated emotions, to giving us a natural high, to unplugging naturally, here we discuss why meditation eradicates addiction.

Longevity, Life Extension

Not only do meditators often look decades younger than their actual age, but they also live much longer lives. Here, we take a look at the most fascinating age defying studies making news headlines, and how meditation freezes father time.

Weight Loss

Why are meditators so often slim & trim? It’s because the weight loss benefits of meditation are nothing short of incredible. Here, from a variety of angles, we discuss how meditation can propel anyone to their ideal body.

Brain Power, Memory, Focus

Did you know that your brain power, intelligence, and memory can be dramatically upgraded, no matter who you are? Here, we discuss why scientists keep studying the marvelous meditating brain, and how you too can tap these awesome benefits.

141 Meditation Benefits

Looking for a different meditation benefit? No problem. Here, we have compiled more than 141 benefits of meditation, with links to detailed articles. No stone went unturned.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about EquiSync’s brainwave powered meditation system through our users most frequently asked questions (FAQ). Very helpful.

Testimonials

Happy EquiSync® users send us their testimonials every day, we have posted a small sample here. Just the tip of the iceberg!

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