Continued from part 1. . .
In part two, I cover the other three tools to help you tame trading emotions . . .
Tool 5–Try this After a Losing trade
Next time you have a losing trade, especially one that hurts, try this:
- Stop trading. Give yourself a few minutes to detach from the market, resisting the urge to get your money back, no matter how strong the urge might be.
- Become aware of your thoughts and feelings about yourself, the trade, etc. If possible, write them down. Notice your reaction to loss.
- Evaluate the trade, what went wrong, what you can learn from it, from a place of calm.
Some traders are neutral to lost trades. They see it as “part of the business.” Others have reactions, beat themselves up with negative self talk (“I can’t do this. . . I am a loser. . . should I change my trading system?” and so forth.) The self talk will take over your trading without you even knowing it. So, this tool enables you to create space–before reacting, and raise your awareness and start to take back some control.
Get clear on your relationship with loss. From this clarity, you can start to alter how you experience loss.
Tool 6–Pull out the Journal
Even if you have never written in a journal a day in your life, consider using one for your trading. For a very simple practice, start recording your trades in the journal. If you take a lot of trades, just pick 2-3 to record, to start.
Record what you notice before, during, and after the trade. This can include thoughts in your mind, sensations in your body, and feelings you may have. Please realize it can be hard to even know what these are!
Your thoughts and feelings affect your trading ability. The less awareness you have of them, the more likely they can creep in, take control of your trades, and end up sabotaging you.
If you say to yourself, “I’m a loser!”, for example, every time you have a losing trade, you are programming your subconscious with that instruction. The journal helps by increasing your awareness of what is going on inside you–that was previously invisible to you!
Gaining awareness is a big step toward taking control back of your trading ability.
Tool 7–Meditate, Meditate, Meditate
You have probably heard that meditation is a tool to help you calm your mind, get into the “present moment,” and improve your trading. It’s true!
Are you open to trying this?
As meditating isn’t necessarily an easy practice for many to start, I thought I would share a few tips. First, pick a specific time, preferably before you trade, to dedicate to your meditations. Designate a specific, quiet, private location. You can start with a only few minutes a day if you want.
There are many many techniques, tools, tapes you can access that teach you or guide you through meditations. Oprah has several 28 day, free series she offers you can sign up for. Find something that resonates with you, and get started. There is no shortage of helpful resources available. Giving even 5 minutes a day to this practice can start to positively effect your trading.
I hope one or all of these tools can assist you. Please share any successes below!
Wishing You Awareness,
Andrea Wylan, MPH, CPCC
For your complimentary private consultation, please contact
Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619-665-7558.