The following article will provide beginner traders with various different methods and approaches that they can use to handle stress, or to completely avoid stressful situations that can often arise during intense trading sessions.
Managing and overcoming stress in professional trading is essential in terms of being able to maintain your focus, and therefore, being able to make better trading decisions. Failure to do so can lead traders to make poor decisions that could cost them a lot.
After reading this article, you should come away with a better understanding of how to address stress, and how to control yourself in a more effective way, so that you may become a better trader as a result.
Focus On What You Can Control
Professional author Charles R.Swindoll once said ''Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it''.
Charles was ultimately discussing how people should have the right attitude to life, but from this quote we can also understand that there is much in life that is out of our control, and therefore, it makes sense to focus our time and energy on the parts of life that we can control.
In trading, there are often patterns we can follow, news and economic developments that provide clues as to which direction the markets might move toward, and other indicators or signals that guide us in some way.
However, there are also plenty of moments where none of those things help us, and the markets simply move in ways we cannot predict. Therefore, it's important not to blame ourselves when things go wrong in these situations. We must focus on the elements of trading that we can control.
By doing so, traders can avoid the unnecessary stress associated with uncontrollable elements or completely unexpected events. This will also ensure that a trader's time and energy is spent in areas that can actually benefit them in some way, because they are solely focusing on the things they can control.
Venting Your Frustrations
Sometimes in life it's a good idea to simply vent out all of your frustrations to a friend, a family member, or a like-minded colleague. In the case of trading, it makes sense to discuss your frustrations with other trader friends.
Doing so might help you to relieve your stress, and it might also help you to approach trading in a different manner in the future. Since other traders will think differently to you, they may present you with alternative methods to trading that you haven't previously considered, or they could even help you to solve your trading problems.
Failing all of that, they might just be a good outlet for you in terms of having someone to discuss your frustrations with - because they fully understand where you are coming from (since they are also a professional trader, and are likely to encounter the same problems that you do on a regular basis).
There are likely plenty of instances where multitasking might seem like a more preferable approach to trading (and perhaps life in general), but ultimately, it may actually be preventing you from performing at your best.
According to scientific studies, humans apparently perform better when they 'monotask' (perform activities one at a time) instead of multitasking. This is because multitasking overloads the brain, and keeps shifting a person's focus from one task to another.
This of course has an impact on productiveness, retention, and much more. Therefore, try to avoid multitasking where possible, and try to focus on one aspect of trading at a time. This should help you to dedicate your full attention to each aspect of your trading, which should help you to be more effective with your trading.
You can begin by setting up a free demo trading account, where you can use real-time data from the live markets, and trade with virtual funds. This way, you can make sure that your capital is not at risk until you're ready to transition to your live account, where you can test out your strategies for real!
Work Hard, Play Hard
Everyone knows this saying, but maintaining the balance between work and play is an essential part of life, and not something to be overlooked. Trading is obviously a huge part of a trader's life, but traders shouldn't allow it to dominate all of their time.
Doing so can lead to issues such as fatigue, burnout, and illness. Therefore, traders should make sure that they make conscious decisions to inhibit their daily trading, or limit their exposure to the trading world (e.g. monitoring stocks via mobile apps, tracking statistics on trading charts via computers).
Simple steps such as setting limits for how long traders will trade in a given day, or dedicating a few hours a day to unrelated activities (such as exercise or recreational activities) will help considerably, as it allows traders to take their mind 'out of the game', and to rest their mind from time to time.
The body and the mind are connected, so they must both be kept in the best possible shape, in order to ensure healthiness, long-life, and happiness. Day trading is both physically and mentally demanding, therefore it's essential that professional traders keep themselves fit in order to meet the demands of each trading day.
Moreover, keeping physically fit enables traders to maintain their focus, to avoid and/or control stress, and to make the best decisions during trading sessions. In addition, regular exercise provides traders with an outlet for stress and tension that they may feel during trading sessions. Therefore, keeping fit is essential if you want to be a successful trader.
But the exercise doesn't end there! Trader's can also exercise their mind with outlets such as Chess, Sudoku, maths equations, and other equally challenging exercises for the mind. These kinds of games and mental exercises are a great way to keep the mind sharp, and can also help traders to prepare their minds to cope with greater amounts of stress.
Time To Relax
Make sure you find time to relax. We mentioned earlier in this article how important it is for traders to maintain a balance between their work and 'play' time, but how you choose to relax is important too.
Becoming disconnected from everything through activities such as meditation, or through recreational activities such as sports are great ways to get away from the sometimes stressful trading atmosphere.
It is especially important to go somewhere else if you trade from home, since your trading setup is located there, and it might become very hard to break away from everything that's going on in the markets.
Find activities that help you to unwind, to disconnect from everything, and to relax your mind. Doing so will enable you to maintain a healthy, positive attitude towards trading, and your life in general. Trading should be something you love, not something that stresses you out, so take charge of your time effectively, and make it another part of your life (and not the only part).
Ready To Trade?
So, if you're feeling stress-free and ready to conquer the markets, why not consider opening a MetaTrader 4 live trading account with MTrading?
This material does not contain and should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisors to ensure you understand the risks.