Psychological training for success in trading
Hello! In the midst of market movements, our intellectual and emotional state makes a real contribution to forex trading results. If you take the time to think about the effectiveness of your trading, then you will probably recall many examples where your thoughts or emotions hindered the productivity of your trading before you made decisions, or due to hindsight, and you know that you should not have done this.
According to my observations, many traders usually know what to do in trading, but they themselves spoil everything. And I believe that the real task is to do what you know and bring the matter to its logical end, systematically following your trading strategy. In this article I will share with you psychological resistance work exercises in forex trading.
Forex trading is a mentally and emotionally challenging activity. And if you want to succeed, it is important to define your own unique “process of success" - to consider what you need for effective trading in the markets. And then, formulate this into a single system, and accustom yourself to focus on exactly what you need in order to become successful, and develop your thoughts, feelings and behavior that will allow you to get the best results.
There are many excellent books on the psychology of trading, but they lack the main thing - ready-made techniques for working with the moral state of the forex trader. To address this issue, I provide you with three well-proven exercises that you can use as part of your own psychological preparation to achieve success in trading.
Monitoring your emotional state
When we see how a first-class athlete misses the decisive penalty in football, makes a double mistake in the decisive outcome of a tennis match, or cannot make a short punch and loses the golf tournament, this is not because these players do not have certain skills or abilities to succeed, but because their emotional state has changed at these moments - they experience increased stress, anxiety or fear. Feelings of stress, anxiety and fear also have a significant impact on trading performance as a result of exposure to our cognitive functioning, reducing blood flow to the frontal lobes. That is why, in stressful forex conditions, traders often make mistakes in the decision-making process, react emotionally, and then, looking back, ask themselves the question: “What have I done?”
The ability to manage your emotional state, as well as feelings of stress, anxiety or fear, can have a significant impact on the quality of your trading decisions and the results obtained.
Applying on a regular basis methods of controlling your emotional state on a regular basis can help you increase your stress threshold and, thus, provide you with powerful techniques for managing your well-being before, during and after trading. One of the easiest and most powerful ways to control your feelings of fear, anxiety, and stress is to simply regulate your breathing.
Exercise "Focusing on the breath"
This is a great method that you can use to calm down and gather before the start of a trade or at the time of its height, and which may help you manage your forex trading. You can also use it after the stress, for example, after a losing position, and it will help you return to good health before you start trading again.
I took this technique of focusing on breathing from Jason Selk’s book 10-Minute Toughness, because it is easy and simple to remember and execute. This exercise will take you only 15 seconds and will allow you to change your inner feeling.
1. Take a deep breath with the diaphragm (stomach), filling the lungs with air as much as possible, for 6 seconds;
2. Hold your breath for 2 seconds, allowing air (oxygen) to circulate throughout your body and reach the brain;
3. Exhale slowly (as relaxation) for 7 seconds.
The purpose of psychological preparation: Perform 20-40 breaths during the day, which really will fill the brain with oxygen and increase your stress threshold.
How to enter the “trade zone”
Surely, many of you have read Mark Douglas’s excellent book, Zone Trading. So how do you get into the “zone”, the state in which you are most productive and make smart decisions?
You can put into practice a highly effective exercise that will allow you to concentrate your attention, as well as give you the opportunity to distract yourself, especially from any negative thoughts that you may possess, from any doubts and fears that could cause you to close your position too early or move stop loss.
One of the key aspects of penetrating the “trading zone” is the ability to stay in the present tense and focus on current events. Practical application of the specific concentration skills outlined in this article will not only help you better focus your attention and master the relevant skills, but also help you develop your ability to stay in the present, notice and pay attention to those factors that are crucial for your trading activities, and at the same time be able to avoid moments that distract your attention, and obstacles that usually lead to unsatisfactory work, disappointment and lack of discipline.
Concentration exercise to enter the “trade zone”
1. Sit in a place convenient for you and give yourself the opportunity to relax.
2. Start by focusing on your breath. Concentrate on inhaling and exhaling. Just focus on the frequency of your breathing.
3. Continue to focus on your breath for a set period of time, strive to do this for 10 minutes.
4. You will probably find that your thoughts are behind your breath. This is natural, that is how our mind works. Just focus on your thoughts. Let them go. And then concentrate on your breath again.
5. Repeat this process until the time allotted for this exercise has expired.
This is a simple but very powerful exercise that helps to develop the ability not only to maintain your attention, but also the ability to turn it on. Two very important activity skills.
Perform the exercise daily for 10 minutes.
Perhaps one of the most powerful and useful aspects of the psychological preparation of a forex trader is the use of visualization.
Each of your actions, feelings and behavior is the result of activation of neural pathways in the brain. Neural pathways are the connection or system of connections between neurons in the brain. In essence, each path is a morphological model for a particular intellectual skill, feeling, or behavior. These nerve paths are created, and then developed and strengthened through practical application and repetition, developed into a specific psychological concept, and after a while they become automatic - familiar. It is a bit like a walk through a wheat field. The more often you go along the same path, the more you trample the wheat, and the more clear and visible your path becomes.
Nerve paths can be developed and strengthened through the actual formation of physical feelings or behavior, or, interestingly and importantly, through visualization of this feeling or behavior. The mind at the neurological level cannot differentiate between real and fictional experience, as evidenced by studies conducted in the field of neurology using brain scans.
In real life, we can understand this by remembering when we had a nightmare. Was that fear that we felt in a dream different from that which we actually felt? No. Your heart trembled, you felt scared, your hands were cold, and your body was covered with sticky sweat. Your body reacted as if it were actually happening. The use of specific visualization methods can have a huge impact on the rate of adaptation of your behavior and emotional reaction: with it, the corresponding neural pathways are created.
Using visualization will give you the opportunity to practice and participate in Forex trading, even if you cannot access real markets, which will thus accelerate your development. You can use visualization more efficiently to cope with losses or drawdowns, to overcome bad habits and to develop new ones that are good for trading, to access and create a sense of confidence, to be mentally prepared for trading in markets or to help achieve your trading goals.
Visualization should affect several senses (vision, hearing, sensory perceptions); it is better if short-term relaxation precedes it; visualization is necessary for 5-10 minutes.
Exercise "Visualization of successful trading"
You can use the technique below very simply by taking a minute or two to relax and then reading this text. Soon you will be able to perform this exercise in memory, on your own.
Now take the time and focus your attention on some of the drawdowns, problems and difficult situations that occur in your trading ... Imagine now one such example ... Swim ahead in your imagination .... Imagine that this will happen to you sometime in the future .... What is it ... Where? restrained and focused ... And feel successful in terms of solving / overcoming this problem ... Work in this way all your last difficult situations from trading.
Instead of a conclusion
Psychological preparation increases your potential for trading results and, regularly applying it in practice, you can develop new neural pathways in your brain that will raise your stress threshold, provide conditions for the development of various emotional reactions and conditions, new and desirable principles of trading behavior. Try the above exercises in practice and be sure to unsubscribe in the comments.