How To Build Psychological Resilience
While FX trading can be a big thrill – and it’s certainly an exhilarating way to spend your time – because of the nature of the markets, it carries with it a big element of risk, as well.
Of course, this is partly what makes it just so exciting, but where there is risk there is stress – and, as such, traders would do themselves a real favour by making sure they’re fully equipped to handle the pressure… or they could find their mental and emotional health and wellbeing starts to suffer, as a result.
This, in turn, will lead to even more negative outcomes on the trading floor… a truth universally acknowledged is that an emotional trader is a losing trader and you’ve got to keep those emotions firmly in check, at all times, win or lose, if you’re going to see the successes you’ve been dreaming of.
Of course, stress can also be useful from a trading perspective and it can help traders be more disciplined and make fewer mistakes. However, it can become problematic, particularly for new traders who don’t have much live trading experience… and this is when it starts to take its toll.
So what can be done to ensure that you can keep a level head as you trade? Keeping your cool is an absolute must, no matter how well you’re doing – so here are a few top tips to help you build that all-important psychological resilience and make advances in your career as a trader.
Give yourself a break
Striving for perfection never did anyone any good and it’s important to acknowledge that you aren’t always going to get it right – and to forgive yourself when you do get it wrong.
It can be tempting to go over and over something in your mind when it happens and often this can lead to internalised feelings of negativity, which can result in even more stress and anxiety… which won’t do your trading any good either.
Over-thinking is the art of creating problems that don’t exist, or so the saying goes, so when something does go a bit awry, don’t focus on it too much. See if there are any lessons you can take away from the experience to improve your trading… and then simply move on.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you have so much to do, but strong organisational skills can make you feel a lot more in control. This will help you think with a clear head, you’ll be less likely to miss something important and allow you to make well-timed and rational decisions based on your trading strategy.
First of all, think about when you’re at your most alert and when you have the most natural energy. Identify this and then make sure you schedule your most important tasks at that time, so you can concentrate more effectively.
Avoid taking on too much at first, especially if you’re new to trading, as you could stress yourself out even more, making it harder to achieve what you want. Take everything one task at a time, perhaps with the most important jobs first, and you’ll feel more on top of everything and far more focused on your overall goals and ambitions.
If you are feeling stressed out right now, sit down and ask yourself why. It’s unlikely that any problems you’re facing will sort themselves out, but an action plan to help you address the issues can make you feel empowered, allowing you to see what needs to be done and where.
Your solutions may not be quick fixes, but they’ll do the job in the long run and before you know it, you’ll be back on that winning streak once again.
Learn how to relax
You’re sure to find yourself challenged at some point in the future, so it’s important that you know how to practise self-care and what you can do to help yourself relax, unwind and give yourself some time to breathe.
Self-care comes in many forms so it’s up to you to decide what that means and what you would find relaxing, but there are some initial steps you can take to improve your mental and emotional health and wellbeing, such as getting in a solid sleep routine and sticking to it, getting more exercise, staying well hydrated and following a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Any strong trading strategy will enjoy an element of flexibility – an absolute essential in a world that constantly changes and evolves. It’s vital that you’re flexible and adaptive when you’re forex trading, so you can make well-informed decisions swiftly as new information comes to light, whether that’s the latest economic report or a seismic political event.
Don’t be swayed by what happened yesterday or the day before. Approach each new trading day with a fresh perspective and an open mind, reviewing the market that you see before you, not the one that you saw yesterday nor the one that you think you’ll see tomorrow.
Of course, you can – and should – make trading predictions based on the patterns and signals you identify in your own analysis… but don’t be afraid to backtrack and change your mind if you think it’s necessary.
If you stick to your guns and you don’t see the outcome you want or thought you would, it can easily weigh on your mind and impact the rest of your trading decisions.
Mindfulness is something of a buzzword right now, with the need to prioritise mental health and wellbeing at an all-time high following the pandemic. In essence, it’s the art of bringing your attention to the present moment, fully anchoring yourself in the here and now – and it brings with it all sorts of interesting and useful benefits.
These include helping to relieve stress, lowering your blood pressure, improving sleep, reducing pain, improving emotional regulation, giving your mental acuity a boost… all sorts of benefits that could prove really helpful from an FX trading perspective.
Practising everyday will give you a really strong weapon in your arsenal when it comes to building psychological resilience with a view to winning big on the markets.
You don’t need any special tools or resources to get going with it and it’s very accessible for newcomers to meditation. Simply find some space and alot yourself some time. A few minutes at the beginning will be enough to get you started. Either sit or lie down but make sure you’re comfortable and then start bringing your attention to the present moment.
The easiest way to start doing this is by paying attention to your breath, noting the sensations as you inhale and exhale. You can also do a body scan, where you check in with the different parts of the body, noticing how they feel, any areas of tension, any sore spots, anywhere that feels sensitive and so on.
You’re sure to find that thoughts come in and out of your head as you go… this is inevitable! But in mindfulness practice, the idea is to acknowledge these thoughts but not dwell on them, returning your attention to the present moment time and time again.
The end result is reduced brain chatter, a more focused mind and lower stress levels… so if you have been worrying that your trading is being affected by your mental state, it could be beneficial to give mindfulness a try.
Maintain strong connections
You might not think that maintaining strong interpersonal relationships would have any impact on your trading results, but guess again. Trading can be a very solitary activity and you don’t want to isolate yourself.
Remember that people are inherently social beings and surrounding ourselves with others helps us to face up to challenges and pressures head on, to overcome any problems we encounter and helps us to grow from the lessons learned.
A fresh eye never hurts, either, so if you are struggling with anything – trading related or otherwise – asking someone for their point of view can help clarify your own vision and allow you to move forward with your decisions.
Resilience is an essential skill that gives you the mental and emotional strength you need to succeed in times of adversity and hardship. It gives you something robust to fall back on as you overcome the challenges that lie ahead.
It is inevitable that you will experience stressors in the future, but resilience helps empower you to adapt and evolve, based on the situation you find yourself in. And that is sure to help you when trading currency pairs, delivering the wins you’ve long been after.
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