Do not neglect self care
This advice doesn’t apply for just doing forex, but rather for any business endeavor you may undertake. I just feel the need to state this because all the study, calculations, and risks involved may unnecessarily add to your stress levels. This will make you more susceptible to making trading mistakes later on and then accumulating more stress and making more trading mistakes as a result and it will continue spiraling out of control until you either give up on trading or destroy your computer in rage. Whichever comes first. With this in mind, I’m going to outline specific trading behaviours you need to undertake to prevent things from going to that point.
1. SIT DOWN AND ACCEPT YOUR LOSSES
It’s a constant warning that losses are going to occur with this line of business and newbies are going to experience it more than others as they are less adapted to the chaotic market and don’t have the knowledge of helpful advanced strategies and systems. But even experts lose sometimes. The market isn’t perfectly predictable. It has many layers and factors to it. Whether you yourself made a mistake while trading or the market seemingly kept snubbing you majorly despite your research, there’s a time where you need to stop and accept that you have just lost some money. Constant loses indicate reevaluation of how you trade, yes, but before you go diving into “what went wrong” it’s really important that you come to terms with reality. If you don’t do that, then frustration WILL build. And then the cycle that I mentioned at the beginning of this article will more likely occur.
2. DON’T MAKE SEARCHING FOR TRADES AN AUTOMATIC PRIORITY
The only time this rule technically shouldn’t be followed is if your entire income depends on trading and you’ve gotten so good at it that you can almost guarantee profits. So…probably less than 1% of you reading this. Unless you have the timing of upcoming events and swings in mind, I don’t think trading should be something that you try to rush back to after you finish your errands. People will get addicted to the feeling of trading and working with a system of potentially gaining money in real time, just like they get addicted to gambling, where they have even fewer chances of winning. They will stare at the screens for hours just waiting for the opportunity for what they think might be a good trade. Sure, maybe you might have other tabs open to go and switch to, or maybe you’re watching tv/playing games. Regardless, in minutes you will get the tendency to dart back to the trading program and sift through numerous currencies, trying to find a promising trade position. Look, the market isn’t going anywhere. And most huge swings and events missed can and will repeat themselves at later points in the next week, month or two months (dependent on the type). So stop unnecessarily filling your mind with trading. Overeagerness and addiction are practically never good in principle, especially for something involving the flow of money. And the kicker is that it cuts into the other stuff you need to do in real life. Whether it be to take the time to accomplish certain important tasks or just taking the needed time to wind down and enjoy yourself; you’ll suffer if trading is all you’ll think about.
3. FIND THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT FOR TRADING
Did you know that being cooped up in your dark room by yourself, really late at night, staring at a bright screen for a few hours is bad for you? *GASP* Who could’ve guessed?! It’s a very simple thing that people ignore. But it messes with people psychologically. And I’m not just talking about making you sleep at the computer desk while a trade is left open because you’re so tired. No, tiredness affects decision-making on a basic level, and you need all the fully functional brain cells you have for this so as to not make a terrible trading decision you’re bound to regret later. Then there are the physiological longer-term consequences of circadian rhythms going out of whack, eye strain, etc. Bottom line? Try and avoid setting up trades in the wrong environments. Of course, the same principle applies for trading at loud, distracting, stuffy public places but that’s less likely to apply for this. Staying up late with the computer for hours is just a thing people often do…and they shouldn’t keep doing it.
4. STICK TO STRATEGIES YOU KNOW, UNDERSTAND, AND CAN EASILY IMPLEMENT
I talked about this briefly in my post about avoiding trading with too many charts, but I’ll go into more detail here. Trading Strategies are quite numerous and varied. And a lot of them depend on using a combination of charts to check for the optimal trading situation with minimal risk. But some of the more advanced ones require more complicated trading sensors and trying to work with a lot of indicators and calculations at once can be taxing for the less-mathematically/economically inclined. Then there’s the issue of trying to work with multiple strategies and flip-flopping between them to try and hunt for current specific situations in the available currency pair listing that apply to any. This can easily lead to information overload. And information overload leads to overthinking and overthinking leads to stress, yadda yadda, fist through the computer.
5. FIND OUT WHAT HELPS YOU PERSONALLY
General health tips technically apply in this context because if you’re in a better state of mind, then the better you’ll perform. This is mostly for the people who REALLY find forex stressful but it can apply to every trader. It’s easy to look up ways to improve your cognitive processes, through the google search. Things like making sure the hydrate before anything brain taxing, taking omega 3 or vitamin b12 tablets, to other helpful tools like the advice of proper ergonomics, or exercises on how to maintaining patience, taking mental notes, doing work with groups etc. Because this is a post with direct relation of how this applies to forex, I’m not going to go into much detail, but just know that it doesn’t hurt to check out some things that would help your psyche and brain power even a little bit. Since they would help in everyday life too, that’s a big bonus. Don’t underestimate the small stuff. It may seem trivial, but you have no idea how much they do help some people, especially when you do more than one and the effects add up…
Forex requires mental fortitude and understanding. So it makes sense that practices or items that improve mental fortitude should be added to your arsenal as you get ready to plunge deep into the chaotic market. Self-care is often seen as a low priority because in the minds of many “if I just stay up and sacrifice my time and a bit of my sanity to keep at it, I’ll eventually get it”. And like a lot of these philosophies, that’s not ENTIRELY wrong as you do improve in certain cases by just focusing on one thing and keeping at it. But there are more efficient, less brain-straining ways of doing things. And maybe the breakthrough you want starts with those.