When we have a series of bad trades, bad days or worse a bad week we can mentally start to believe all sorts of fiction. “I’m not a good trader.” “I don’t have how to do this anymore.” I have been experimenting with a cognitive exercise that works well for me.
Remind yourself of better times to change your emotional state.
There are a number of exercises around the self-help community that focus on bringing in love, light, and gratitude if you believe in that stuff… My favorite version of this was created by Phil Stutz & Barry Michael in their book titled The Tools. This is a great book in which the authors describe real life cases in which these short cognitive exercises can be used to achieve remarkable results.
I have shortened their Grateful Flow into a trading exercise. I have created three steps to help get your mind believing you can trade again.
- Find your best trades from the week or month or year.
- Print them out
- Cognitively review each bar of each trade as you mentally run the trade in your head.
Without going into the depths of endocrinology the dopamine circuits in our brain are rewarded for risk taking, even if that risk fails. There are other steroids & endorphins that will condition you if that behavior failed. They are two different things.
How does this exercise help? Cognitively it allows you to create a different mental emotional frame. It reminds your brain that you can trade and helps stop the intrusion of negative thoughts. Emotionally, this may help alleviate the negative stress hormones floating around in your bloodstream by creating a mentally more soothing environment.