Have you ever had one of those days when your forex charting software didn’t work just right, your internet connection was doggedly slow, and you forgot to prepare for the upcoming market catalysts so you missed all the good opportunities? And the kids or doggies running around the house didn’t help either!
All of these events are just a select few sources of stress that the active forex trader has to deal with. Not dealing with these episodes correctly, and letting them build upon each other, can make you feel overwhelmed. When you’re thinking with a stressed mind and body, your mind isn’t focused, and this can mean danger for your trading. It’s utterly important that your head is clear and you are cool and composed while trading.
Prolonged stress can be detrimental to not only your trading, but to your health in general. Knowing that stress can have such an adverse affect on you, it’s a good idea to find ways to curb your stress all together, or at least reduce it, for the sake of a better trading environment.
One way to get rid of stress is to take a vacation, which is definitely great for bringing the stress levels down. However, this many not always be practical or feasible for various reasons such as money, time, family, another job, oh, and did I mention money?
But don’t worry!
There are plenty of other things you can do right now (without having to spend a lot of dough) that are as effective at reducing stress.
- Exercise! This is a no-brainer. And don’t think you have to run out and buy a gym membership. Taking a nice brisk walk around the neighborhood during your trading down-time will do the trick. Exercise helps relieve the tension that builds up during your crazy trading sessions and it keeps your body feeling loose and fresh.
- Forget the obsessive purchases at Starbucks or drinking a 2-liter of soda, by yourself… in an hour, sitting in front your computer. Caffeine can be great at times, giving you that boost when you need to stay awake. But it can also make you super hyper and elevate your feelings of panic at just the wrong moment. Trading is stressful enough by itself. Don’t let caffeine add to the mix!
- Express yourself. The stress you feel during forex trading is many times caused by something not going your way. And more than likely, some other trader has gone through the same exact thing. Hop on a forex forum to discuss what’s bugging you, or what’s not working for you. You’ll find out that just talking about your trading stressors can be a big help to reducing their negative effects on you. And you might learn something, too!
- Set clear risk limits and have realistic goals. Don’t stress yourself by trading outside of your skill level. When you’re just beginning to trade, you want to keep your positions small. Trading beyond your skills will definitely make you more anxious about your open forex positions, and will more than likely result in your account balance taking a hit, causing even more stress!
Stress will wear your down mentally and physically if gone unchecked or untreated. Take the time to identify some of the things you currently do that help reduce your stress, or follow some of my suggestions to get you on your way.