Monday, February 01, 2010

Inoculating Ourselves Against Stress in Trading

"The key to making effective use of imagery is ensuring that the imagery is vivid and evokes real feeling. Unlike a simple verbal repetition of a trading goal, imagery has the power to evoke the emotions associated with situations. This imagery turns the verbal recitation into a much closer approximation of trading experience. When we vividly imagine a trade going through our mental stop-loss level before we can execute an exit, we summon some of the fearful or frustrated feelings normally associated with unexpected loss. While we experience a mild version of the trading emotions (imagery can rarely fully duplicate actual experience), we can rehearse our best practices, keeping ourselves planful and disciplined in the face of stress. This mild exposure to the trading stress is like the body's exposure to a weak form of a virus; it inoculates because it is strong enough to arouse adaptive responses, but not so strong as to pose a major threat."

The Daily Trading Coach
p. 127