Sunday, June 07, 2020

Ask The Doc: Shifting Your Trading Mindset In Real Time

And that which consumes our minds, controls our trading!

Trader J recently wrote to me to explain something that has greatly helped his trading.  He rescued a kitten that had been abandoned and the cat has become a loving friend and companion.  As many readers know, my wife and I have rescued a number of cats and currently have four friends hanging out with us.

Trader J's observation is profound:  He notices that, when he is frustrated or upset with his trading, spending time with his kitten calms him down and enables him to return to good trading.  What is going on here?

There is a form of meditation called loving-kindness meditation in which we fill ourselves with feelings of love, gratitude, and closeness while sustaining a mindful state.  Regular practice of loving-kindness meditation enables us to anchor the positive feelings to the mindful state, so that we can access those emotional strengths whenever we become self-aware. 

What Trader J is doing is a kind of loving-kindness meditation, anchoring his closeness to the kitten to his mindful state.  While he is experiencing that bond, it's very difficult to stay frustrated, angry, or upset.  Focusing on the kitten enables Trader J to shift his mindset in real time.  Indeed, because of the power of anchoring, he can shift away from frustration any time he focuses on his little friend.

Your most powerful emotional bond can anchor your ability to exit tilt states in trading.  This is a very promising trading psychology method that anyone can learn for themselves.  With practice, you can access the love and closeness you feel for someone or something special, you can access powerful life experiences, or you can access favorite fulfilling memories and completely shift your mindstate.  The problem is not that we become frustrated in trading; the problem is that we have trouble exiting that frustrated state.  Trader J's experience points the way toward greater self-control.