Trading is often a very stressful job that requires traders to be in a constant state of concentration. It’s no secret that following theory is only a part of what traders need to do to become successful. The ability to clear their mind of unnecessary thoughts and focus solely on their tasks is also a very important thing that professional traders need to master. And in order to do this, many traders choose to practice meditation and mindfulness.
In this article you will learn about the importance of meditation in trading, what meditation practices are the most effective for traders, and how exactly meditation can help you improve as a trader.
- Meditation is a good way to exercise your brain and learn how to focus on the task at hand.
- A basic meditation practice takes only 5 minutes of your day and helps you sharpen your mind and reduce your stress levels.
- Transcendental meditation involves using mantras and has been proven effective by multiple studies.
- Qigong is a meditation practice that combines breathing and physical exercises and is suitable for traders that don’t like sitting still.
- Practicing meditation in trading can help you improve your ability to focus, get into the right trading mindset, deal with stressful situations, and let go of trading mistakes and losses.
Why is Meditation Important in Trading?
When you’re trading, you need to pay close attention to a lot of things at once: your open positions, price charts, current news, etc. You must be constantly on the lookout for a perfect opportunity and ready to take action, which can take quite a noticeable toll on your mental state. It’s also hard to stay focused on one task for too long, but what’s harder is to separate your emotions from your trading and not let occasional losses cloud your judgment.
This is why meditation is gaining more popularity among traders. Scientists across the world have proven the effectiveness of meditation when it comes to relieving stress and training one’s focus.
When we want to stay physically fit, we go to the gym and work out. Meditation is what helps us exercise our brains. When we meditate, we learn how to focus on the here and now and push our everyday worries and thoughts out of our mind. It has been shown that meditation reduces stress and anxiety levels as well as increases one’s attention span, self-awareness, and introspection, –- the characteristics that every trader should possess. That’s why even the top performing traders make time in their day for a session of meditation to improve their mental fortitude and reduce the stress that trading puts them under.
How to practice meditation
If you’ve never tried to meditate before, you might not know how to start and what are the best ways to meditate as a trader. Don’t worry, meditating doesn’t require a lot of effort or prior knowledge. As for how you can maximize the effects of meditation as a trader, we’ve chosen some meditation practices that can help you hone the skills you would need to use in your line of work.
Basic trading meditation
If you’re new to meditating, the best way to ease into it is by starting with this basic meditation practice. All you have to do is follow these simple steps:
- Find a comfortable and quiet place to sit, whether on a chair or on the floor.
- Close your eyes and breathe in and out deeply through the nose.
- Concentrate on your breathing and try to keep all the other thoughts out of your mind.
- Do this for at least five minutes without opening your eyes or getting distracted by other things.
- Before opening your eyes, take one last deep breath and exhale slowly.
It might feel difficult at first, but after a week of consistent meditation you’ll notice that it’s easier to keep unnecessary thoughts away and that your concentration has noticeably improved.
Transcendental meditation is a unique type of meditation that goes back to ancient yoga practices but has nothing to do with any religion or philosophy. It’s become widely popular all around the world and is scientifically proven to reduce stress and lower one’s blood pressure. In order to practice transcendental meditation, you need to sit for 15-20 minutes with your eyes closed and repeat a mantra (like ‘Aum’, ‘Om’, ‘Ong’ or ‘Haum’) in your head. To achieve the best outcomes, you should repeat this meditation practice twice a day. You might think that mantras do not work, but the research has shown that repeating a word or a phrase in your mind as part of meditation does help you achieve a state of inner peace and restful awareness.
Qigong is an ancient Chinese healing practice that has now become a very popular way to meditate. It’s different from the meditation types we’ve already talked about as it involves slow physical movement of body, arms, and legs from one position to another. This practice is especially useful to people that find it hard to keep still for a very long time.
Qigong is a combination of controlled breathing and slow physical exercises. This meditation practice aims to warm up your body and activate your nervous system, causing your stress and anxiety levels to reduce. Qigong is believed to treat heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, insomnia, muscle pain, but the research in these fields is limited. What we do know about qigong is that it definitely can alleviate anxiety and deepen one’s self-awareness.
How can Meditation Help Your Trading?
Improving your focus and concentration
With trading, you have to always be ready to take action quickly. You need to keep your attention solely on your trades, which can be hard, especially if you’re working from home and have a lot of potential distractions nearby. This is why meditation is so important. It helps you clear your mind of unnecessary thoughts and emotions, which in turn allows you to focus on your trades and find the best opportunities to make profit.
Developing a trading mindset
You might already have a well-developed trading plan and keep track of your previous trades, which is necessary to become a successful trader. But if you don’t have the right mindset, no amount of preparation will help you achieve your goals. Meditation can help you find inner peace and keep your emotions in check even in the most stressful situations.
Preparing for stressful situations
Traders have to deal with constant stress as they need to monitor a lot of information at once and make quick decisions on the spur of the moment. Every minor deviation from plan can cause a spike in heartbeat for traders who do not have the best physical form. Consistent meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce the overall stress and anxiety levels and better prepare one’s mind for stress.
Letting go of bad trades and outcomes
Bad days aren’t that rare when you’re trading on the financial markets. Sometimes you make mistakes, other times your losses might be completely out of your control. The most important thing is to let go of any bad feelings.While meditating, you can calm your nerves and find another perspective to analyze your problems. By doing this, you will be able to focus on your current trades instead of your past mistakes and make better trading decisions
As you see, meditation can offer a lot of benefits to traders, help them improve their skills and get rid of stress and anxiety. It is an easy way to keep your mind and body healthy in a competitive environment. So learn more about different meditation practices and find the one that suits your needs best.