A Relief Guide for Stressed-Out Traders

Are you stressed about the market and life in general right now? Understandably so, but you are not alone. This market and the coronavirus outbreak do not exactly make us think of fresh washed sheets and puppy dogs. I am also pretty sure you have read an article or two about stress and how bad it is for you. Numerous emotional and physical disorders have been linked to stress, including depression, strokes and heart attacks. Now don’t get me wrong, everyone feels stress from time to time, particularly as a trader. Stress can be a motivator, but it can also be very harmful. As a trader, let’s look at a few things you can do to avoid unnecessary stress.

When there is extra stress in your life, you should consider taking a break from trading. Trading the market is difficult enough with a clear mind, but adding stress to the mix makes it almost impossible. The pressure traders put on themselves to make money or even to have a “winning” trade can cloud their judgment. This allows the “emotional” trader to make the decisions, which usually does not end well. The good news is that there are a few things you can do as a trader to combat being stressed.

I have said many times over the past several weeks that you as an option trader should consider “sitting on your sanitized hands.” The sanitized hands part comes from precautions over the coronavirus, of course. But the truth of the matter is no position is a position. The market is volatile and bid/ask spreads have been crazy wide at times.

I also frequently emphasize the importance of having a trading plan (and recently hosted a webinar about the psychology of trading where I discussed such a plan). A trading plan is meant to relieve stress for a trader. We have talked so many times about this in the past. You need a plan so you can make decisions easily and with limited stress involved. Trust me, nothing takes away stress more than following a well-thought-out trading plan.

Another thought: Have you ever meditated? A simple meditation routine, which you can get for free almost anywhere, can relieve stress and not just for trading. It may be difficult to do at first or you may have trouble finding the time. But I guarantee it will help. I do this frequently and I promise you it has helped me immensely. In fact, that is what made me decide to write this post: I just finished meditating.

These are just a few things a trader and person can do to relieve stress. Trading is difficult and stressful enough, so you need to make it easier if you can. By doing the few things above and staying out of crazy markets at times, you will help yourself physically and mentally.

John Kmiecik, Market Taker Mentoring

Trader Education