The financial markets are certainly a place of great stress, regardless of what job you do. From hedge fund managers to accountants, everyone has different levels of stress and different stress triggers. However, there are some general rules that can be applied to handling stress no matter what your job in the finance industry.
In this post, we’ll focus on traders. This is because this is an incredibly stressful profession thanks to the fact that traders operate in a 24 hour market where losing streaks and rough patches are common. However, many of the hints and tips we discuss can be applied elsewhere, no matter what your job. So let’s take a look.
Learn to Deal with Emotional Swings
When you’re trading, you’ll always face ups and downs. As such, it can be difficult to keep a level head and a steady mood. To do this, the best course of action is to make sure that you have a self-care routine. This includes basic things such as regular exercise, ensuring you’re getting enough sleep and eating well.
When you’re under stress, it’s easy to forget your nightly run, to grab a takeaway or a ready meal on the way home or to go to bed later. But this will make your mood swings even worse as your body won’t have the vitamins or the energy levels it needs. So make sure you look after yourself.
Mentally Prepare Yourself for Losses
You may be aware that there’s a good chance you’ll lose money while trading, but are you really mentally prepared for these losses to happen to you?
Not all trades can be winners, so it’s important that you’re not too hard on yourself when you lose. After all, everyone has some losses, even Warren Buffet.
When you’re trading, you have to accept that things will go wrong at some stage. This will provide you with greater mental stability. When things go wrong, you need to remember the things that have gone right, too. By mentally preparing yourself for losses, you’ll be able to keep an even head when things go wrong, which will lead to better decision making that’s not clouded by judgement.
Never Make Impulse Decisions
If you’re already feeling stressed, then impulsive decision making is only likely to heighten this problem. Impulsive decisions are often made shortly after losses, with traders looking to ‘regain losses’ immediately. As these trades are conducted on a whim, they’re never studied properly, so many lead to further losses. So never make them.
Also try to avoid trading when you’re feeling down about work or family life. Trading is a very serious business, and it shouldn’t be used as a form of escapism from other issues. Instead of trading during these times, when it’s likely that your mind isn’t fully on the job, look to take a short walk or some exercise instead, and only return to trading when you have a clear mind.
Bring in A Daily Routine to Combat Stress
The best techniques are often simple fixes. Short, sharp routines can help you eliminate stress without consuming too much of your time. Breathing exercises are one way that you can do this, and it only takes two to five minutes depending on your routine. The idea is that it should reduce tension in your body, lessening the stress you feel.
If breathing exercises don’t work for you, then consider keeping a training journal. You can write all of your trades in here, documenting what works (or doesn’t) and why. This will provide you with greater rationale for your trades, lowering your anxiety levels when your trades mirror previous successes. As much as anything else, the journal should help stop you from making the same mistakes time and time again, giving you less to worry about.
Look at Other Forms of Trading and Financial Jobs to Manage Stress Levels
If you’re struggling with forex trading or managing your stocks and shares, then it is also advisable to look at other forms of trading, such as spread betting or binary options.
Many traders who struggle with stress struggle with sleep as they have active positions overnight. However, with options like spread betting, you don’t have to worry about this. If you’re interested in learning more, then ETX Capital have a great number of resources to educate yourself on the topic of spread betting, and Investopedia can teach you more about binary options trading. Make sure you’re clued up on all the options available.
To conclude, you’re always going to have stress in the finance industry. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t take steps to manage and limit the stress you’re feeling and the impact it has on your mind and body. The above advice is applicable to a number of different jobs within the industry, so try tweaking it to help you and remember, above all else, to talk to an expert if you need help.