Trading can be one of the most stressful jobs in the country. Every day, you are dealing with dozens, even hundreds of trades, moving thousands or even millions of dollars. For some traders, fortunes of their clients can hang in the balance on a market that could go up, could go down, depending on the day. It is highly stressful, and sadly, many people cope with stress in ways they shouldn’t. Drugs and alcohol are common in the life of some traders as they deal with the high amount of pressure and stress in their lives.
There are better ways to cope with stress when trading online. Here are just a few:
- Once the closing bell rings, let it all go. The worst thing you can do is to take the emotions of the trading back home with you. You need to come out of the trading day remembering that the day is done, and your home life can begin. This is important not only for your own emotional health, but your family as well.
- One of the worst things you can do is to try to do more and more each day. You need to set a maximum amount of money that you are willing to risk per day as part of your activities. This amount needs to be based on your comfort level. If you are okay with losing $500 per day, then that is what you should set. Don’t set a limit of $500, then go and lose $2,000. You won’t feel good about that, and that will only make you more stressed.
- Being active is important. When you work out, you feel better. This is because endorphins are often released as you exercise. Trading can take a real toll on your body, as well as your emotional health. To keep yourself sane and healthy, you should take a short job before and after the day. You don’t have to jog, even just lifting some weights or going for a calming walk. You will be surprised by how easily the anger and fear leaves your body and how quickly you feel better.
- Today, many traders work from a home office rather than on a trading floor. This can cause the stress of isolation. On losing trading days, bad habits that you have can become worse and with no one to help you stay away from bad habits, things can get worse. This is why you should do what you can to get out with friends, spend time with your family and more. It can make a tough trading day much easier to handle.
- Trading cannot be your life. You don’t need to work 20 hours per day, you work eight hours a day. That is why you need to have a life outside of trading. Trading may not be a traditional job, but it is not about the amount of time you put in, but the quality of time you put in. If you have a bad day, don’t sit in your office until midnight stressing about it. Get out of the office. Take your family out for dinner, do some community service, join a slo-pitch league. Whatever you need to do so you can unwind after a bad day.
- Practice meditation. Meditation is an excellent way to calm yourself, and to help you think straight. If you have an hour of bad trades, don’t start to freak out because you will only hurt your decision making. Take half an hour, meditate, think calm thoughts and you will find that things become easier for you afterwards. You will think straight, and you will make better decisions when you have a relaxed frame of mind.
- Get a good night’s sleep. If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, your cognitive thinking will be impacted. You will be more emotional, and your stress level will go up. By getting at least eight hours sleep, you will feel better, and you will think better. You should never discount how important sleep is in the life of a trader. If you are working 20 hours a day, sleeping four hours, you are only going to hurt yourself down the road. You can actually do physical harm to yourself if you don’t get enough sleep, saying nothing of the emotional toll it takes on you.
Trading is very stressful, you should never let it impact you to the level where the stress level is beyond control. Manage your stress and you will feel better, and trade better.