Many people are drawn into trading because of the prospect of making big money in a relatively short span of time. But sometimes, there’s just not that much action in the market or your trading system simply isn’t catching any of the moves.
If a trader is not patient, he could resort to abandoning his trading system or could find himself forcing trades.
Traders sit in front of the screen all day watching the markets, and if they do not see a trade, they may force one just out of boredom. Traders sometimes feel they must be in the market, and it can force them to take trades they should not be taking. These are trades that happen because of boredom, and boredom trades seldom work.
No question about it, trading can be dull at times, and if you are sitting in front of the screen all day, it can be like watching paint dry.
Some people start surfing the Internet or chatting in trading forums. It can be very tempting to start writing emails and checking texts. Moreover, of course, you can always chart your charts to a different time frame to see if you can find a trade there. This behavior is what I call a “boredom” trade: trying to force a trade that doesn’t exist.
It is very easy to get “chopped up” trying to trade a flat market because you are bored. When we are bored, we lose interest in the immediate experience. Our mind does not feel engaged. It starts to demand more novelty and more stimulation. It is the mind telling us, “Hey, I do not like reality. Change it.”
Responding to our mind’s demands for more excitement is what gets us into trouble. Traders become absent-minded, and suddenly the market takes off. They find themselves on the sidelines as the market comes to life because their minds got them to do things other than attending to the market.
It’s not the situation that’s the problem; it’s our response to it. And, most accurately, it’s not so much our response to the boredom as much as it is our response to our minds’ demand for more novelty and stimulation.
We respond to the mind. We buy into thoughts like “This is so boring. I need to have something happen.” It doesn’t feel comfortable, and we want to escape the current situation. So we start to make marginal trades or become distracted and lose focus.
Here are four quick tips to counteract our tendency to become bored. One is very simple: take a break. Take periodic breaks throughout the day. It’s basic, but many traders forget this.
Use Music Turn on some soft background or ambient music and let it help keep you calm and focused.
Take Breaks. Do not be afraid to balance routine or monotonous trading sessions with rest periods involving things energize you and drive you on.
Stay on Target Don’t get hung up on tasks that rob you of your precious mental energy. Maybe you’d love to change the way your chart looks or read a new trading review. If it sounds like a good idea but in the end it’s going to distract you from the task at hand, don’t do it.
Get in Touch with the result before you begin to trade, get in touch with the outcome. When your trading is finished, what will that mean to you? What will be better in life as a result?
Awareness of what the mind tells us is an important mental skill in trading, and developing it something we all need to focus on.
No one is immune to trading boredom. Newbie and expert traders alike can find themselves bored with trading when there’s weak movement in the markets or when they feel that their trading routine has become monotonous.
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