Updated: Nov 15, 2022
According to Buddhist principles, the “monkey mind” is a term that refers to being unsettled, restless, or confused.
Like a monkey swinging from tree to tree which is symbolic of our thoughts.
Buddhists use the act of meditation to calm the monkey mind.
Why it helps
You have over 6000 thoughts a day.
Meditation is so powerful because it causes shifts in our awareness and helps us stay present.
Many people, over-identify with their thoughts and emotions, which can prolong them and make them feel bigger than they are.
In trading, we need awareness of these sabotaging thoughts and learn to not let them negatively affect our trading.
Mediation is what will help with this.
Awareness Of Thoughts
Imagine every white dot is a thought and every green dot is a thought you are aware of.
Now for someone who has never meditated before their awareness of thoughts will be much less and they will much more susceptible to identifying and giving in to their sabotaging thoughts.
Now, this is a trader's awareness of thoughts who meditates regularly.
Through meditation, they gained more awareness of their thoughts.
And with that, they have learned to become 'observers' of their thoughts and not attach to them.
They have created a vital awareness and space between thought and reaction.
When you can learn to notice a thought and observe without judgment and not attach your identity to the thought then that my friend is when you have created the valuable superpower that is needed in trading.
How To Meditate?
To start spend 2 minutes a day to create the habit and gradually build up to 15-20 minutes
1. Focus on the breath either on your nose or chest, pick an area to focus on.
2. Every time you have a thought, tell yourself in your head ‘thinking’ to acknowledge the thought and then say 'focus' to bring yourself back to concentrating on the breath
3. When fully relaxed and ready count down from 5 and finish
What this does is teaches you to create awareness of your thoughts and to observe them. But then go back to your 'focused' balanced state where your true self lies.
Just like what we need to do in trading.
This is one of my favourite ways to meditate because it's analogous to the trading environment. You have all these emotionally charged thoughts that try to make you do the opposite of what you need to do.
But instead of acting on them, you need to let them pass and instead listen to your logical self.
And this is exactly what this method helps with.
Body Scan Mindfulness
Start from the feet all the way to the head focusing on relaxing the tightness of your body
Breathe into the body parts and release the tightness.
When fully relaxed and ready count down from 5 and finish
This is good to help calm yourself before trading to help feel relaxed. Often we can start the day tense from the previous day's session. And by getting into a calm state we can trade better and make better trading choices.
What this mindfulness scan also helps with is it creates awareness of thoughts but also more so in your body.
Your body can sometimes give you signals before the brain can understand consciously.
And with this mindfulness practice, you can begin to create something known as Interoceptive awareness where you can learn to identify patterns and signals in your body to alert you of any troubles you may have missed.
Again this can create valuable awareness can be essential in the trading game.
These Meditation and mindfulness exercises will help create awareness of thoughts and stop identifying with each individual thought.
Instead, you will learn to become the observer and detach from them.
Try using them to see if they help your trading (and life for that matter)
Thanks for reading and have an incredible day my friend!
p.s Here's a full video breakdown on how I use these meditation practices for trading
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