We’ve often talked about how your body is your most important tool in trading. Consistently profitable trading requires focus and you’ll need your mind and body in top form to execute your strategies flawlessly.
Let’s take a look at three ways being aware of what your body tells you can help you become a better forex trader:
1. Sound mind and body = focus
An unfit body is breeding ground to unnecessary trading mistakes waiting to happen. Lack of sleep, for example, could lead to typos in your orders while eating junk food all day every day promotes sluggishness that could lead to missed trading opportunities.
As forex traders, it’s your job to listen to your body for signs that your health is affecting your performance. Do you make more mistakes when you’re not eating enough healthy food? Do you lose more trades when you don’t have enough sleep? If you said yes to the questions above, then it’s time to do something about them.
Being physically fit doesn’t mean going to the gym and pumping iron for hours. It could be as simple as getting enough sleep, eating the right food, and doing stretches and light cardio to maintain good blood circulation. The point is to not go into the (forex) battle with a rusty weapon.
2. Posture makes a difference
Part of what makes consistently profitable traders successful is that they set up an environment that helps them win trades. From classical music in the background to multiple monitors to their lucky charms on their desks, they do what they can to tip the scales in their favor.
You’ve probably heard of the term “dress for success.” It claims that, at least in the business setting, your appearance matters. How you dress not only reflects how you want others to see you, but also affects your mentality towards your endeavor. People who dress for success tend to be more confident and perform better in their roles.
You don’t have to put on the Wall Street uniform to be a successful trader (though we’re not stopping you if you want to). Instead, you should pay attention to your posture.
The trick is to take note of how posture changes affect your state of mind. Does sitting straight with your shoulders back and chin up give you more confidence to take trades? Do you focus better with your legs crossed? Do you feel more positive and execute trades better while standing or walking around? You may not know it, but your posture does make a difference in your trading performance.
3. Your emotional state has its “tells”
Keeping emotions in check is one of the cornerstones of trading psychology. How you feel when executing trades affects your decisions and behavior, so identifying your emotions at the first opportunity is key to controlling them.
Just like forex traders look to technical indicators for signs of future price action, you should also learn to pay attention to the “tells” your body makes for signs of your emotional state.
Does your breathing pattern change when you’re trading against your better judgement? Do you clench your fist when you’re about to cut a winner? Do your shoulders tense just before your trade the news? Even something as simple as a muscle twitches can help alert you of possible changes to your emotions.
As traders, we must learn to use all the tools available to us, including our own body, to control our actions and make better decisions.
If you’re just starting to see the advantages of paying attention to your body as a way of getting that extra edge in the markets, then I recommend that you start to include your observations in your trading journal. After all, you can’t improve what you don’t see.