In my previous article, I discussed what visualizing is and how a trader can benefit from it. To be able to put it into practice however so they can make good trades a trader needs to know how to visualize. Here I will go through a general process a trader can use to help them visualize so they can stay calm and make better Forex trading decisions
1. Relax and Block Out Distractions
In order to effectively visualize, your mind must be free of distractions so it can focus on the mental practice and the goal. You also want to be as relaxed as possible. To do this, find a comfortable and well supported chair or sofa, and take a moment to become aware of your body. Start with your forehead and make your way down until you reach your toes, taking mental notes of any areas of tension and being aware of your breathing and heart rate. Once you have done the quick scan of your body, from head to toe, interrupt your normal breathing pattern to do some breathing exercises. To begin, hold your breath for about 3 seconds then release the breath until you have nothing left. Now, take a big deep breath in and hold in your diaphragm for about 10 seconds. Release this breath slowly, allowing it to leak out similar to the way air leaks from a tire. Some people may need to count as they exhale, in order to keep it gradual and to stay focussed. Repeat this breathing process 10 times. You may find it helpful to imagine yourself in a relaxing environment, such as a beach. Some find it helpful to imagine themselves being massaged. The goal is to release the tension in body, especially in those places you noted earlier, and enter a relaxed state.
2. Visualize Going Through Your Routine
At this point you should be feeling less tense and this is a great starting point, but you want to take this a step further. You don’t just want to feel less tense. You want to visualize a more relaxed version of you each and every time you trade. You want to get to a point where you aren’t just doing breathing exercises after a stressful trading day, but instead entering the office and sitting at your computer as a calm cool and collected trader. Your mind has to be able to create, develop, and believe in this super relaxed version of you who is focussed and ready to trade. Therefore, visualize yourself confidently entering your office and taking your seat. Visualize yourself looking at overnight market activity and relevant newsflow. Let your mind practice updating charts, checking your positions and using all this data to formulate the day’s game plan. Watch yourself do all this as the confident, focused, and relaxed version of you.
3. Get Detailed
Keeping focused on the relaxed version of you; visualize yourself going through a trading day. The markets are open, your positions are open and you’ve identified potential setups. Visualize yourself making a successful trade where you have checked your criteria against the system, you have monitored the position and once it reaches the profit level you calmly and unexcitedly take the position off. Visualize a losing trade. Watch yourself monitor the market and seeing it reach your stop loss position. As the position reaches the level, see yourself close it in calm, unemotional, or anxious manner. With each visualization scenario, whether it is a winning or losing trade, focus on the calm confident version of you and always congratulate yourself on being a disciplined trader when you go through a calm, unemotional sample trade. Let your mind practice and project a believable image of you trading without the high levels of stress and tension. Add as much detail to visualization exercise as you can, such as details in your office, the time of day and each step you take as you trade. The more details you have, the more developed and focused the mental practice will be and this will make it more effective to internalize this version of you so it becomes you.
As a manual trader, there are so many challenges that you must overcome. Practicing visualization and relaxation are some of the tools that you must master on top of improving your trading skills. Consequently, it takes years to master trading. Alternatively, you can use automated algorithmic trading as your solution. This will remove a lot of your road blocks allowing you to focus only on relaxation techniques.
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