Do traders need to work with a psychologist

Mariia $uboch
ARTICLE BY
Mariia $uboch
5 MIN READ
Trading
29 May 2024
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The impact of career on life satisfaction

To go to a psychotherapist or not is everyone's choice. However, it is known that the main goal of working with a specialist is to improve the level of life satisfaction.
Career is one of the 8 components of the wheel of life balance, whose level of contentment in proportion to the other 7 sectors affects the harmony in your life. By working on each of these sectors, a person can stimulate personal development.

The impact of career on life satisfaction

Trading is a field that affects the psyche

Trading is a very specific, emotionally intense and risk-prone niche directly related to stress.

What actions occur when a trader is overwhelmed and succumbs to emotional difficulties:

  • Impulsive trading
  • Hyper-control of charts, even when not necessary
  • The desire to get back on track
  • Searching for clues and signs from above
  • Hoping for luck

In addition to financial losses, all this list leads to more mental difficulties - anxiety, nervous breakdowns, apathy, and later it can reach burnout. And, of course, it is impossible to leave all these points within the workspace - they will directly affect a person's daily life.

Example:

A trader catches a serious stop (or even a liquidation). The best solution would be to pause, but he has an impulsive desire to "win back" as soon as possible. In this situation the defense mechanism - "hypercompensation" - is triggered, which most often drives the organism even more strongly into stress, even if it is possible to win back. Ignoring such a reaction of the organism + another similar situation = anger, rage, frustration, apathy, despair, burnout....

In moments of stress, the emotional area of the brain, i.e. the limbic system, is active. This part of the brain does not engage the functions of planning and logical thinking; its main role is to react to stressful situations in the "here and now" mode. Meanwhile, the other part of the brain, responsible for logic and rational thinking (neocortex), is often suppressed in critical situations. In practice, this means that in moments of stress, our decisions may not be best conceptualized or thought through, as emotional reactions rather than rational analysis dominate.

Trading is a field that affects the psyche

These protective brain reactions arise from irrational (unproductive) thoughts that have formed during moments of stress. When these beliefs resurface, they can cause severe stress, manifesting as anger, anxiety, frustration, and so on. To cope with these attitudes, it is important to be able to recognize and analyze them, understand the patterns that form them, and find more flexible and productive beliefs.

Can I manage on my own? A place for self-reflection

Can I manage on my own? A place for self-reflection

There are three different types of traders in the markets: ludomaniacs (gambling addicts), punters (those who come to the markets for emotion) and professionals (risk takers and systematic traders). Nevertheless, each of these traders can face emotional turmoil and difficulties while trading. However, not everyone needs to see a therapist right away, as there are methods by which a person can help themselves. Chief among them is self-reflection.

Self-reflection is an important element of success for a trader, as trading in the financial markets not only requires technical knowledge and understanding of the market, but also involves managing one's own emotions. Here are a few aspects of self-reflection in trading:

  • Analyzing past trades (backtest): the first step in self-reflection is to analyze the trades that have already been made. It is important to ask yourself questions about the reasons for each trade, the factors that influenced your decision making, and opportunities for improvement. By reflecting on successful and unsuccessful trades, you can better understand your strengths and weaknesses in your performance.
  • Understanding the psychological aspects: trading entails psychological stress. Self-reflection helps you identify which emotions and thoughts influence your decisions and develop methods to control emotions and stress.
  • Improving strategy and planning: by evaluating past actions, you can identify areas where your trading strategy needs improvement. This helps you identify weaknesses and work out methods to address them.
  • Continuous learning: self-reflection encourages you to continually learn and seek new information, identifying areas where you may lack knowledge or experience.
  • Cycle of improvement: regular self-reflection creates a cycle of continuous development, helping you to improve your current and future trading operations. This leads to becoming a more experienced and successful trader.

In the process of self-reflection in trading, it is important to be honest with yourself, be willing to admit your own mistakes and aim for continuous improvement. While this process can be difficult, it is essential to improving performance and achieving success in the market.

How do you deal with unproductive thoughts that stem from bad trading decisions?

  • Explore the causes of stress and unproductive behavior.
  • Identify irrational (unproductive) beliefs.
  • Choose methods to overcome irrational emotions and unproductive thoughts independently and effectively. You can use the "cognitive-behavioral triangle" technique.

The cognitive-behavioral tri angle is a technique that helps you become aware of the relationship between our thoughts, feelings, and actions, and demonstrates how various events can influence these aspects of our thinking. This approach will help you analyze your emotions, feelings, thoughts and actions in specific circumstances. In addition, it is important to indicate the level of emotion you experienced on a scale of 1 to 10.

First, you need to identify the specific event you want to analyze and the impact it had on you: positive or negative.

Once you have clarified the event and its impact on you, the next step is to recall and write down the thoughts, feelings, and actions you had at that moment.

Can I manage on my own? A place for self-reflection

After you have drawn an unproductive triangle, draw a triangle with productive thoughts next to it. This will help you look at the situation from a different angle.

The situation is the same, but we change our thoughts to more productive ones, and with them feelings and behavior change.

Example:

Unproductive triangle:

Situation: position elimination

Thoughts: I am a loser, I do not succeed.

Feelings: Anger - 10, resentment - 9, frustration - 9.

Behavior: I put my hands down and quit trading.

Productive triangle:
Situation: liquidating a position
Thoughts: I learned my lesson. Now I will definitely stick to risk management and such situations will not happen again.

Feelings: Anger - 3, Acceptance - 7, Calm - 5.

Behavior: exhale, pause and come back.

  • Practice new behaviors and apply productive thinking that will be effective in difficult situations.

Whether traders need to work with a psychologist: the Cryptology team's opinion

A trader's work on financial markets is often associated with high levels of stress and emotional strain. Ignoring these difficulties is unlikely to have a positive impact on the work. Therefore, it is extremely important to understand your emotional state while working. By doing so, you can develop strategies to cope with the pressure and improve your ability to manage your emotions and stress, which is critical in trading where you often need to make difficult decisions quickly. Keeping track of your emotions will help traders recognize and process feelings that can get in the way of making rational trading decisions. It will also help identify and correct behavioral patterns that lead to repeated mistakes. This provides an opportunity to not only improve trading efficiency, but also to promote personal growth. Many traders handle these situations on their own, but if you realize that you need help, there is no shame in asking for help. The sooner you start addressing your problems, the sooner you will succeed. Specialists help you identify thoughts and beliefs that hinder or promote personal growth and develop effective behavioral strategies for coping with life's challenges.

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