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Trade Mindfully: Achieve Your Optimum Trading Performance with Mindfulness and Cutting Edge Psychology by Gary Dayton

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CHAPTER 3

The Struggle to Control and Eliminate Emotions

Traders experiencing strong, unwanted emotions such as fear and anxiety naturally try to control them. Because strong emotions interfere with trading, traders look for a way to get rid of them. This seems reasonable—what everyone would do. But therein lays the rub. Experienced traders know that doing the same things as everyone else puts you in the herd, not outside of it. Profitability and success in trading will be elusive when taking the same actions as others, especially when emotions are involved. We have already seen that we have little control over our amygdala and the internal, psychobiological events that fear and other strong emotions unleash when the fight-flight response is triggered. Aside from this trading axiom and our biology, there are sound psychological reasons why actively trying to control strong emotions will make matters worse. We will see later why this is virtually always a fruitless task. For now, let's look at how traders typically try and cope with the emotional side of trading. See if you can identify with the same or similar coping strategies that most other traders rely on. Again, bringing clarity is a first major step in dealing with anything related to psychology and that is what we will do here as we review how traders typically cope with challenging emotions.

There are many ways traders attempt to cope with strong emotions. Because little is known about this subject in trading, people ...

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