Mental Noise and The Importance of Exercise and Fresh Air

Trading can be an all encompassing endeavor that is hard to shut off. Your mind just keeps going on and on and on. The mental noise can often be a distraction and extremely detrimental to your trading.

If you are a discretionary trader the mental noise tends to sound like this, I could have done better, I could have made more money, my stop was in the wrong place, or It should have had a tighter stop, my position size was too small, no it was too big, I left a lot on the table, I can’t get a winner if my life depended on it.

If you are a systematic trader it’s more like how long am I going to have to sit through this drawdown, the market looks like it’s going to go against my positions for a few more days should reduce my size, I have a ton of profits that I don’t want to give back should I get out, all these other system traders are making money and I’m not.

If you are trading for clients it’s more like how much more money am I going to lose, my clients are gonna freak out, what do I tell them, it’s coming up on the end of the month and it’s time to report my results and this is my third losing month in a row, how do I raise more money, how can I improve my system, my system isn’t working, do I need to make changes, the market environment is changing and that may be bad for the system I am trading.

The cycle goes on and on and the best way to make it end is to take a break and get some exercise and some fresh air. No matter what is going on with your trading, getting out of your office or your house and letting it all go is food for the soul and your psyche. It is amazing what just a 5-10 walk can do on a daily basis to clear your head and give you a new perspective.

Exercise tends to be extremely beneficial because of movement of air through your body and the raising of your endorphins. Exercise literally changes the physiological state of your body thus forcing a mental change that is extremely freeing and refreshing. The more stressed out you are the more exercise you need no matter how tired you are. You will feel much better and have a lot more energy when you are done.

For me, I tend to really enjoy getting out in nature and noticing all that is going on around me. It helps me realize that the world is much bigger than my little bubble and that life goes on no matter what is happening in my life, good or bad. I love to notice and hear the birds chirping and see the chipmunks chasing each other. It brings me back to the purity of life and energizes and cleanses me in a way I can’t get indoors. Skiing in the winter and hiking and mountain biking in the summer are my main outlets. If I do not have much time I simply take my dogs for a walk around the block.

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