Learning How to Recover 

We have all had bad days where everything seems to be going wrong. These are the days where we  make decisions and they wind up resulting in disaster no matter how well thought out those decisions were. When we go home after a bad day we may have difficulty relaxing, have trouble sleeping or feel irritable and annoyed. Yes, we all know that we should let it go, relax and move on, but it just isn’t that simple.

There is no doubt about it, trading is stressful by nature. When we make a number of mistakes it wears us down and makes it difficult to recover from setbacks.  It is natural to feel overwhelmed in these situations and losing money is not only financially challenging, it affects us emotionally. Intellectually, we know that it’s much easier to lose money than make money in the markets. We also know deep down that it takes many more winning trades than the one or two trades that ate up our initial investment to wind up just breaking even. However, knowing this doesn’t always make it easier to swallow. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done when we have just faced significant losses and the prospect of all that work is overwhelming.

So, what do we do? We could throw in the towel and give up, but that isn’t an option if we want to recover. The best thing to do is to dust ourselves off, get back out there and work hard to overcome our loss. It’s ok to feel frustrated. In fact, feeling frustrated may provide us with some protection for a while. Frustration eats up our emotional energy and that can give us the time we need to rest. This becomes a problem when it goes on too long and resting turns into feeling sorry for ourselves. We need to get back out there and start trading.

One technique we can use to reduce our stress is to compose a relaxation script. How many of us develop a victim mentality when feeling frustrated? We wonder what we did to deserve the bad luck we had or we may feel like there is no use and we want to give up. This is the time for us to pull out the relaxation script we drafted to combat these negative thoughts. We can replace those thoughts with something like, “This has been a tough loss, but this is only temporary. Once I get some rest and take a step back, I’ll be ready to face whatever comes my way.” Another example is, “It may seem hopeless right now, but I will survive. All I need to do is make a plan and work hard to move ahead.” Coming back to these motivational thoughts when we feel we are beginning to wallow in self-pity will get us into a better mindset and provide a renewed sense of strength and energy.

It is so easy to feel worn out and hopeless after experiencing a number of setbacks. That is a feeling we have all had at one time or another, but know that with some hard work, we will get back on track and before we know it, success will be around the corner.

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