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Any way to test yourself mentally to know whether you're fit to trade this session?
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Any way to test yourself mentally to know whether you're fit to trade this session?

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Any way to test yourself mentally to know whether you're fit to trade this session?

Hi All,

this is something that maybe not many people have a problem with, but I for one seem to find it really difficult to judge whether I'm actually mentally fit to trade when I am about to start a trading session.

Sometimes I can't even tell when I'm tired and I have to ask myself if I've been yawning or how many hours I slept.

I know my mental state pretty much by the time I've finished the first trade, but that can be an expensive way to find out - if I wasn't doing it in sim.

I figured there might be a short mental test you can do, or maybe see what my score is for a game of Minesweeper, or whether I can do some mental arithmetic.

Does anybody else do this?

I figure I can save myself wasting my time trading when I'm not in a fit state. I could get some sleep or do something that doesn't require mental acuity.

Thanks!

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  #3 (permalink)
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Still looking.

Short of getting an EEG machine, I can't find any obvious way to do it.

I need to know stuff like, how tired I am, how "in the zone" I am, whether I'm complacent, whether I'm anxious (about trading), whether I'm worrying about other things in my life (e.g. arguments with family / friends, accidents, other events).

I am thinking of simple stuff. I came up with one idea myself. If I want to test to see how risk-seeking my behaviour is right now, I should consider whether I think it's a good idea to play a round of Russian roulette.

I thought also maybe playing minesweeper or mah jong on my computer and judging the score against my average might be useful. However I think that there is a natural variability due to the way those games are set up.

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Adamus View Post
Still looking.

Short of getting an EEG machine, I can't find any obvious way to do it.

I need to know stuff like, how tired I am, how "in the zone" I am, whether I'm complacent, whether I'm anxious (about trading), whether I'm worrying about other things in my life (e.g. arguments with family / friends, accidents, other events).

I am thinking of simple stuff. I came up with one idea myself. If I want to test to see how risk-seeking my behaviour is right now, I should consider whether I think it's a good idea to play a round of Russian roulette.

I thought also maybe playing minesweeper or mah jong on my computer and judging the score against my average might be useful. However I think that there is a natural variability due to the way those games are set up.

Since I tend to trade moves in Cl that usually have some momentum and volatility on them, I find it very important that I am in an alert state..or else my timing could be off. I subscribe to a site called Lumosity, which are brain games designed to sharpen your cerebral skills.
Some mornings if I feel drowsy or somewhat out of it, I play a few of these games to see how I am responding. Usually, I know myself fairly well enough to know if I'm not ready.
I record all my trading sessions and I have a running commentary going. In that commentary I will evaluate my cognitive fitness for that morning. Again, I know myself well enough to usually tell. If I feel I'm not ready, I will usually not trade until I have deemed I am alert enough to engage the market. I may see a setup that looks good but I won't trade it..simply because I know my perception could be faulty. Also, in the past, when I traded while I was impaired, I tended to loosen up on my rules. This resulted in some big losses.
Unfortunately, I traded last Thursday knowing I had a bad hangover. Some friends I hadn't seen in a while came by the night before and the wine was flowing. I lost count of the glasses I drank and woke up feeling terrible. I decided to trade anyway and ended up hitting my maximum drawdown limit. This ended a pretty lengthy winning streak I had been on. When I watched my recorded session, I was surprised at how poor the setups were that I traded.
But there are probably certain little arithmetic equations you could do in the morning or video games(like you mentioned) to evaluate yourself. Again, the Lumosity site is good for warming up your brain.

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I found this article interesting:
How to Get into Your Zone - James Allworth - Harvard Business Review

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emWave2 for me

Its time to hit bed so I'll make it brief:

An emWave2 Heart Rate Variability monitor tells me using LEDs where I am - I keep it connected to my earlobe where it takes my pulse and monitors my state in real-time.

If I connect it to a PC it even tracks my progress between two guiding rails graphically (the words "The Zone" are printed in between the rails or a "trend channel" if you please :-) )

Works somewhat for me and I can aim to stay in the zone if I find I am slipping out of the rails then I slow down my breathing and collect myself till I am in the zone again.

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lancelottrader View Post
I record all my trading sessions and I have a running commentary going. In that commentary I will evaluate my cognitive fitness for that morning.

@lancelottrader,

How do you go about recording your session? What software are you using?


Thanks,

Wolf

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Traderwolf View Post
@lancelottrader,

How do you go about recording your session? What software are you using?


Thanks,

Wolf

I use a program called Screen Movie Studio. It's easy to use and doesn't use up a lot of Resources on your P.C. I store the recorded videos on a separate external Hard drive, so as not use up too much disk space on my P.C.

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iqgod View Post
Its time to hit bed so I'll make it brief:

An emWave2 Heart Rate Variability monitor tells me using LEDs where I am - I keep it connected to my earlobe where it takes my pulse and monitors my state in real-time.

If I connect it to a PC it even tracks my progress between two guiding rails graphically (the words "The Zone" are printed in between the rails or a "trend channel" if you please :-) )

Works somewhat for me and I can aim to stay in the zone if I find I am slipping out of the rails then I slow down my breathing and collect myself till I am in the zone again.

I was thinking about getting one of these. i know brett steenbarger recommended it. How do you like it?

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iqgod View Post
Its time to hit bed so I'll make it brief:

An emWave2 Heart Rate Variability monitor tells me using LEDs where I am - I keep it connected to my earlobe where it takes my pulse and monitors my state in real-time.

If I connect it to a PC it even tracks my progress between two guiding rails graphically (the words "The Zone" are printed in between the rails or a "trend channel" if you please :-) )

Works somewhat for me and I can aim to stay in the zone if I find I am slipping out of the rails then I slow down my breathing and collect myself till I am in the zone again.

That sounds pretty good. I may look into that. Even after trading for several years, I tend to get some adrenaline..especially when I lose. But I guess it's pretty obvious when that happens. Not sure I need a monitor to tell me .
Maybe the monitor alerts you before you get the full blown physical symptoms. I definitely do the slow breathing as well. I have a machine called Resperate that helps pace your breathing. Great for lowering blood pressure as well.

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