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Maintain your natural rhythm – “Anger makes you stupid”

There is natural rhythm in the universe. Day follows night, the tide ebbs in and out, the seasons change from autumn to winter to spring to summer and the fauna and flora all follow their natural processes during the season changes. Squirrels store acorns, birds and whales migrate, bears and snakes hibernate, trees lose their leaves and plants flower all according to their natural rhythm. No thinking takes place here, the fauna and flora on our planet follow their instinctive natural processes that are hard wired (programmed) into their anatomy.

Human beings also have a natural rhythm on a day to day, month to month, year to year and decade to decade basis. However, we also have a brain and a heart that is capable of thinking and causing feelings. And this is where we can and do differ from the fauna and flora. We break our natural rhythm by feeling anger, frustration, betrayal, revenge, anxiety, uncertainty, hate, doubt and fear. Sure, in the heat of the moment our logical thinking minds will justify as right why we feel these negative feelings.

For example, anger triggers hormones that create tension and anxiety in the body and these hormones then shut down parts of the brain to enable dealing with the anger-created state of tension. The parts of the brain that are shut down also cause clouded judgment and poor decision making. This leads to steps in your process not being followed correctly and even not seeing things that are typically obvious to you when you are in your natural rhythm. This is one of the causes of ‘perceptual blindness’. In short, anger makes you stupid as does hate, fear, doubt, revenge and frustration which manifests in the form of mistakes and errors that you wouldn’t otherwise make.

When you feel any of these negative feelings you will be incapable of executing actions that you would normally execute “blindfolded” when in your natural rhythm and this will affect your trading processes and the outcomes of your trades. Furthermore, feelings tend to spiral in the direction that they are going in, negatively or positively until an opposite force is brought to bear on them.

To ensure that you are able to stop negatively spiraling emotions and turn them around, you need to understand and acknowledge what they can do to you, and then train yourself to recognise your negative emotional state and define a process to turn them around to create a confident state of mind in the heat of the moment.

This process may be different for different people so you may need to discover what works for you. However, we all have the same chemicals in our bodies and mechanisms in our minds so there is a good chance that similar processes will work for most people. Experiment with breathing patterns and repeating affirmations through auto-suggestion that slow your body down and start generating chemical reactions that counter those generated by the negative feelings mentioned above and start positive spiraling feelings. In later issues we will deal with methods and drills. I can assure you that, amongst other things, your trading outcomes will improve.


  • Ray Hendle says:

    I listened last night to the radio broadcast.
    I am guessing you wrote this after the broadcast. Whether yay or nay, one of the gentlemen callers might be advantaged to read your comment…though I doubt it would effect change in him.
    Thanks for your careful and interesting comments last night.

  • Leigh Maguire says:

    I listened too. Good summary Ray!

  • Frank Arena says:

    Gary, I am new to your website and services and admit that I don’t know anything about your products, so please forgive me, but I’d like to know whether you (and your systems) are , broadly speaking, ‘trend following’ in approach or the other (opposite) type ‘predictive’ technical analysis (using indicators etc). I’m a long term trend follower, by the way. I’d be very interested in your answer.
    Frank Arena

  • Trevor Bartlett says:

    Thanks Gary, in a nutshell, we need to trust the system in the case of Sharefinder products. To take emotion out of the equation takes time and experience, but in the end we learn it is the only way.

  • James Schabort says:

    Re your statements on anger with which I fully agree. Favourite affirmations work well in controlling these negative reactions, but how about the age old adage-count slowly from 1 to 10 and take a deep breath, It works wonders.

  • Gregory V. says:

    Very interesting and importantly so true of so many aspects of Life in general

  • Gary Stone says:

    Response to Comment by Frank Arena:

    “….but I’d like to know whether you (and your systems) are , broadly speaking, ‘trend following’ in approach or the other (opposite) type ‘predictive’ technical analysis (using indicators etc).”

    Our SPA3 system is most definitely trend following, in the medium term. It uses a comparative relative strength filter and a double screening momentum method using weekly and daily charts to enter and exit. Volatility is used for taking profits and exiting and for position sizing.

    I don’t like using the word ‘predictive’ when it comes to trading (or anything else for that matter). It implies that you know what’s going to happen based on your analysis. I coach that “anything can happen” and that “you don’t need to know what will happen next to make money.” (Quoted because they are not my words. Whose are they and where do they come from? These are just 2 of 5 trading truths which, IMHO, all traders should know and understand by heart.)

    We trade based on statistical probablity derived from research on historical data. This is our edge, which is a trend following edge. It lets profit trades run, cuts loss trades, maximises exposure during rising markets and minimises expoure during fallinig markets. It has worked (defined by massively outperforming the indices) for over 10 years through wonderful and turbulent markets.

    Theoretically, all technical analysis techniques are predictive (because nobody knows what the future holds) but some more than others. In my opinion Gann analysis and Elliot Wave theory are more predictive than most others. However, it doesn’t really matter what analysis techniques are used, they are merely tools. The critical factor is whether they provide an edge or not.

    Traders trade their edge, not their indicators. Analysts analyse while traders trade. There is a big difference.


  • don says:

    good info, look forward to the next on methods and drills. Thanks

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