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FXGirl

Comments - Trader's State of Mind Process

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I want to respect Rande and Zdo's request that comments on the Trader's State of Mind group process ocurr in a separate thread, hence this "Comments" thread.

 

Rande, I think you are spot on teaching breathing techniques in your first session. The skill of managing physiological arousal through controlled breathing is a great tool for all traders to help reduce emotional intensity. I use diaphramic breathing when I feel myself starting to tense up during trading, and I've taught it to other traders and patients who have used it with great success. It's surprising how quickly our bodies make the connection between slow, rhythmic breathing and calmness.

 

For those of you who have iPhones or Mac computers, here are the names of a couple of apps that will help you practice your breathing: "Breathing Zone" (there is a free version for the Mac) and "Breath", "BioBreathing", or "BellyBio Interactive Breathing" for the "iPhone" (a couple of these are free). All should be available through the iTunes store. If you discover other apps that you like, please let me know about them.

 

Other apps that might be interesting to explore are "Let Panic Go", "Stress Doctor by Azumio", and "Biofeed" - all for iPhone. I wish they had more for the iPad, but I guess that will happen eventually.

 

Zho, I saw that you wanted some suggestions for biofeedback. Some of the above apps might interest you. In addition, there are many biofeedback devices for sale on the Internet. Look for one that is VHR (variable heart rate) based, not one that is based on GSR (galvanic skin response). Some people do not produce sufficient changes in GSR for it to be a reliable indicator. If you are planning to use the device while you are trading, look for one that has an ear clip sensor - that will leave your hands free to use the mouse and keyboard. Also, look for something that gives you a signal when you are in a good physiological state.

 

Several years ago, we developed a biofeedback device specifically for traders called The Mindful Trader. It used an ear clip that connected to a USB port of your computer. The program alerted you when your physiological state changed (VHR in this case) sufficiently so that you were out of your optimal trading range. (Yes, it learned what your personal optimal range was after a certainly length of time!) It had a function to guide your breathing in order to bring you back to a calmer state. Unfortunately, the people we were working with to do the programming wanted more money before we went to market, so we were never able to make available to traders. Oh, well. Such is life. Anybody know a good apps programmer?

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Brilliant FXgirl,

 

I've been trying to find apps and device for breathing/heart monitoring but I wasn't quite sure how to term or search for things related. Thanks, I will give your suggestions a try.

 

BTW, you know any more apps for the PC?

 

Thanks again!

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Hi, pa18: Because we are a Mac family, I don’t have much experience with non-Apple products.

 

The emWave is a standalone device based on HeartMath research (scientifically sound), but requires you to keep a finger on it. If you want to use it while trading, be sure to buy the version with an additional sensor that can attach to your ear. I’ve seen it on Amazon for about $145. There is a computer version too, but it’s more expensive. It’s been a while since I’ve used this program and I’m not familiar with the latest version, but I imagine that if you have multiple computer screens available, you could run it while you are trading. The emWave is a sophisticated biofeedback device and will teach you more than just how to breathe.

 

My husband, who is also a psychologist with a specialty in anxiety disorders, occasionally recommends Chopra’s “The Journey to Wild Divine” to his patients who want something to use at home on a PC. It’s a bit pricy, but it is visually interesting and has a number of different challenges to keep you engaged. Of course, you can’t trade when you are using it.

 

I did a quick look at apps for Android phones and saw “Breath Biofeedback” which looked like it might be good, as did “Deeper Breathing”. These might be worth investigating. They certainly are affordable (free and $1.59 respectively).

 

Hope this helps. If you decide to try any of these, please give us your feedback.

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I found breathing techniques in combination with mindfulness instrumental in my development.

 

When a well trained dog's Master, or Mistress, gives orders. It is an automatic response to change states adapting to the order; wanting to please. A dog can change from a survival state to peaceful calm state in an instant. This is where I really saw the importance of having a well thought out purpose, and higher meaning. And to serve that purpose without feeling uncomfortable being a "servant". Then it became very easy to periodically question whether I was serving my purpose, or not. To be aware when my state of mind was off track.

 

If a dog can change states in a second, so can us humans. I noticed I did not do this. When something got me discouraged, I found something disappointing, or if something really got me upset, it might take a whole day before I let it go. I didn't realize that I was needlessly carrying garbage with me interfering with my desired state and/or Frame of mind. It was a misguided force of mind.

 

While breathing, I not only focused on awareness, relaxation and peace, but I focus on every point of change from exhale to inhale, and from inhale to exhale. Like a peak and bottom turns of a steep V shaped chart pattern. It is at these points my thoughts are of how quickly I can change my state by taking control, and ordering it. With practice, this self-talk imbued my belief system with a new belief. I found a growing ability to let things go. What use to affect me for a day lasted only 3 or 4 hours. After a few month's(actually almost a year) some of the same things takes only minutes. As soon as an unwanted thought passes my awareness, I stop myself from rehashing the whole experience again. (As if I could correct it somehow by reliving it.)

 

Along with other tools, mindfulness combined with breathing exercises has helped me reach a deeper introspection.

 

P.S. I can't remember where I read about focusing on the breathing changes.

Edited by jaysmith124

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I found breathing techniques in combination with mindfulness instrumental in my development.

 

When a well trained dog's Master, or Mistress, gives orders. It is an automatic response to change states adapting to the order; wanting to please. A dog can change from a survival state to peaceful calm state in an instant. This is where I really saw the importance of having a well thought out purpose, and higher meaning. And to serve that purpose without feeling uncomfortable being a "servant". Then it became very easy to periodically question whether I was serving my purpose, or not. To be aware when my state of mind was off track.

 

If a dog can change states in a second, so can us humans. I noticed I did not do this. When something got me discouraged, I found something disappointing, or if something really got me upset, it might take a whole day before I let it go. I didn't realize that I was needlessly carrying garbage with me interfering with my desired state and/or Frame of mind. It was a misguided force of mind.

 

While breathing, I not only focused on awareness, relaxation and peace, but I focus on every point of change from exhale to inhale, and from inhale to exhale. Like a peak and bottom turns of a steep V shaped chart pattern. It is at these points my thoughts are of how quickly I can change my state by taking control, and ordering it. With practice, this self-talk imbued my belief system with a new belief. I found a growing ability to let things go. What use to affect me for a day lasted only 3 or 4 hours. After a few month's(actually almost a year) some of the same things takes only minutes. As soon as an unwanted thought passes my awareness, I stop myself from rehashing the whole experience again. (As if I could correct it somehow by reliving it.)

 

Along with other tools, mindfulness combined with breathing exercises has helped me reach a deeper introspection.

 

P.S. I can't remember where I read about focusing on the breathing changes.

 

jaysmith124

 

Breathing has been used as a way of managing emotion and calming mind for thousands of years. So you could have read about it in many people. My use of bellows breathing comes out of Hindu practices by way of Herbert Benson,MD.

 

The Mindfulness you speak of becomes possible with a calm mind. We come to a point where we do not have to fuse with a thought or belief and let it carry us away. And we become more like the dog's mind (I'd rather call it Zen mind) where it can move from one state of mind to another based on the directive of the dog's master. We are the animal that can become master of our ways. It is truly a gift.

 

Moving to the development of the archetypes within us becomes a natural extention in this process.

 

Rande Howell

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I want to respect Rande and Zdo's request that comments on the Trader's State of Mind group process ocurr in a separate thread, hence this "Comments" thread.

 

Rande, I think you are spot on teaching breathing techniques in your first session. The skill of managing physiological arousal through controlled breathing is a great tool for all traders to help reduce emotional intensity. I use diaphramic breathing when I feel myself starting to tense up during trading, and I've taught it to other traders and patients who have used it with great success. It's surprising how quickly our bodies make the connection between slow, rhythmic breathing and calmness.

 

For those of you who have iPhones or Mac computers, here are the names of a couple of apps that will help you practice your breathing: "Breathing Zone" (there is a free version for the Mac) and "Breath", "BioBreathing", or "BellyBio Interactive Breathing" for the "iPhone" (a couple of these are free). All should be available through the iTunes store. If you discover other apps that you like, please let me know about them.

 

Other apps that might be interesting to explore are "Let Panic Go", "Stress Doctor by Azumio", and "Biofeed" - all for iPhone. I wish they had more for the iPad, but I guess that will happen eventually.

 

Zho, I saw that you wanted some suggestions for biofeedback. Some of the above apps might interest you. In addition, there are many biofeedback devices for sale on the Internet. Look for one that is VHR (variable heart rate) based, not one that is based on GSR (galvanic skin response). Some people do not produce sufficient changes in GSR for it to be a reliable indicator. If you are planning to use the device while you are trading, look for one that has an ear clip sensor - that will leave your hands free to use the mouse and keyboard. Also, look for something that gives you a signal when you are in a good physiological state.

 

Several years ago, we developed a biofeedback device specifically for traders called The Mindful Trader. It used an ear clip that connected to a USB port of your computer. The program alerted you when your physiological state changed (VHR in this case) sufficiently so that you were out of your optimal trading range. (Yes, it learned what your personal optimal range was after a certainly length of time!) It had a function to guide your breathing in order to bring you back to a calmer state. Unfortunately, the people we were working with to do the programming wanted more money before we went to market, so we were never able to make available to traders. Oh, well. Such is life. Anybody know a good apps programmer?

 

Wow!!! You definetely need to finish the "mindful trader project." That sound so interesting. I will help you sell it...;)

Have you tried to find programmers through Elance? or Guru.com?

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