While the holidays are meant to bring family and friends closer together—it also comes with a fair share of stress.
And as a trader, distractions and stress are two feelings you can do without.
How do you stay focused down the final stretch and still get through the holiday season?
I turn to science for the answer.
In fact, there are five science-backed techniques that I’m going to share with you—so you can be de-stressed come Monday morning.
1. Just Breathe
Okay, this one is tricky because someone telling you to “just breathe” when you’re stressed out might make you want to punch them in the face.
However, they are right. But it’s not as simple as that.
While we all breathe ─ it’s that or die. How you are breathing is essential.
When you are stressed, you breathe differently ─ Typically, shallow breaths.
When you are entirely at ease, you breathe deeper. Breaths nourish the body.
In yoga, it is called pranayama, which means life force or breath that sustains the body.
Breathing exercises can help you create the sensation that the body feels when you are actually relaxed.
And these exercises jumpstart your body’s parasympathetic response. Which in turn lowers your levels of inflammatory compounds that are directly linked to stress.
In short, you calm down.
Pair Breathing Patterns With Trading
When it comes to trading… it’s so easy to throw on multiple trades, watch them go against you, and panic. It’s typical with many traders getting their start.
The easiest way I found to help destress is to focus on one single strategy… and you’ll be well on your way. My latest service Jackpot Trades is focused solely on making you better at trading.
How does it all work?
It’s one trade delivered straight to your email… every Monday. The goal is to get in on the fastest-moving stocks… take profits… and repeat.
When you just have to focus on 1 trade, you’re really not stressed out… and if you do find yourself panicking… take a deep breath and just look to the trade plan.
2. Fake It To You Make IT
There is a reason why this saying is so popular ─ It’s true.
According to the Psychological Science journal, painting a happy face on reduces stress.
In this study, testers smiled during stressful tasks. The ones that did smile had lower heart rates during tasks and experiences less anxiety while completing it. They also recovered faster from the stress.
The subjects that kept their natural, stressed-out face on, experienced none of these benefits.
And all it took was a fake smile.
3. Pay It Forward For a Helper’s High
When you are overwhelmed with stressed there hardly seems like there is enough time in the day.
Let alone time to help someone else.
But you can perform a selfless act for selfish reasons. So, make time for it.
Remember the 2000 heart jerker of a movie Pay It Forward? It had a very specific plot about a young boy trying to make the world a better place.
The idea is centered around performing a selfless act of kindness for a stranger.
What the movie didn’t let on was that most people get a surge of endorphins from helping others.
This flood of mood-boosting hormones has a similar effect on the body that a good workout does.
This rush of hormones called a helper’s high── And it is a stress buster!
So next time you feel overwhelmed by stress, donate some money to a mall Santa.
Carry someone’s groceries for them.
Pick up a couple of hours at the animal shelter.
Pay for the person’s coffee in line behind you.
It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture of kindness. Just whatever gets those endorphins moving should do the trick.
Here at RagingBull, we take suggestions for charitable foundations to donate to… and that’s how we pay it forward and destress.
4. Take a Tech Mini Vacation
There’s always that icon scene in movies where the main character chucks their phone into some random body of water.
This is not that.
Get up from your computer. Set your phone down or at least turn it off. Turn off the tv. Turn off anything that could take your mind back to that stressful place.
It has been proven over and over again that extended periods of electronic use causes stress that can lead to loss of sleep and even depression.
That’s why it is so important to take breaks, even if it’s just powering down an hour before bed.
5. Get Physical
Physical activity has been proven time and time again to be a great stress reliever.
The Mayo Clinic has determined that just about any type of exercise an effective way to destress.
So, it doesn’t have to be yoga or something specifically geared towards relaxation.
It could be getting “busy” with your partner.
Playing fetch with your dog.
Taking a brisk 10-minute walk.
Doing a couple of stretches.
Anything that could get a bit of sweat on your brow is a good thing. That sweat-inducing activity gets that feel-good section of your brain firing. In turn, it takes your mind off the stress and puts you in a better mood.
Better yet combine these activities with a bit tech-free time and kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
Trading shouldn’t be hard, nor should it stress you out… and these 5 techniques should help you if you ever find yourself in trouble. Now, if you want a strategy that is designed to allow you to trade stress-free, then check out Jackpot Trades — my highest-conviction trade idea delivered straight to your inbox… every single Monday.