Lately, everyone is talking about meditation. According to Wikipedia this is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. This definition is a little long in my opinion, but it kind of sums it up. In the trading and investing business we deal with stress all the time. A trade or investment could go against you and anxiety can build up really quickly, this happens all the time. So if a person could learn to calm themselves down and relax when needed, it will certainly be beneficial to their health and to their career.
Many profession traders and investors have been meditating for years now. One of the most famous hedge fund managers in the world is Ray Dalio. He is the founder of Bridgewater Associates, this is the largest hedge fund in the world. Dalio says that meditation allows him to think more clearly and creatively when making decisions. If a billionaire hedge fund manager is mediating it might just be a good practice to do. There are also countless successful people that have been meditating for years with good results.
In 2005, I began my own form of meditating. Surprisingly enough, after a couple of years of practicing meditation I really became addicted to it. Often, when you think of meditation you think of a Buddhist monk in temple chanting for hours, but it does not have to be like that. There are so many ways to meditate that I honestly do not believe there is a right or wrong method. Personally, I just try to focus on my breathing and let all thoughts evaporate. Really, it consists of a series of deep breathes. First, inhale until you expand your mid-section(belly), then follow with a slow exhale. This must be done in a quiet place at first. Later, when you get better at meditation you can almost block anything out and do it anywhere. Sometimes I change up the rhythm of the breath. Just try different things with breathing, there is no one way or method for everyone. Meditation seems to calm my mind and allows me to handle the everyday stresses of life more easily. In fact, if you ever watch an athlete under pressure you will notice that they will usually take a deep breath before performing in a pressure situation. Just watch a basketball game when someone is at the free-throw line, you will see the deep breath before the shot is taken almost every time. I try to meditate every morning for about 10 minutes and if I can do it for a few minutes throughout the day I will. You can even meditate to classical music or binaural beats. Sometimes you can get even better results with other sounds, just experiment on what is right for you.
So now you know that meditation IS for everyone. We all come under stress every single day and could use some relief from these pressures of life. I’m a firm believer that meditation has helped me. I hope you give it a try and see how it does for you. Remember, like trading or anything else that you do in life, this will require practice. Do not think you can meditate for one time and get results. It does not work that way, you will need to commit to the practice everyday in order to see if it works for you. But once you do, I am certain the quality of your life will improve.
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