BarroMetrics Views: Tactics to Manage the ‘3Fs’ II
RECAP: We are looking for ways to manage Flight, Fight and Freeze, usually brought about by anxiety or fear.
My first line of defense is preparation:
- What do I have to see to confirm my view?
- What do I have to see that will threaten my view?
- If I see (1) or (2), how will I feel? How do I want to feel?
- How do I want to respond to (1)? And, how do I want to respond to (2)?
- What is the best thing that can happen for this trade?
- What is the worst?
For this prep, the key is to take time – to use my imagination to see and feel as if the events in question are actually happening. By doing this, I have found that more often than not, my response real-time becomes automatic.
The second line of defense is ‘early awareness’. I agree with Howell: by the time I am aware that I am ‘feeling’ flight, fight or freeze, it’s too late to stop it. The best thing for me to do is to leave the screen i.e. walk, and then ‘write’ or ‘talk’ until I know I am again managing my emotions. Diaphragmatic Breathing is a big help in this situation.
But, if we can catch the ’emotion’ before it blossoms into a ‘feeling’, we have a more effective tool. Howell views ’emotions’ as ‘behavioural responses’ i.e. to catch the emotion involves being aware of shallow breathing, quickened pulse rate etc. In my case, it more like a cognitive-emotional response taking the form of self-talk:
“Come you xxxx. Why do you stop going down (if long)?’
“Why don’t you want xxxx go up (if long)!?” etc, etc
Catching these thoughts, my immediate response is to slow my breathing and then WRITE answers to:
- Is my subconscious seeing something I am blocking?
- What is the market telling me about my position (or the position I want to take)?
I emphasize that my responses are automatic whenever I catch the thoughts. In NLP terms, I have anchored the responses to the pattern of thought.
The final tool is perhaps the most important. It is strategic rather than tactical. The value of Mindfulness Meditation for improved decision-making is now well documented. See
- Functional MRI shows how mindfulness meditation changes decision-making process
- Mindfulness in the Workplace
- Tapping into the power of mindfulness
If you would prefer a short summary rather than reading the articles: mindfulness quietens the heart, and settles the mind, so that we are more able to see ‘what is’ – rather than what ‘we would like it to be’.