How stock trading affects your mental health: Developing the trading brain

How stock trading affects your mental health: Developing the trading brain

Written by Katie Gomez

Analysts have long studied the psychology behind trading, focusing on aspects like ego and emotional regulation. However, could involvement in the stock market extend beyond this to actually alter one’s brain chemistry? It’s important to note that individual experiences in the stock market can vary. That said, there have been intriguing findings about how trading can influence the brain. In this article, we’ll explore the concept of the ‘trading brain,’ examine how the stock market impacts our minds, and discuss whether trading can be detrimental or beneficial to brain health.

While the risk and stress associated with stock trading can be hazardous to both mental and physical health, research suggests that there are also potential long-term mental benefits. If trading is approached correctly, these benefits could even mitigate the harm done. Over time and with practice, you may experience alterations in your brain chemistry, creating what psychologists term ‘the trading brain.’

Forex candlestick pattern. Trading chart concept. Financial market chart. Human head silhouette. 3D rendering

Mental strength is crucial for trading success, given that trading is fundamentally an individual decision-making process. Therefore, it’s vital to understand how mindset and trading psychology influence our psyche, contributing to the development of the ‘trading brain.’ The human mind is naturally intrigued by risks and mysteries that evoke unsettling feelings, which may explain why so many of us are captivated by the stock market. Despite its inherent risks and uncertainties, our minds find it fascinating.

The more time and energy you invest in the stock market, the more your mind becomes dependent on the chemicals that this activity produces. At first glance, it may seem that only the conscious mind, which handles logical decisions and critical thinking, is at play. However, much like an iceberg, there’s more going on beneath the surface. Our subconscious mind is also shaped by past experiences, memories, learning styles, and the emotions or chemicals to which it has become accustomed.

Iceberg Illustration

For example, if you have historically been poor at managing money and start trading, your rational conscious mind might earn you some profits. However, your subconscious mind may still be stuck in old patterns that are counterproductive to sound money management. Consequently, you might find yourself unconsciously sabotaging your trades through rash, emotional, or impulsive actions—a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts.

The good news is that awareness of this subconscious programming allows you to change it. Once you understand the psychology of trading, you can cultivate the ‘trading brain’ using methods like Welz’s Approach. Renowned psychologist Norman Welz emphasizes the role of discipline in modifying subconscious behavior through techniques like hypnosis. Although it’s challenging to overcome mental resistance and emotional turmoil or to reframe subconscious beliefs, it’s possible if you commit to the process with discipline.. 

In summary, Welz argues that a trader’s willingness to modify their personality and work on their psyche is crucial for effective trading. He states, “People unwilling to undertake this effort should avoid trading altogether. Those who focus solely on the so-called logical aspects of charts and trends will ultimately fail, overwhelmed by the emotions that inevitably come into play and even dominate the markets” (Bloch, 2022).

If you’re serious about trading and willing to apply Welz’s methods, you can improve not just your trading but also other aspects of your life—such as your health, relationships, and work ethic—by addressing and altering old subconscious patterns.

Artificial intelligence and trade concept

In addition to subconscious benefits, the ‘trading brain’ also positively impacts the conscious mind. Efficient traders often experience enhanced mental stimulation, decision-making capabilities, emotional regulation, and critical thinking. Moreover, the ongoing learning involved in trading fosters valuable traits like discipline, self-control, patience, adaptability, and resilience, which contribute to mental agility and may reduce the risk of cognitive decline in the future.

In conclusion, while there are always risks to investing your money in stock trading, the rewards can extend beyond mere financial gains. Committing to the development of the ‘trading brain’ can offer benefits that transcend monetary value. In essence, you get out of trading what you invest into it. If you haven’t yet experienced these cognitive advantages, perhaps it’s time to dive deeper and invest more than just money to cultivate your trading brain. For more information on enhancing your trading psychology, visit Trade Ideas today.