Just as every long journey begins with a small step then at some stage you need to start to practice mindfulness.
But wait a second. The first step must be in the correct direction or else your journey will be wasted.
Or worse, it will take you further away from where you want to be.
So it is important to not only make a start but to do so in the correct manner.
That is where the guide comes in.
The guide will not ‘do’ the mindfulness for you. I would not even go so far as to say that the guide will teach you to be mindful. But it will help you to start to practice mindfulness.
You must learn and you must do it for yourself.
The free introductory course is a good place to start. It references a number of different practices and guides you through them.
Here’s a quick overview of the exercises that are described and covered in the course.
1. Focus on your Breathing
Learning to meditation is central to practicing mindfulness.
You need a focus for your mind if you are going to meditate.
Find this focus inside you in the regular rhythm of your breathing.
Your breath is always there for you.
Regular, deep and without the need for conscious thought.
2. Awareness of Routines
Mindfulness is not something you do at particular times. It’s the way you do things.
Routines are activities you do mindlessly.
That’s precisely why we have routines – so as we don’t have to think about what we’re doing or what we are about to do.
So routines are a great place to start to incorporate mindfulness into those activities where you are most obviously absent.
Start with the simple things you do every day and do them in a mindful manner, fully engrossed in the present.
Then move on to those things that require thought but that can be broken down into small parts.
Do each step in a mindful manner.
Ultimately, move on to your trading routine.
How much of this has become mindless repetition for you?
How much of your trading is something you just do? Rather than what you focus on?
3. Meditation on an Object
Many consider mindfulness to be a search for your inner self.
And that’s fine.
But it’s not easy to think this way when you are starting.
After all, you will only know your inner self when you see it.
So how can you focus on it when you have not found it?
Start with something simpler.
Many meditation practices use a simple external object as a focus.
Choose something with which you are familiar and look at it.
Really look at it!
4. Attention to your Body
Back to your body.
It’s not just your breath that matters.
You can go through your whole body, seeing and feeling each part like never before.
As you go deeper into yourself, see how the noise from outside that fills your head starts to recede.
Make sure you are comfortable when starting to do an exercise such as this.
Have a look at this post on meditation from the Psychology Today site for some tips on finding a comfortable place to start meditating.
5. Meditation on Sounds
Use all your senses.
Listening to the sounds that fill the space around you can be the most pleasant of meditations.
Find the real sounds.
Get rid of the noise of your mind.
6. Walking Meditation
Mediation need not be about sitting or even being alone.
To start it can be useful to meditate in a place where external stimuli are minimized.
But as mindfulness becomes part of your life you can move beyond this.
So often we undertake simple activities such as walking in a mindless manner, just like routines.
Learn to change this.
Using walking as a meditation.
7. Naming Emotions
Many consider emotions to be the enemy of good trading and, indeed, you never trade based on emotional decisions.
But you are an emotional being.
What matters is not that you eliminate emotions, or even negate them.
Know what emotions are in your body.
Recognize them and name them.
Know how they can affect your decisions.
Start to Practice Mindfulness
These are simple to understand exercise to help you to start to practice mindfulness.
That does not mean that they are all easy to do.
But they are all possible and all are explained and used in the free introductory course.
However, don’t just launch into it.
Start by getting the free 15 day course on Mindfulness for Traders.
The next step is important: you must commit to following the course.
Then be sure to prepare and monitor your progress in a non-judgmental manner.
It’s all covered in the free course that you can access without any obligation.
And don’t forget to let me know how you get on.