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Happy chemicals

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In trading, it's essential to have a good cocktail of happy chemicals circulating around the nervous system. Without this, you make poor choices (scientifically proven - can't find the papers but can dig them up if anyone wants).

This is an excellent resource, except that it doesn't mention meditation which is probably the most powerful way of improving chemical mix.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/files/attachments/59029/happy-chemicals.pdf
 
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Here I'm summarizing Breuning's excellent work and adding some of my own stuff which I've taken from other sources. This is about becoming a profitable trader through altering the brain's chemical balance.

- Allow 45 days which will probably feel like hard+ work. Expect to feel a lot worse if you're cutting out unhealthy feelgood habits simultaneously (eating, internet addiction, drugs, alcohol, whatever it is).

1) dopamine - take small steps towards a goal every day
- recapitulate/reflect at the end of the day what was achieved

2) serotonin - recap/reflect on your importance in others lives (or become important in some way by doing something for someone else, unbidden).
- visualize being respected in work/family situations

3) oxytocin - Pay attention to emotions and allow them to be expressed accurately in words/actions. This is about being genuine (or 'congruent' - Rogers).
- Doing this creates trust, and trust creates connection with others.

4) endorphins - Strenuous exercise. Research shows that exercise does need to be very strenuous in order to trigger endorphin release. A light jog won't do it. Check with your doctor before going crazy, and build up gradually to avoid injury.


Hope this helps someone. As a moment to moment thing, number 3 is the most important to be focussing on.
 
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Some other related but random stuff.

Everyone is addicted to something. There are rare people who are exceptions, but generally speaking, everyone you ever meet in your life will be addicted to something. All addictions are ultimately unhealthy, though some are much more problematic than others. Exercise is often cited as being one of the most healthy addictions, but even that has downsides. When you get old/injured, then what? You just lose your endorphin supply and plummet into depression? This is unfortunately the likely outcome for the hoards of cycling and gym junkies in years ahead as they age. It's very hard to maintain intensive exercise after a certain age, and as mentioned, a walk around the block won't suffice.

Work/money addiction - yes, you get your dopamine and serotonin fix, but is this enough? Look at Trump. He would have a massive oversupply of both dopmaine and serotonin, but oxytocin (trust/connection) is likely to be in low supply. Such addiction very quickly spills into a situation where your supply must come at the expense of others. It's sustainable only if you bulldoze others. Wall St is all about dopamine/serotonin (power/respect/money/status) at the expense of oxytocin (trust and connection don't exist).

In modern society, the most balanced people are reliant on oxytocin primarily, with smallish doses from dopamine and serotonin. However, even oxytocin (connection) is addictive. When you age there's a high likeliehood that your connections will fall away or simply die. This is why some people have heaps of kids - to ensure a constant supply of oxytocin. The underying driver is "I'll never be alone", and I guess if you have 30 grandchildren at least some of them will be there to visit when you're aged. But you can see the downside. At age 90, your serotonin/dopamine supplies will be low, and this makes you less attractive to others, even family members unless strong connection has been established. The awful stereotype is the grandfather from 'The Simpsons' who rambles on depserately trying to suck attention from his children/grandchildren. But they get no value from the interaction, so they ignore him. There's no connection - his family only value the dirty highs from dopamine/serotonin. It's very clever script writing.

Meditation [paradoxically] can cause a huge supply of dopamine for those who are very skilled. Meditation is the only non-addictive path. Oxytocin is a close second and easier to achieve. Oxytocin is the best lead-in to successful meditation.
 
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When I say meditation is the only non-addictive path, I'm not talking from a religious or philosophical point of view, but scientific. Meditation is the only known way to create happiness which is unreliant on external circumstances. The effects are cumulative, as opposed to the spike-drop-spike cycle of happiness which is externally driven.

http://eocinstitute.org/meditation/7-reasons-meditation-can-naturally-beat-addiction/
 
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So who's up for the 45 day challenge?

This is stuff I haven't been nearly dedicated enough with for a long time, so I'll be doing it myself. Today is day 1. I'll attempt to update daily with more techniques related to steps 2 and 3. Steps 1 and 4 are pretty self-explanatory.

The aim is not just to feel better, but to see the market very clearly and make profitable decisions. Mood and profitable decision-making are inextricably linked.
 
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4) endorphins - Strenuous exercise. Research shows that exercise does need to be very strenuous in order to trigger endorphin release. A light jog won't do it. Check with your doctor before going crazy, and build up gradually to avoid injury.
I can attest this. I've personally been in the hurt locker a few dozen times, but can honestly say I've been in the extensive pain threshold a handful of times - probably on the wrong side of the healthy edge mind you.

I'm always searching for something to break me, as each time a challenge presents itself physically/athletically, I need it to be longer/harder to get that real high.

Id say it is an unhealthy obsession, but then again, I could be doing worse things than exercising.

pinkboy
 
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I can attest this. I've personally been in the hurt locker a few dozen times, but can honestly say I've been in the extensive pain threshold a handful of times - probably on the wrong side of the healthy edge mind you.

I'm always searching for something to break me, as each time a challenge presents itself physically/athletically, I need it to be longer/harder to get that real high.

Id say it is an unhealthy obsession, but then again, I could be doing worse things than exercising.

pinkboy
Thanks for that. I've read about 'runner's high' but never experienced anythig more than a calmness/warmth after exercise, which seems to kick in about an hour after finishing.

On this topic, cold showers will achieve something similar, but with a more rapid onset. Basically, strenuous exercise and cold showers are just physical stress for the body. The body responds by dumping endorphins and noradrenaline into the bloodstream. Any sort of physical stress will achieve the same effect. This is why some people in severe psychological distress will cut themselves. There's a chemical payoff.
 
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Thanks for that. I've read about 'runner's high' but never experienced anythig more than a calmness/warmth after exercise, which seems to kick in about an hour after finishing.

On this topic, cold showers will achieve something similar, but with a more rapid onset. Basically, strenuous exercise and cold showers are just physical stress for the body. The body responds by dumping endorphins and noradrenaline into the bloodstream. Any sort of physical stress will achieve the same effect. This is why some people in severe psychological distress will cut themselves. There's a chemical payoff.
This was me about a minute after riding 1,004km on a Mountain bike in 48hrs (current world record). With a bit over 2hrs to go I had 56km to get to the 1000km mark. 2hrs I was in serious hurt locker territory, the last 20min pretty excruciating. You can see the redness in my body from almost non stop torture for 2 days.

pinkboy
 

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pinkboy became redboy. You do look happy though.

I've noticed cyclists tend to combine their riding with caffeine to ramp up the high. A bit like smoking after sex, or combining Redbull with your favourite alcoholic spirit. None of these are long term solutions however. I have a few 'crutches' I want to replace with healthier alternatives.
 
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PB, I have a question about the world record (congrats, by the way).

Do you think you got more immediate payoff from the record win, or the extreme physical exercise? Such a cocktail of chemicals at once must have created a big high.

Makes me think of footballers wiining a GF. The effect of intense exercise combined with the ultimate prize and an adoring crowd of 100,000+ people. Often when players are interviewed months later, there's a burning desire to repeat the process and feel it again. So whilst the record and some associated status remains forever, the feeling fades. How long did your high last?
 
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PB, I have a question about the world record (congrats, by the way).

Do you think you got more immediate payoff from the record win, or the extreme physical exercise? Such a cocktail of chemicals at once must have created a big high.

Makes me think of footballers wiining a GF. The effect of intense exercise combined with the ultimate prize and an adoring crowd of 100,000+ people. Often when players are interviewed months later, there's a burning desire to repeat the process and feel it again. So whilst the record and some associated status remains forever, the feeling fades. How long did your high last?
Id say equal. I was already souped up on high amount of caffeine and simple sugars (Coke, lollies, caffeine gels) so that I could make the 1,000km mark in the last couple of hours, so when I finished I was pretty buzzing. As for the 'high' effect, Id say a few hours until I eventually got to bed (the best part is when you lay in bed, that quiet moment to yourself). Then the next factor was 'restless legs' - my leg muscles were pulsing for a couple of days afterwards, plus the pain in the body was hampering my sleep efforts.

Now planning another record attempt. 48hrs riding up and down a hill (Most meters ascended on bicycle). If I get the record, should provide suitable 'endorphin' release! :D

pinkboy
 

CanOz

Home runs feel good, but base hits pay bills!
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Id say equal. I was already souped up on high amount of caffeine and simple sugars (Coke, lollies, caffeine gels) so that I could make the 1,000km mark in the last couple of hours, so when I finished I was pretty buzzing. As for the 'high' effect, Id say a few hours until I eventually got to bed (the best part is when you lay in bed, that quiet moment to yourself). Then the next factor was 'restless legs' - my leg muscles were pulsing for a couple of days afterwards, plus the pain in the body was hampering my sleep efforts.

Now planning another record attempt. 48hrs riding up and down a hill (Most meters ascended on bicycle). If I get the record, should provide suitable 'endorphin' release! :D

pinkboy
Stellar effort:xyxthumbs
 

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http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/modafinil-2013-4/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modafinil

There is disagreement to whether the cognitive effects modafinil showed in healthy non-sleep-deprived people are sufficient to consider it to be a cognitive enhancer.[136][137][138] The researchers agree that modafinil improves some aspects of working memory, such as digit span, digit manipulation and pattern recognition memory, but the results related to spatial memory, executive function and attention are equivocal.[136][137][138][139] Some positive effects of modafinil may be limited to "lower-performing"[139] individuals.[140] One study found that modafinil restored normal levels of learning ability in methamphetamine addicts, but had no effect on non-addicts.[141]
 
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Just like cocaine, Modafinil is an upper and will make you feel fantastic. But did you read the whole article you linked? The last paragraph sums it up nicely.

"Then he ran into an even bigger problem: Skip a dose, and there would be hell to pay. “I really would feel it. It was sort of like being thrust into dirty, messy reality, as opposed to a clean, neatly organized place. It was like crashing, and I actually found what would happen is the anxiety that got dialed down on the way in, when you were coming off it, all of a sudden you went through the reverse. So I got incredibly anxious. Eventually that concerned me.” He stopped after three weeks. He says he’s more comfortable trying to get the same effect through meditation and, of all things, getting a good night’s sleep. He remains a little in awe of the pill, though. “It’s a great hack.” "
 

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Just like cocaine, Modafinil is an upper - will make you feel fantastic. But did you read the whole article you linked? :) The last paragraph -

"Then he ran into an even bigger problem: Skip a dose, and there would be hell to pay. “I really would feel it. It was sort of like being thrust into dirty, messy reality, as opposed to a clean, neatly organized place. It was like crashing, and I actually found what would happen is the anxiety that got dialed down on the way in, when you were coming off it, all of a sudden you went through the reverse. So I got incredibly anxious. Eventually that concerned me.” He stopped after three weeks. He says he’s more comfortable trying to get the same effect through meditation and, of all things, getting a good night’s sleep. He remains a little in awe of the pill, though. “It’s a great hack.” "
Really depends on the dose and frequency taken. I am not sure what kind of dosing regime he was on though.

But you can definitely play with the dosing regime to reduce anxiety side effect...

Biological half-life 15 hours (R-enantiomer)
4 hours (S-enantiomer)

Working around the above one would do a bit of testing to find the optimal regime.

It may be as simple as splitting the pill into two and timing the intake based on the half life or taking the drug Every Other Day EOD.

The side effect is common, example people using Phentermine based drugs for weight loss experience anxiety due to taking too high of a dose...example patient taking 30mg version vs same patient taking 15mg version...

Food for thought :_)
 
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Really depends on the dose and frequency taken. I am not sure what kind of dosing regime he was on though.

But you can definitely play with the dosing regime to reduce anxiety side effect...

Biological half-life 15 hours (R-enantiomer)
4 hours (S-enantiomer)

Working around the above one would do a bit of testing to find the optimal regime.

It may be as simple as splitting the pill into two and timing the intake based on the half life or taking the drug Every Other Day EOD.

The side effect is common, example people using Phentermine based drugs for weight loss experience anxiety due to taking too high of a dose...example patient taking 30mg version vs same patient taking 15mg version...

Food for thought :_)
Thanks for the info. I'm not opposed to synthetic drugs, so long as the side effect profile is ok. Will look into it further if I can't get the required changes doing more natural things. Would be way off-label, I'm guessing, so there's that little hurdle to consider.
 
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https://www.traderbrainexercise.com/Content/NatureTraderIntuition.pdf

Found this by following skc's Bloomberg intuition training link. On point.

Will factor it into my 45 day plan.

Been feeling sh1thouse the last month and it looks like I may have to make a significant change to an aspect of my life, rather than just exercise more and think nice thoughts. Some confusion around the 'what' and the 'how' is stressing me.

Could do with one of your Limitless pills Modest!
 
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