In order to trade like the champ you know you can be, you’ve got to have the FULL foundation in place. This foundation is formed on the strength of the body-mind connection.

To explain, we need to understand the powerhouse behind this connection: the Vagus nerve.

What the heck is a Vagus nerve?

The Vagus nerve is the embodiment of the phrase “body-mind connection,” or the “gut-brain connection.” As we like to divide our health into compartments, such as body – mind – spirit, the simple truth is mental health is no different than physical health or even spiritual health. They’re all interrelated. And this important nerve connecting the brain to the gut plays a significant role.

So, why should you care?

If you’re not taking care of your physical health, trading becomes a LOT harder! You must strengthen your body so your mind can follow suit. And vice versa. We need to listen to our gut! But if either is out of whack, the messaging will not be working to our advantage.

After doing more research on this nerve, I have learned that the brain adapts positively or negatively based on our daily lifestyle choices, more so than the latest training programs designed to increase intelligence. Sure, these trainings help, but it is what you do day in and day out that pack a punch. What I am most interested in is how can we make sure our brain is adapting in a way that ensures we are best positioned to reach our goals and live our life as we desire.

Find Ways to Manage Stress

For most of my career, I have been in high-stress positions. From managing groups of people to high-stakes consulting, my performance would determine the success of others. My passion has always been to empower others but to do so I needed to take care of myself, first.

I noticed that once I started running in the mornings before beginning my day, I would handle this stress in a much more efficient way. Then, once I began to focus on my diet, that too made a significant difference in my stress response. Handling my stress allowed me to focus on the performance of others. These things I knew, because I could measure the results. But it wasn’t until recently that I’ve been able to connect the dots through vigorous research.

I left the corporate world 10 years ago and became a full-time trader. I came into this role with my running routine intact, eating a mostly healthy diet and a confidence that was not yet earned. Boy, did I learn quick, but not before making every mistake in the book. Thankfully, my account could take a few hits all while leaving me with more fight in the game. Had I not had my physical and mental health supporting me in this quest, I’m not sure I’d still be standing.

Build a Solid Foundation

It takes a lot of “work” to become proficient in this “game” and to do this work, you need to have a solid foundation. A foundation of health comprised of the body – mind – spirit. When one of these is off with me, I feel it, and if I don’t, it appears in very obvious ways. Being enough aware to alter course is crucial and to be aware, again, you need your foundation intact.

I’m always tweaking one or more of these on a daily basis. Sometimes I wake up tired because I didn’t sleep well. Maybe it was due to what I ate the day before. Or maybe I didn’t get in a good enough sweat sesh. Sometimes it’s simply because I didn’t take a time out the day before to simply breathe and acknowledge all I’m grateful for. All of this confirms that our success requires we’re firing on all cylinders.

Over the next few weeks, I will give you what I consider to be the tools you can use to best position yourself.

If you have any specific questions regarding your lifestyle that you’d like for me to address, please leave them in the comments below (or send me an email : eamarconi@aol.com.

Beth Marconi is an experienced corporate consultant, personal lifestyle coach and member of the MARA team. As a Certified Nutritional Consultant, she ties health and wellness to trading successfully in the market.