Monday, July 21, 2008

The Health Implications of Stock Market Fears

What goes on inside your head when your portfolio implodes?

That’s the provocative opening question asked by writer Jason Zweig in his Wall Street Journal article this weekend entitled “How to Control Your Fears -- In a Fearsome Market.”

As a brand communicator in the health and science field, I was intrigued by the connection Mr. Zwieg makes between how your cells react in the amygdale (brain’s “fear center”) when an attack dog snarls at you, a spider drops down your shirt or the Dow Jones Industrial Average takes a dive.

Imagine that merely reading the words "market crash" in this sentence can instantaneously jack up your pulse and your blood pressure, the output of your sweat glands and the tension in your muscles. Stress hormones will flood your bloodstream. Your eyes will widen and your nostrils flare, making you hypersensitive to any further danger. All this occurs automatically, involuntarily and unconsciously. You can't be an intelligent investor if, without even knowing it, you are thinking with the panic button in your brain.

The article offers four ways you can control your fears.

1. Reappraise.

2. Step outside yourself.

3. Control your cues.

4. Track your feelings..

Read more specifics at

No comments: