Is the Fear Index dictating your life?

I was reading an interesting piece this morning. It is not necessarily about human psychology and well-being, but it could be. This article, a market commentary from First Trust, contains one statistic (among several others) that the current economic climate is volatile and largely worrisome. The volatility index is one statistic or indicator of how worried investors are. The number is waay up there–82.89 versus 80.86 at the time of the market crash in 2008. Volatility index or VIX is referred to in the article (as the colloquial among financial types) as the fear index.

It’s not unusual, I don’t think, for fear or worry to take over under most circumstances. What could be useful might be to separate yourself from the fear. Fear is an emotion. And separating yourself from an emotion can be as easy as noting it! Joseph Goldstein talks about noting (labeling an emotion or thought) in his interview with Dan Harris. Don’t let me tell you it’s easy. It takes practice–this practice of labeling. Hmmm–thought. Hmmm-emotion* (or *feeling, if you prefer)

I first encountered the labelling practice when I was doing Headspace with Andy Puddicombe. Although I don’t use the Headspace app anymore, it’s worth noting that labelling practice (like many other Buddhist meditation practices) has been around for centuries.

So, before you make an investment decision–of any kind–try noting or labeling what’s going on inside your head. Is it a thought or a feeling!

*Also important to note–the Bloomberg quote at the bottom of the illustration, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results(!)

About Gerry Wieder

Gerry is a former Registered Nurse, currently living in the Seattle area of the United States.
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