You have never got high mark in math and have always had trouble with numbers in normal life? It is perhaps you are already have this dangerous syndrome.
The term “mathematical fear” is defined as feeling stressed, anxious whenever manipulating numbers. Sometimes it happens when you solve math problems in your normal life and study. I was in the same situation when I do my math homework.
The syndrome was initially primarily studied by psychologists in children. However, they realize that many adults and even college students have it.
Recent studies show that people with “mathematical fear” have no risk of coming into contact with numbers or formulas.
However, their bodies responded as if they were threatened. This includes the production of stress hormones like cortisol, ready for “fighting or running away”.
The root cause of “mathematical fear”
Why did mathematics create such great fear? Probably because in math problems only one answer is right or wrong, there is no intermediate answer. Therefore this subject makes people more worried about doing wrong.
However, this is just an unfounded fear, which negatively affects the ability to calculate. Fear weakens the prefrontal cortex, the region that plays a role in solving abstract processes.
Therefore, the working ability of short-term memory is reduced. It also shows that children who are afraid of math problems have difficulty concentrating and thinking about calculations. It is anxiety that stifles their ability to do math problems.
There are also cultural reasons, girls who are more likely to be “afraid of math” because of the influence of notions: women are not good at math.
In addition, genetic factors can also affect, causing you feel discomfort and react to mathematics as a threat.
The cause of fear can come from many different sources. But the most common is the view that teachers can convey their worries to students.
Psychologists often treat fear syndrome with aversion therapy, in which you are forced to face your fears in an attempt to learn how to cope.
However, this therapy is almost ineffective with “mathematical fear”. Luckily, there are other therapies like writing emotions on paper.
Many studies have found that speaking out in fear can help you feel more relaxed. A class in which students were asked to write down their fears before the test improved their grade point average from B- to B +.
There is also a measure of “reshaping the fear”. For example, encouraging children to see the test as a challenge, not a threat.
And tips to help you beat your fear of math
You can do some of the following yourself to reduce your mathematical fear:
– Learn techniques for stress management and relaxation: techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can help you relax in any stressful situation. Therefore they are also helpful in cases of stress due to mathematical fear.
– Solve easy parts first: build your confidence in doing math problems by starting with sentences that you know best in an exercise or test. This will help you relax and feel more secure when dealing with more difficult sentences.
– Shift your anxiety to something else: free your mind by reducing some stressful reactions. You can get up and walk around the corridor a few minutes before you are about to take a math problems.
– Prepare early in advance: if you try to cram formulas, equations … too quickly, you will easily forget them. Taking moderate time to help you understand better and less forgetting when stressed.
– Try to understand rather than try to memorize mathematical concepts: The first thing that is affected when you’re stressed is short-term memory. Therefore it is important to know that math is not just a set of rules you need to keep in mind, but that each concept is built on what was previously there.
If you understand the reasons behind the rules, you will remember the concepts better and can apply them in many different types of problems, even those that have not been seen before.
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