Many people are struggling with the belief that they are bad at math. This belief increases the meltdown of many students when it comes to solving mathematical problems. Although academic anxiety applies to very subject out there like Science and Language, however Math Anxiety seems to be the most prevalent of all these.

Math Anxiety is the feeling you get when you are facing a math problem that involves nausea, palm sweating, nervousness, and worrying that you are not smart enough to solve the mathematical problem at hand. If you are experiencing this, remember that you are not alone. According to researchers, about 20 percent of the population suffers from this phenomenon.

The question is, does having mathematical anxiety means that you are bad at math? The answer is no. You may think that you can’t do math because you’re bad at it but the reason behind your poor performance in math is because you’re anxious about it. Psychologist thinks that math anxiety decreases a cognitive resource called the Working Memory that functions to help you organize the information you need to complete a task.

In other words, worrying about how you can’t solve a math problem or how bad you are at math actually hinders the possibility of you solving the problem. A proof of this is how some people struggle to answer basic mathematics like arithmetic that they already mastered at such a young age.

So why do we develop Math Anxiety?

  1. Researchers believe that being exposed to those who talks about math as something difficult and impossible have a great impact on a child’s mathematical confidence.
  2. Parents and teachers who spread math anxiety are more likely to create students with the same problem.
  3. Students who are given a specific time frame in solving math problems will likely develop math anxiety due to the time pressure that dials up stress even more.

There are many ways to get rid of Math Anxiety. You just have to remember that anxiety does not determine your ability to solve problems, instead look at it as something you can easily conquer.

Source: Ted-Ed