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How To Overcome Math Anxiety


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What is 11 squared times 2? How about the value of pi? Okay, let’s go with a simple one - what is 7 x (10 + 20) / 3? Does merely looking at these numbers make you palpitate and have sweaty palms? Welcome to the club. 

Math anxiety is a common phenomenon. It occurs amongst a majority of kids, teens, and even adults. The source of anxiety arises from the fact that an individual is afraid that they won't be able to solve the math problem, which, in turn, leads to stress - causing them to solve it incorrectly.

It is a vicious cycle which people are unable to get out of. 

Indeed, the fear of not being able to solve a math problem often leads to an individual getting more nervous about it than they should. This fear and anxiety then cause additional stress, and the cycle continues. 

I have suffered from math anxiety since I was a child, and if I think about it, the root cause could be because I was berated for underperforming in school. Everyone's reasons for developing math anxiety can be different - from strict parents and teachers to a lack of self-confidence, bullying, and more.

However, you don't have to live in fear of numbers. Here are a couple of tips I discovered along the way that helped me overcome my math anxiety, and may assist you in doing the same as well. 

#1 Take it easy: The first thing I did to overcome my perpetual math anxiety was to go slow, breathe, and remind myself that it wasn't the end of the world if I couldn't solve the problem. Sure, I might score low on a couple of tests or even fail, but still, it wasn't the end of the world. That's the most important thing you can remember. 

#2 Tackle easy problems: Trying to solve complex math equations can be daunting - for anyone. I recommend starting with easy problems that you can tackle. Don't be afraid of taking help. Once you can solve the easier ones, you will gain more confidence to solve the bigger, "scarier" ones.

#3 Understand Math: Most people end up trying to memorize formulas and equations instead of breaking down each step to understand it. This is the biggest mistake you can make. Get help from a tutor, a friend, or someone you trust, and ask them to break down the steps into bite-sized pieces so you can understand the "why" s instead of following a pre-set method. 

Have you had this problem? What steps did you take to overcome math anxiety? 
 

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Well said. It is true, people tend to fear maths, which should not be the case if you put in the necessary preparation. I noticed like body excercises, the math muscle must be exercised regularly to ensure it grows. Once well practiced, most of the sums will be done subconsciously. 

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From what I hear, Twitter made it easy. Math is racist and 2 + 2 = 5. No joke. I read about this and saw some of the tweets. People are insane!

On topic though, I think having anxiety with numbers is more common than people think. I know when I was in school, I had bad math anxiety from a teacher who told me if I don't learn multiplication, I will amount to nothing in life. 

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