Posted on September 10, 2019
Math Anxiety-- is it a necessary evil? No, but I get it. When I was a little girl and my statistician educator dad would try to help me with math I would cry. So yes, I get it, but now as an anxiety therapist I know better that it isn't math (or the spider, or the ladder, or the dog) that's the problem it's what our intrusive anxious thoughts are telling us about that situation. And we don't have to listen! There are additional factors with math which "prime" there it is again us for developing anxiety about math: 1) Pressure about the importance of math and STEM in general; 2) Pressure from those dreaded timed tests. Researchers have found that timed testing is not necessary for learning and in fact interferes with performance because the high levels of stress trying to beat the clock block our access to working memory where our math knowledge is stored. So, I no longer cry about math, and I don't want anyone else to either. You can overcome math anxiety and here are lots of ideas to help.