Overcoming Math Anxiety in Everyday Life

For many persons mathematics is a difficult subject to grasp much less to master. What is even more frustrating is that it is needed in so many areas of life. Just when you thought you could put it behind you, it resurfaces in the least likely place. So how can one deal with this subject.
One of the first things to appreciate is that you are not alone. In fact in the western world, it may very well be true that you are in the majority. This should help you to at least feel more comfortable with admitting and therefore dealing with your difficulty with the subject.
Another major obstacle to overcome is the various myths surrounding maths. For example, may people assume that great mathematicians were born with this gift? This is not necessarily so. You therefore need to move beyond this defeatist type of thinking to allow your true potential to emerge. In the case of women, there is sometimes also a social stigma attached to the study of maths. You need to first recognize this for what it is. Many will also suggest that women are not as good at maths as men. The statistics do not support this. If you look at high school records there will be no such trend.
Dealing with Math Anxiety requires accepting it as a response to the subject based on faulty reasoning. You would have no doubt tried to convince yourself of your inadequacies in the area. Now you will need to address it face on. Accept your feelings and also accept the ways that you have been trying to rationalize your abilities. Recognize that your thinking has been faulty and then actively seek out ways to improve your skills.
Also bear in mind that much of your anxiety comes from poor teachers and negative experiences. This means that given the right environment and proper tutoring you should be able to exceed your previous level of proficiency.
There will always be courses that you could take to improve your understanding of Maths. This is one of those subjects where practice makes perfect. You would also likely have the benefit of having several other persons who have similar difficulties to work these through together.
In attempting to become comfortable with maths, do not be so concerned with getting every calculation right or remembering every formula. Instead the key is to understand concepts. There will always be calculators to do the adding and subtracting. It is your job however, to learn the principles so that they can be applied to a given situation. No machine has yet been able to do that to the same level as the human brain. Practice these skills in your everyday situations to see how they apply. This will help to make you comfortable.
In time you will surely gain confidence. I am certain that eventually this subject will become a useful aid, and no longer a frightening prospect.


Yours for Science