|So you are anxious about math. Math anxiety is often a complex, long-standing problem. What follows is a brief overview on how to deal with your anxiety but it is by no means exhaustive. It is meant only as an introduction to this topic. If you are experienceing math anxiety please consider taking the Pima Community College course STU 105, Math Success Skills.|
1. Many people who believe they are math anxious, are in reality, test anxious or poor math test-takers, and once they deal with these problems, they can be very successful in math. To determine if this is your problem, ask yourself:
If your answer to A or B is Yes, you
need help with
test anxiety. For assistance with math test anxiety or go to my Web
Math Test-Taking Skills and Overcoming
2. It is important to learn how to
manage, but not necessarily
eliminate, the anxiety you feel with math. Some anxiety keeps you on
toes, makes you be more alert and helps you to function at your best. I
encourage you to learn breathing techniques that physiologically calm
by changing rapid, shallow upper lung breathing to a deep, gentle and
lower lung breathing.
3. One of the sure-fire secrets to
success in math
is maintaining a positive attitude toward math and your ability to do
By using positive math affirmations and eliminating all negative math
and disempowering math beliefs, you can develop a positive attitude and
increased enthusiasm for math. Tell yourself at every possible moment
you can and will succeed in reaching your math goal. Other positive
affirmations include: I am learning more math each day. Math helps me
get to where I want to go. I allow myself to relax while doing math. I
am relaxed, calm, alert and confident in math.
4. Learn to do Programmed Positive
is the deliberate use of the power of your imagination to consciously
or reprogram negative math thinking. This technique is practiced while
in a deep state of relaxation. Once in this deep state, you visualize a
gradual progression through a sequence of positive steps leading to
math success goal. You may rehearse an upcoming math test, imagine
relaxed in math class or see yourself able to solve math problems. You
must practice this each day until your math goal is achieved.
5. Learn the
conditions under which you learn math best and you will enhance your
achievement. Determine for yourself how time of day,
sound, lighting, temperature, food intake, social environment and
affect your learning.
6. Learn effective math study skills.
Here are a few
suggestions. Get involved in the learning process and don't be passive.
Carefully select your math class and your teacher. Go to class
and sit near the front of class, taking full class notes. Stay current
and don't fall behind. Be sure and take the initiative in asking
Always review your material immediately after class and eight hours
Study at least 2 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week. Work out lots and
of new problems and some review problems during each study session. For
an in-depth look at effective math study skills read and my
Web Pages: Math
Study Skills and Reading
a Math Textbook.
7. Do not allow math test anxiety to
handicap your achievement.
To overcome this anxiety you must maintain good nutritional habits,
sleep, relaxation, a physical exercise routine and effective test
and test-taking strategies. In addition, you must reverse any negative
self-talk, learn calming breath techniques and utilize Programmed
Visualization to see your success and help it become a reality. My Web
Test-Taking Skills and Overcoming
Test Anxiety will help you conquer math test anxiety.
8. Even if math has given you
problems for years, act
as if you have control over your present level of success; act as if
really enjoy learning math; act as if it is coming to your more easily
each day. Soon your habit of pretending and the resulting success
achieve will make your feelings match your behavior.
9. Each day visualize yourself calm,
relaxed and confident
with math. Say to yourself, "I am becoming more calm, relaxed and
confident while doing math."
Each day see yourself understanding
more math and having
the concepts come easily and readily to you. Say to yourself, " I
can understand math if I give myself a chance."
Each day visualize yourself working
new math problems and say to yourself, "Working out math problems
EVERY MINUTE OF
EVERY DAY SEE AND FEEL YOURSELF SUCCEEDING
IN MATH - YOUR MATH SUCCESS GOAL IS WITHIN YOUR GRASP. DON'T STOP NOW,
IT'S JUST UP AHEAD.
The math anxiety reduction suggestions on this page were taken from "Conquering Math Anxiety, a Self Help Workbook" (Brooks/Cole 2010) by Cynthia Arem
To return to Frequently Asked Questions go to my Web site: Effective Math and Sciences Study Skills
For information on dealing with stress click here: Stress Reduction Websites
Pima Community College
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