Math is not everyone’s cup of tea. Many people have difficulty learning math. There are many reasons for this. But the most common cause is anxiety.
Have you ever felt stressed or anxious whenever your math teacher asks you to solve a problem or when you are doing your math homework? Of course, this could be a sign of math anxiety. But is it possible to overcome math anxiety? Absolutely!
We are here to help you. Our math blog details a few tips and techniques to help people experiencing math anxiety. However, before you move further, you should know how to spot math anxiety.
What is Math Anxiety?
Math anxiety or Math Phobia – a feeling of fear, stress, uneasiness, nervousness, and tension. In other words, Math anxiety is an emotion that a person feels when confronted with mathematical problems.
As a parent or a teacher, you may wonder what causes math anxiety and how to recognize that your kids are anxious when learning math. Here, we’ve gathered a few causes, early signs, and symptoms of math anxiety that you should look for in your kid.
Causes of Math Anxiety
Math anxiety is usually connected to a negative math experience. It lies in fear of failure. However, there are a few other causes that may trigger math anxiety.
- Time limitation or Tests: When a kid is on a Math test, the time limitation puts more pressure on a child to complete a problem. They may worry about the times while answering the question. Possibly, due to this, the kids may forget the concepts.
- Embarrassment: If a student didn’t score well, parents or teachers might scold them for their math error. It may frighten the kids and result in negative outcomes.
- Influence: Kids grow up by seeing parents and listening to teachers’ words. So, if a teacher or parent has a negative attitude about math, their kids also get to develop the same attitude towards math.
Signs and Symptoms of Math Anxiety
There are two major aspects you need to consider: (i) How the body deals with (Physical symptoms) and (ii) Behavioral changes.
Children who experience math anxiety have some common symptoms. These include:
1. Rapid Heartbeat:
When a person is nervous, the body goes into fight-or-flight mode, which causes heart rate and blood circulation to increase.
2. Sadness or Worrying
The kids may seem unnecessarily worried or stressed when doing math problems. This can distract them from learning Math.
Those who suffer from anxiety often sweat. This is because when we are in panic mode, our nervous system alerts the body about overheating, which leads to sweating.
Having restlessness is another anxiety sign children and teens show. However, kids suffering from math anxiety are less likely to experience restlessness.
Physical symptoms of math anxiety can be hard to detect because kids commonly experience them in many situations, like exam hours. You need to pay more attention to other identifiable signs, like behavioral patterns. Certain behavioral changes are common in kids with math anxiety. These include:
1. Hard to concentrate
When we say the word math, some kids get stressed. This is probably due to math anxiety. When we feel stressed, we start messing up with math concepts. As a result, a student may not be able to concentrate.
2. Negative self-talk
Students with math anxiety often make critical statements about themselves when they are anxious. In the end, this might disgrace them and make them incapable of solving math problems.
3. Inferiority complex
Kids sometimes feel inferior when doing math. It is another sign of math anxiety. Inferior people may feel embarrassed when faced with math problems. Moreover, they tend to keep their doubts without asking for help from teachers.
How do you Overcome Math Anxiety?
Here are some tips that can help you to overcome math anxiety:
1. Manage Stress and Relax
Stress management and relaxation are among the best ways to overcome anxiety in kids. With this strategy, you can avoid being anxious and concentrate on the math concepts. All you need to do is just meditate and take a long breath. It will help your mind to stay relaxed.
2. Fight back the negative thoughts
Negative thoughts are the biggest enemy of humankind. You need to fight back your negative thoughts because they may lack your self-confidence level in doing math. So, try to build your confidence with positive thoughts.
3. Try solving easy problems
Learn math by solving easy problems first. Solving easy problems can improve your mental health, boost your self-confidence, and help you focus on the hard problems.
4. Think positive
Imagining or visualizing is the most effective way to cope with stress. When you visualize reaching your goal, you are in a better frame of mind. To be competent at math, you need to act and think like you are proficient at it. Maintaining a positive attitude will motivate you to remain focused and active when solving math problems.
5. Practice regularly
You can lower your anxiety in math by practicing regularly. Make sure you do basic math calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division whenever possible. So, pick up a topic that has been covered in the class and work on them. For instance, if you want to practice counting, adding, and subtracting, you can use coins.
6. Play games
Playing funny games can help you cope with math anxiety. Because games can divert kids’ minds and make them more interested in math. Therefore, you should consider playing Monopoly or other number-centric board games.
7. Get Help
As a kid, you can’t learn math on your own. Instead, look for a person or an online tutor who can help you understand and solve your math problems. Online tutors are well-trained professionals who help kids learn mathematics effectively based on how they learn. Therefore, hire an online math tutor if you need assistance with math problems.
Dealing with math anxiety is common in kids. It happens at any point in every kid’s life. But it doesn’t mean you can’t get rid of it. These are some tips that may help you overcome math anxiety. The real battle, however, must begin in your mind!