See the fantastic video below on how to stop anxiety related to maths.
Many people suffer from maths anxiety. Probably as many as 20% experience a level of stress which significantly reduces their performance. Having maths anxiety doesn’t mean you are bad at maths. What happens is that the anxiety uses up working memory. This leaves less working memory to solve maths problems.
What has produced it?
Perhaps in the early years, parents portrayed maths as very challenging or difficult. Teachers with maths anxiety can spread it. And so can your friends! Pressure to complete tests and exams increases the stress level and sets up a vicious circle. Some cultures view ability at maths as a measure of intelligence.
What can be done about it?
Simple relaxation exercises during a test can help a lot. Take 20 seconds to sit back in your chair with your arms dangling beside you. Close your eyes and imagine the stress draining out of your fingertips like water from a tap as you breath out deeply. This also gives your brain the chance to keep working on the problem in the background and the answer may just come to you.
A longer term solution is to develop a growth mindset which can help you grow and improve your maths ability (see other blogs on this subject based on the work of Carol Dweck). Regular moderately hard exercise such as jogging or swimming can reduce stress levels.
How can Brave Heart Tutoring help?
Brave Heart Tutoring makes use of evidence-based strategies to reduce anxiety. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a method which requires you to challenge and rephrase negative thoughts. At the same time, behaviours are encouraged which produce the fun chemicals in the brain. These are:
The other method used in the Brave Heart curriculum is meditation, using the Headspace App.