Avoid negative self-talk including comments like “I am not good at math” or “I am just not a math person.” Build on your successes and try to relax. Many people are nervous about math. Even mathematicians are unsure of themselves and can get math anxiety when they first confront a new problem. Tell yourself that you can learn and be successful doing math. Deep breathing, exercise, and positive self-talk can help put you in the right frame of mind to be successful in mathematics.*Be positive.*If you have math anxiety, admit it. If you pretend not to have it, you will not learn to overcome it or manage it. Get math help or form a study group with friends. If needed write about your math feelings or discuss it with family or friends.*Be proactive.*Study in a comfortable atmosphere for learning and take 5 to 10 minute breaks when doing mathematics. Make sure your body and mind are prepared as well. People that eat a high quality, high protein breakfast do better at in math than those who do not eat breakfast. Adequate sleep also improves math abilities.*Be prepared.*Learn from mistakes when studying and do not let poor performance deter you. Mathematical understanding is the result of perseverance and practice. Practice math each day. (Mozart did not learn how to play the piano by just watching). Studying math each day is better than trying to do one long study session in a single day.**Be perseverant.**Mathematical understanding is built up so review prior mathematics concepts if needed. Try to understand the math and not go by memory alone. Memorizing can be a real trap. When you’re nervous, memory is the first thing to go. Identify what specific mathematics concepts you need help with and focus on these concepts.*Be deliberate in your practice.*
Watch the following video and see how the math anxiety was overcome.
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## Micah StohlmannChristian, author, and professor of mathematics education. ## Archives
December 2020
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