Beating Math Anxiety

Remember those math classes you checked out of in middle school, high school, even college? If you have been experiencing career stagnation, the cause might be your limited math skills. Improving them may be the first step to restoring your upward mobility or help energize your small business. In this knol, I’ll talk about how to beat math anxiety.

Everyone suffers from anxiety when performing some action they believe they are not good at or before demonstrating it to others. For example, even great mathematicians, singers, dancers, professors, business experts suffer pangs of anxiety before their performances. So you are not alone when it comes to being nervous about your abilities.

Math anxiety is a feeling of frustration and helplessness about math ability. But you can learn to focus your anxiety and put it aside so you can improve your math skills and improve performance on the job or for your small business.

Both how math has been taught at school and other social pressures cause normal, intelligent, skilled people to be anxious about their ability to do math. First, at school, math was often a boring subject taught by uninspired or unskilled math teachers (Not ALL teachers, but some…).  Lessons were learned by rote memorization and repetition and not tied to every day life in a meaningful way. Also, our society has a way of treating people that are good at math as geniuses, outside the norm of society. Admitting that math is hard or you are not good at it is bound to have people around you nodding in understanding.

But it is important to know that everyone can do math, just like everyone can read. Math ability does not require some inborn trait or special brain power. Understanding and applying math concepts to everyday life is done by most everyone, everyday, and does not require special or extraordinary abilities. And men are NOT better at math than women, whatever you have heard.


There are four common ways to deal with math anxiety:

Avoid all math - People using this method carefully construct their life to avoid any math. They might cede all math duties to their spouse, friend, co-worker. Since math cannot be totally avoided, these people live anxious lives.

Self-criticism - People using this method deny the feels of anxiety, but criticize themselves severely for not understanding the math concepts.

Rationalization - In this case, the anxious person justifies the feelings using one of the reasons mentioned above. Unusually, their will be a lot of positive reinforcement from his coworkers and friends, since they are anxious too.


The best way to bring math anxiety down to manageable levels is to look it in the eye and own it. Think about the reasons you have math anxiety and how those reasons make you feel. Accept how you feel about math with no excuses or self-criticism. And then start to learn math all over again. 

I generally believe that learning math at the 7th grade level is the best for most non-technical jobs. 

Treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Prevention is always the key to good health. And preventing panic attacks is the key to a peaceful living. When nothing makes you worry too much or affects your actions, you are far away from anxiety. And if you are far from it, you have a peaceful being.


Panic attacks linger inside of us. It lived within us without us knowing and without being aware of it. These attacks are often felt without a warning. It can surprise even the person itself. However, sometimes this happens only once or twice. Otherwise, if these attacks happen very frequently, or recurring it is considered a disorder already. There is treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder is a kind of anxiety disorder that comprises of worrying excessively over almost everything on a daily basis. Usually it is an unaware, uncontrollable, irrational type of worrying over simple things that occurs everyday. There is a process or method to help treat this kind of condition. The following are only a few of many.

- Cognitive Behavioral approach
- Benzodiapines
- Herbal

Cognitive behavioral approach is a method or therapy to treat GAD or Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The therapist would usually touch base with the patient’s emotions, feelings, thoughts, and behavior.

SSRI is a common anxiety anti-depressant drug that helps the affected person to get temporary relief over his condition. It is known to be effective and safe, however, like most drugs, a slight side-effect is commonly observed through prolonged use.

Benzodiapines is another type of drug used as sedative for affected people that has a rather high intensity of attacks. It is also given as a temporary relief to patients since it has a tendency to be “habit-forming”. The same as SSRI, it has its own number of side effects. Drowsiness and nausea are a few of them.

Herbal methods are also used as treatment for generalized anxiety disorder.

Overly health conscious people who are suffering from anxiety disorders would rather use herbal ways. Kava is a sample of herbal treatment for this illness. Kava is a root from the black pepper plant family. It is found effective and safe in controlling generalized anxiety disorder. Usually is used for short term relief as well just like the above mentioned drugs. Too much use or improperly consumed might result to some liver damage to patients who take them.

In general, anxiety disorders are usually self-afflicted illness. The thoughts of affected people are the ones to trigger the panic moments. How shall this be cured?  There are ways that are doable even without the help of medical professionals. This can be done in the comforts of your home as long as the attacks are rather slight when they occur and not as severe as a heart attack.

Tips and Warnings in preventing panic attacks:

Trim down your stress – 

this mean that we think about everything everyday. We tend to worry what to happen next or if what we just did was the right thing to do. Excessive thinking leads to worrying then stress. Reduce your daily stress. Panic attacks usually occur during the stress moments. And it adds up as stressful times of your life.

Tell your doctor of all your fears (phobias) – by being honest to your physician is a way to let him know all about you and your illness. It gives them the whole scenario of your disorder. Once you have been honest enough to your physician, he would know what method to use for you. Now is not the time to be secretive. Tell it all, by being honest and truthful of your dilemma is the way to cure.

Let your family help you – by letting your family know of your situation, you open the doors to them and lets them know you are seeking and needing their support. Family and friends can usually add meaning to us and gives us hope to want to get well.

Stop your vices – two major, deadly, and health damaging vices are smoking and drinking. It is best to put a halt on them for you to conquer cure.

Lessen your caffeine – coffee is our daily morning booster, however, too much of this is not healthy anymore. It makes our heart prone to palpitations and attacks. However, it is not limited to coffee alone, anything with caffeine is to be taken in moderation once you know you are suffering from panic attacks