Fear of maths was identified as a separate fear in the 1950’s.
Maths is one of the core topics at school and you’re expected to take the subject, regardless of whether or not you’re scared about it.
One of the biggest problems with maths is that – unlike most other subjects – answers are either right or wrong. There’s little, if any, middle ground. And that can be quite off-putting.
Addition sums are now often done left to right rather than top to bottom. Which to my older mind just looks wrong!
But what can you do if you’re afraid of maths?
Start by realising that fear of numbers (whether they’re lurking in maths or not) isn’t something we ‘re born with. It’s something we’ve learned to do.
And the good news is that if we’ve learned something, we can un-learn it.
Un-learn your fear fast
If it was a particularly bad experience at school (and unfortunately that’s all too common) then there’s a very easy technique called the Rewind Technique.
You can do this on your own, using the link I’ve put above, or you can do the process with someone else.
Start by imagining yourself sitting in a nice, comfortable, seat in a cinema.
On screen is a still image of you when you came out of the bad experience.
The projectionist will now play what happened backwards, to the point where you were happy and OK.
When that’s happened, the projectionist will re-play the event, still backwards. But this time it will have changed to black & white and the speed will be double.
They’ll then replay it again, still backwards, black & white and double speed. But this time with some circus music playing as well.
The projectionist will repeat that process a few more time, likely speeding up the backwards playback a bit more.
Then they’ll come down to you, carrying the spool of film and a BBQ and some matches. Because thise is only in your imagination it’s safe to set fire to the film and watch the old memories go up in flames.
That tehnique works well – especially with young people as their imagination is quite vivid.
Fear of being wrong
Another common problem with maths is the fear of being wrong.
Even the brightest mathematicians will get something wrong at some stage.
But it’s still a nagging doubt, especially to the mathematically challenged student.
This one’s a mindset change – welcome getting the answer wrong as a learning experience.
And – unless it’s critical – there’s not really any harm.
Even NASA have made mistakes with maths. And it’s unlikely that your math problem would cost $327 million which is what a critical maths error did when the Mars Climate Orbiter crashed when they got their figures wrong. Even though lots of people had checked them lots of times.
Face your fear
Another way to overcome your fear is to face it head on.
If you’re scared of getting the dead hard sums wrong, practice. Past papers are an excellent way to do that – sample questions are readily available online and the only person who knows the score will be you.
A lot of websites are interactive, so you can learn from any mistakes as you go through the questions,
A lot of the time, our minds think they’re helping us but they’re not being as helpful as they could be.
Hypnosis helps sort that out.
It’s a simple matter of listening to a specially recorded audio and letting the words do all the hard work.
You can download an audio to help overcome your fear of maths and numbers here.