Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Do The Math

An interesting study from the journal Emotion (summed up here by MSNBC’s BodyOdd feed) confirms that stress in itself isn’t a bad thing. Sure some people melt under it. But others thrive on it. What’s the difference between the two? Attitude.

The study looked at people with ‘math anxiety’ – a fear of crunching numbers. Scientists found that people could have similarly high stress levels when given a math test – as measured by their cortisol levels, a hormone produced by the body in response to stress – but would dive or thrive depending on their pre-existing feelings about math. Worry eats up working memory in the brain and performance suffers. Nothing adds up. But if you believe you can do rise to the challenge, a racing pulse is just a sign that you’re into it. Confidence multiplies.

Failure is in the mind. Attitude matters. Make up your mind that you can do the math…and it’s more likely that you will be able to.