Now I’ve done it. I always worry about reading, what I’m going to read, when I’m going to read it, how what I’m reading will change what I am, but noticing this in the news the other day is just wrecking me:
Math anxiety — feelings of dread and fear and avoiding math — can sap the brain’s limited amount of working capacity, a resource needed to compute difficult math problems, said Mark Ashcroft, a psychologist at the University of Nevada Los Vegas who studies the problem.
“It turns out that math anxiety occupies a person’s working memory,” said Ashcroft, who spoke on a panel at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco.
Ashcroft said while easy math tasks such as addition require only a small fraction of a person’s working memory, harder computations require much more.
Applying this information to my life, with my reading anxiety and all, is sending me into a spiraling ironic vortex. You see, worrying about reading will affect my reading ability, slowing me down, reducing my comprehension, which will in turn make me worry about reading more which will then further reduce my reading ability, pushing my anxieties to exponentially higher heights and so on and so on…
Can I just get a Zen master to hit me in the head with a shovel or something?