Day 4: Food Allergy Anxiety Resources
Anxiety isn't necessarily a bad feeling. Neither is stress. They can be useful feelings, driving us to problem-solve, power through roadblocks, or evaluate risk/safety levels in any given scenario.
However, when we assign a negative meaning to it, that's when we interpret it as an emotion that drags us down. If we find ourselves feeling overwhelmed with anxiety or stress, find that it's negatively impacting our daily lives, or that it's leading to avoidance behaviors and the inability to function with balance, then it may be time to reach out to a licensed clinical behavioral health or counseling professional.
But if you're looking for ways to address these emotions on your own, below is a brief, yet comprehensive list of CBT-based resources to help kids/teens and adults/parents learn how to manage anxiety related to food allergies, asthma, eczema, or EoE. While not food allergy-specific, these concepts and resources are still useful in this context. (Find additional Food Allergy Mental Health-Related Resources here).
General Resources About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) & Anxiety:
Resources for Children/Preteens/Teens:
Resources for Adults:
WEBINAR by Tamara Hubbard, MA, LCPC:
Parenting w/Food Allergies: Understanding Anxiety & Developing Resilient Mindset
(Find an easy-to-share PDF w/embedded links to resources related to this webinar below):
If you find yourself needing support for food allergy-related psychosocial impacts, locate a food allergy-knowledgeable clinical behavioral healthcare provider
via the Food Allergy Counselor Directory.
Follow/connect on social media!
Facebook: Tamara Hubbard, LCPC
FABHA / FAC Directory Facebook: Food Allergy Counselor
FABHA Twitter: @FoodAllergyBHA
Day 3: Common Thinking Traps
We should trust our own thoughts at all times, right? Not exactly. Sometimes our brain plays tricks on us.
Cognitive distortions are thought patterns that cause us to perceive reality through a skewed perception - usually a negative one. These thinking errors then often trigger feelings of pessimism. Those feelings of pessimism, over time, can give way to increased levels of anxiety and sadness. It's literally a domino effect!
But how do you know if you've been falling into thinking traps? Below are nine common cognitive distortions with a food allergy spin. Do you find yourself commonly using one....or more?
This list of thinking traps isn't a complete one - here are additional cognitive distortions. So now that you've identified which food allergy-related thinking traps you typically fall into, what can you do about it?
Challenge Them - This is exactly as it sounds. You're going to challenge your thoughts to a duel! Think of yourself as a private investigator, whose job it is to find evidence to confirm that the negative thoughts in your brain aren't true. That evidence then becomes the weapon you'll use to fight back against the negative thoughts. In the emotional reasoning example where the faulty thought is "If I feel incapable of managing food allergies, then I must be incapable!", you're looking for evidence to support the opposite - that you're more capable than you think. Even if the evidence isn't food allergy-specific, it's still applicable. (Here is a brief video from University of Toronto on challenging thinking traps, and a helpful chart to use to help you challenge cognitive distortions).
Self-Talk - Once you've identified the thinking traps and attempted to challenge them, you'll want to create positive self-talk. (Yes, it's okay to talk to yourself, either aloud or in your own head). Even after you've challenged your stinking thinking, that negative internal dialogue may return; therefore, you'll want to fight back with self-statements that allow you to feel capable, empowered, and resilient. You may have to fake it until you make it with your self-talk initially, but eventually, you'll retrain your brain to believe it! (Try these positive self-statements on for size: "Even if my child has a reaction, I am prepared, capable, and ready to handle it." Or "It's okay to feel scared; I don't have to judge myself or let others' judgments make me feel bad.")
----Read all seven Food Allergy Awareness Week tips here!---
(Please feel free to share this image, as long as the logo is still visible. If you'd find it easier to have any of the Food Allergy Awareness Week images or PDFs emailed to you so that you can share them with your organization, please reach out via the Contact page.)
(If you find yourself needing support for food allergy-related psychosocial impacts, locate a food allergy-knowledgeable clinical behavioral healthcare provider via the Food Allergy Counselor Directory.)
Day 1: Food Allergy Support Groups
Being a member of a health-focused support group is now about as common as stopping at Starbucks daily for a coffee. However, with so many groups to choose from, it can feel daunting figuring out which ones might be the best for you.
Below are six tips to help you assess which food allergy support groups, if any, you want to join.
Follow FAC on Twitter or Instagram, or on Facebook on the Food Allergy Counselor Directory page to get updates on the FAC Directory, blog or resources. And connect with FAC creator Tamara on Twitter or Instagram!
Listen to & subscribe to the Exploring Food Allergy Families podcast!
Connect with Tamara
on Facebook via
Tamara Hubbard, LCPC counseling page
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