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The Managing Food Allergy Worry Worksheet

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One of the most common questions I see being asked within the food allergy community is: 

"How do I help my son or daughter with their food allergy anxiety or worry?"

The answer to that question isn't simplistic, as there are likely many factors contributing to the anxiety or worry. But at the core of the answer is the advice to help their child better understand the worry in order to develop strategies to help effectively manage it. 

What exactly is worry? 

The terms anxiety, worry, and fear are often used interchangeably. So do they mean the same thing? No, but they are definitely related. 

Whereas anxiety typically stems from uncertainty, unpredictability, and unknown about future situations, worry is the thinking part of anxiety. It's what often leads our minds to dwell on worst-case scenarios, the "what ifs", or leads us into a thinking trap known as "catastrophizing".  

Whether our worry is triggered by anxiety about the future or fear due to a threat in the here and now, it can lead us down the rabbit hole of thoughts. This may then trigger uncomfortable emotions and physical sensations, which often convince us even more that our worried thoughts must be valid!

What helps to manage worry? 

There are a variety of therapeutic approaches to help people learn to manage or navigate life with their anxiety or worry. Whether through basic psychoeducation, or strategies based on approaches stemming from evidence-based therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, or exposure therapy, the goals are typically to help people change negative thought patterns, learn relaxation or grounding skills, and change behaviors that lead to the distressing impacts or outcomes.

The Managing Food Allergy Worries Worksheet

I created the following 3-page therapeutic worksheet was to help older kids, teens, and even adults begin to address and manage food allergy worries.

The goal of the worksheet is to help you identify practical strategies that effectively help you break free from those worry traps. It encourages getting to know more about the thoughts that fuel the worry. It also guides you to notice how the worry makes you feel physically since anxiety and worry often bring on physical sensations that may even trick you into thinking you're having an allergic reaction. 

The Food Allergy Counselors "Managing Food Allergy Worries" worksheet image

Want to use this worksheet for yourself or your child, or to share with your clients or patients? Visit The FAC's Shop for the "personal use" and "professional use" versions.

[Disclaimer: This therapeutic activity is meant to help understand and manage worries, but is not meant to take the place of counseling. Please reach out to a licensed clinical mental healthcare provider if you feel that your anxiety or worry is impacting your life in a way that feels unmanageable on your own. You can locate an allergy-informed therapist in your state via the Food Allergy Counselor Directory.]


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