Living with migraine can be hard, and it’s not surprising to have negative thoughts when you live with migraine. These can be called “thinking traps.” There are several different common thinking traps, and they can lead to or worsen feelings of anxiety and depression, among other undesirable outcomes. You can change your negative thoughts with the ABC model of cognitive behavioral therapy.
The ABC model teaches us that it’s not our life’s circumstances that are responsible for how we feel – it’s how we think about our life’s circumstances.
Here’s how it goes:
A: Activating event or situation
B: Beliefs about the event
C: Consequences of your belief
We’ll give you an example.
A: You have a migraine attack and have to call in sick to work, missing an important meeting (activating event).
B: You believe, “Now all of my co-workers are going to think I’m lazy and faking it. What am I going to do if I lose my job?”
C: The consequences of that belief leads to feelings of guilt and worry while you are having a migraine attack and trying to take care of yourself, making it harder to relax or sleep and leading to feelings of anxiety, depression, and frustration.
But let’s try it again, with the same activating event but different beliefs. This time we’re going to change the B: the belief we have about the event.
A: You have a migraine attack and have to call in sick to work, missing an important meeting
B: You believe, “I’m a good employee, I work hard when I can and I live with a chronic condition. I am valuable to my team, and they’ll understand that I can not be there today but I will do my best to make up my work.”
C: You rest on your day off, your migraine attack passes, and you return to work ready to be productive and engaged.
Do you see the difference? This is how CBT works. By changing your thoughts, you change your feelings and behavior – and that makes all the difference in life and in migraine management.
Download the Juva app to get access to more self-guided CBT lessons that can help you learn how to manage the distress and disability that often accompany life with migraine. Juva’s innovative app uses your phone’s technology to measure your biometrics (like heart rate) while guiding you through evidence-based cognitive and behavioral strategies for migraine management.
Sign up for a FREE year of Juva Health today.