Life is never quite the same following a heart event or diagnosis of a cardiac condition. Your confidence certainly takes a sizeable knock and a mixture of emotions from understandable fear all the way to sense of anger towards your body – after all how can your body let you down like this?
Patients often experience anxiety, worry and stress – ‘Am I listening to my body? Do I recognise the signs something is not right? Living with these constant fears can actually slow your recovery. You can become obsessed with every pain, feeling or twinge and believe something bad is going to happen. Many sufferers perceive themselves as somewhat disabled and incapable of living. At times, it’s the actual anxiety and stress that reduces the quality of life more so than the physical effects of cardiac problems.
Following the natural progression of such events does come acceptance. There’s no escaping what has happened, no amount of if’s but’s or why’s can change the past so the obvious choice is to allow room to accept what is and adapt as best we can. Aside from the obvious physical repairing and recuperating, focus is also placed on the effect heart disease has on every aspect of who we are, who we were and who we will be.
The aim should be to lead as fulfilling and active a life as possible, staying aware of the reality of any limitations and building on both physical and mental health. With the valuable help and support from friends, family and even cardiac support services, the level of anxiety can fall and as this happens confidence levels begin to rise. Many cardiac patients report this as their experience, especially those following heart attack where fear and anxiety has a vast effect on confidence.
Lifestyle changes are necessary and immensely beneficial for any recovery or to enhance treatment when heart disease is diagnosed.
Following a more balanced lifestyle between healthier eating, activity and relaxation will build confidence as you take control of your recovery and start living your new life your way. Positive thinking is a powerful force, you can change how you think and you can help change how you feel!
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