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Keeping a Healthy Mental Outlook with Heart Disease

keeping a healthy mental outlook with heart disease

When you receive a heart disease diagnosis from your cardiologist, it’s common to feel anxiety, sadness, and other negative emotions. However, it’s important not to let your emotions create an unhealthy mental outlook.

Taking steps to keep a healthy outlook with your heart disease can not only improve your quality of life but can also help you heal. Evidence shows that people with a positive mental outlook after a heart attack are less likely to experience a second heart attack within five years.

At South Denver Cardiology, we are heart doctors, but we firmly believe that heart health depends on whole-person health, including your mental health. That’s why we offer whole-person care, including preventive treatments that provide psychological and physical benefits. That’s also why we’re offering these tips for maintaining a healthy mental outlook with heart disease.

Appreciate That You’re Still Alive

After your heart disease diagnosis, heart attack, or stroke, one of the most important things to recognize is that you’re still alive.

Where there’s life, there’s hope. Many people can live long, productive, and enjoyable lives with the health conditions they experience. There’s no reason why you can’t do it, too. Your best years may still be ahead if you want to make the most of the time you still have.

Set Healthy Priorities

While there’s no doubt your coming years can be great, it’s also important to understand that you might not be able to do as much as you have done before. Nor, to some extent, would you want to. Instead, now is the time to focus on the things that matter most in your life, whatever they might be.

Other things you can and should let go of. Especially let go of the things that cause you stress but give little fulfillment in return. This can be very healthy, and it helps make sure that you have time and energy for the things that matter most to you.

Learn, Grow, and Enjoy Life

Remember, you’re still alive, and you could have many more years to come. Your heart disease diagnosis, heart attack, or stroke doesn’t mean you should stop growing.

Dedicate time to the things that bring you joy. Put effort into learning the things that reward you to know. Become the person you’ve always wanted to be.

Through it, all, make sure you’re doing the things that make your life rich and fulfilling. Finding joy daily can not only make life better for you, but it can also help your heart stay healthy.

Manage Stress

reduce stress after a heart attackStress is one of the most common risk factors for heart disease. People who experience high levels of stress are more likely to develop heart disease and more likely to experience adverse outcomes.

Do what you can to reduce your stress levels. Many of the other items on this list will help with that, but they can also do the opposite. It’s not worth it to crowd your day with growth, exercise, or even rest if the result is increased stress. When setting your priorities, make sure you’re choosing them in a way that decreases your stress, not increases it.


Exercise remains just as important as before your heart disease diagnosis, heart attack, or stroke. However, it’s even more important now to manage your exercise in a way that promotes your heart health. Talk to your heart doctor about what exercise approaches will strengthen your heart, not tax it. Exercise is a great way to combat stress daily as a side benefit.

If you’ve had a heart attack or stroke, you should ideally have a rehab program or be part of a rehab group. This will help to guide you through the appropriate strategy to increase your exercise levels to improve heart recovery.

Take Time to Rest

One of the first things that we cut out of our lives these days is rest. Unfortunately, it’s one of the most important things for your mental health, especially after a heart disease diagnosis, heart attack, or stroke.

Find relaxing activities that you can integrate into your daily routine. Anything that gives you joy and reduces your stress levels can be a good choice.

Get and Give Support

Many hands make light work. Dealing with a heart disease diagnosis, or recovering from heart attack or stroke, doesn’t have to be a lonely effort. Let family and friends offer their support – take what’s helpful and let people know what’s not. Seek out support from other survivors.

Also, don’t forget to give support. Your experience is valuable, and passing on what you’ve learned can help others recover, too. Not only that but sharing your experience can unburden your heart and be rewarding, too.

Cardiologists That Care

At South Denver Cardiology, we believe we aren’t here just to care for your heart. We’re here to care about you as a whole person. We offer advanced cardiology services, but we also provide a full range of support to help you cope with the psychological and emotional burden of heart problems.

To learn more about the programs we offer, please call 303-744-1065 or schedule an appointment with South Denver Cardiology, either at our main office in Littleton or any of our nearby locations.

South Denver Cardiology
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As with any health concerns, your specific treatment program should be discussed thoroughly with your primary care physician as well as any specialists who may need to be consulted – like a cardiologist.

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