Thinking about what has happened to you in terms of your hospitalisation or diagnosis with heart disease can be helpful in setting you up for long-term self-management. Each person’s experience of illness will be different. Importantly, it is not only what happened to you that is important but also how you feel about what happened and how you cope, in both the immediate aftermath and in the longer term.

Ask yourself some questions about what you have been through. This will help you understand not only what happened but your own beliefs and feelings about your heart problems and how you are coping with this. Good questions are:

  • How serious do I think that my heart problem is?
  • What do I think caused this to happen to me at this time?
  • How long do I think it will take me to recover?

Health events can lead us to think about what is important in our life and to not take good health for granted. When we think about making changes in our life it can be helpful to be clear about what motivates us to change and what motivates us to maintain changes. Good questions around this are:

  • What in my life was interrupted by my heart event?
  • What will help me to get back on track?
  • What could stop me from getting back on track?

Change happens one step at a time. Small steps towards change are important in helping us to make bigger changes in our life. Thinking about changes you have already made or the changes that you have been thinking about making can be useful in planning for long term change.

Sometimes asking these questions about change makes us aware that we may need some help with making the changes we know we need to make. Think about the resources you can draw on – family, friends, community, health professionals to help you to action these tips.

If these resources aren’t available to you, then contact us at the Australian Centre for Heart Health on 03 9326 8544 to talk about support.