Hope helps when living with a heart condition. This week I am sharing with you my thoughts around the mindset of hope. How having hope after a cardiac event is key to giving your life meaning and being able to look forward to the life you live.

You’ll learn how hope is motivational and helps you be able to adjust to new things and the differences in your life.

I will explain that even though your life may not be as it was prior to your heart health issues, it can be just as fulfilling and sometimes different can be better.

I will tell you about an activity that will help you adjust your expectations, help you have hope and look forward to your new future.

To hear more click the player below or listen on your favourite app: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, TuneIn+Alexa or many more.

Episode takeaways

  • Why hope is important in your recovery
  • What I was told I must not do again
  • How I changed my thinking and expectations
  • Other ways to gain hope
  • Finding the I CAN in I can’t activity
  • What thoughts might stop you using the finding I can activity and what you can do to change them

Free resources

If you prefer a read, the transcript is below

Hope helps when living with a heart condition

It’s important to have hope for the future, to look forward and find ways of focusing on what you want so you can live and love life.

Hope as I no longer wanted the ‘why me’ feeling. Having hope helped me to connect with people. It helped me look forward. I began to see new situations and circumstances more positively. I was able to start looking outside myself. Rather than dwelling inside on my thoughts and feelings.

As we discover ourselves on our journey to feel good after a cardiac event. Or while living with a heart condition it is vital that we have hope. Without hope, there is nothing to plan or look forward to. This is why having hopes and dreams gives you something to aim for to improve your life.

Why me

You can change your expectation

Hope is an optimistic state of mind. It’s based on an expectation of upbeat outcomes. It helps you to see the positives in events and circumstances in your life or the world at large.

Positive psychology has studied how hope and forgiveness can influence several aspects of your life. These include health, well-being, work and personal meaning.

Hope plays a part in creating a new life after a life-changing event.

Being hopeful creates the desire and want to live a full and purposeful life. To look forward to how you want to live your life and how things will be different and can be improved.

Having hope helps when living with a heart condition. You have an expectation that you can get happiness and joy, and that you can still achieve what you desire in life.

With hope, you know deep in your heart that your life is worth living. That you have the confidence to make the necessary changes to the way you live.

Hope helps when living with a heart condition

For me, hope is about looking forward to the future no matter the limitations. It’s about knowing that you can have what you want despite the changes you have to make. Hope is the opposite of despair. When you despair, it is because you feel there are no choices. Hope is life-affirming.

But during my recovery at first, I had little hope at some points I wondered why I had survived. What was the point?

At the time of my heart attack, I was using crutches and could only crawl halfway up the stairs it was exhausting. I could see how I would ever get back to a state of fitness and be able to take part in my passion, martial arts. At the time of my ruptured Achilles, I was in the middle of a Tang Soo Doo (martial arts) class.

Both my Cardiologist and Orthopaedic Surgeon told me that I should not continue Tang Soo Doo. Martial Arts are too explosive and the pressure it put my damaged heart under would be too much. As for my Achilles Tendon. It was explained to me that the risk of another rupture happening again had now increased to a further 20%. This was hard to accept, at first.

What I Can Do rather than what I can’t

Once I had found ‘acceptance‘ and a little energy to want to help myself feel better. I was able to focus on my options. I began to have a little hope as I looked at other ways I could still stay involved with the sport. A few ideas that I had were to referee or judge at karate competitions. I remembered that I could teach or assist. Then the future started to look shiny again I had ‘hope’ something to live for.
As we discover ourselves on our journey to feel good now it is vital that we have hope. Without hope, there is nothing to plan or look forward to. This is why having hopes and dreams give us something to aim for. To improve our lives for ourselves and the people we love.
Having hope is motivational and can grow your ability to learn new things. You gain a sense of being in control and being able to think outside the box when problem-solving. You are able to be flexible in thought and behaviours. Other benefits feeling purposeful and being able to dream of the art of the possible. 



Emotional rehabilitation

My mission is to help you with emotional rehabilitation. To give you practical tools, tips and tricks that you can easily use in your life that make a real difference to the way you feel. I want you to feel good now.

Like my story about martial arts is there something that you feel hopeless about. Something that you want to do or have or be that because of your health you can’t. Maybe it’s not because of your health perhaps it’s just a belief you have. Either way, when you think of it, do you feel hopeless and helpless? If so, then it’s time to change how you are thinking about your life. Hope helps when living with a heart condition, having something to look forward to helps you to shape your future.

The process ~ Find the ‘I CAN’ in I can’t

By using the I CAN process you open your mind up to the art of the possible. Your unconscious mind will believe anything you tell it if you repeat it enough in thoughts or words. Your unconscious will then look for the evidence to back this belief up. So let’s do the easy thing and change your thoughts to those with hope. In this process, you look at the things that, now your life is different, you believe you are unable to do. You will find interesting and clever ways of achieving the feelings that the activity would give you. Realise how you can stay involved, take part, or be connected with the activity.

Part 1

Brainstorm some ideas, go wild with a list of the things you miss. You do need to be realistic here, it’s no good feeling hopeless that you’re not 21 again, although give me a while and I am sure I could work something out. You could try something like how you can behave and think like you were 21? Choose something that leaves you feeling without hope.

Part 2

Let’s say you wanted to learn to fly a plane but because of your cardiac health, this is now impossible. When you find yourself daydreaming about flying a plane it feels good. Then you remember that it is now not possible and you feel down and fed up. It is most likely that your internal dialogue is saying to you ‘I can’t fly a plane’ with a whole bunch of other stuff around unfairness, despair and hopelessness.

1. First, notice the thoughts you have about what you can’t do. Find out the true limitations first.

2. Accept that you can’t eg fly a plane, this may take a little while but you can do this. Try holding the thoughts in your mind and using a breathing technique.

3. Change your thoughts to being thoughts of possibility. You may want to raise your level of energy first.

4. Ask yourself ‘what can you do’ that moves you closer to the feeling you want to have if you could eg learn to fly a plane.

5. Make a list of all the things you can do.

6. Decide what of all the things you can do, you are going to do and set a date to take action.

Some examples of ‘you can’t fly a plane’:
Can you learn to fly but not fly on your own?
Go on an experience day of flying a plane?
Be a co-pilot of a plane?
Have a go in a flight simulator?
Visit an aircraft museum?
Go plane spotting?
Make model planes?
Learn about flying a plane through videos?
Watch films about flying?
Read books about planes and flying?
Give talks about planes and flying?
Join a Facebook group of flying enthusiasts?
Get a job at an airport?
Work in an aviation museum?


Your challenge

Decide on one thing for this week. One thing that makes life feel hopeless because you think you can’t do it any more. Get creative and dream up all the ways, all the things that you can do that move you closer to your ‘thing’ or approach it or do it in a different way. Remember it’s about the feeling it brings.



My Heart & Mind, Emotional Cardiac Rehab Community

Don’t keep it to yourself, let me know how you get on our group. Let us know in the group what CAN’T you have change into a CAN. We can all keep you accountable and maybe come up with more ideas to get you that feel-good vibe.



What thoughts could get in your way?

💜 Thinking ‘what’s the point’!
Precisely why you should give this a go. There is a point to being human and living a happy and hopeful life. Pay attention to what came after that thought ‘what’s the point of …..what ….’ Then you know where to start. Ask yourself ‘so what can I do?’ Then scribble down all the things you can think of that move you closer or alongside. When you run out of ideas push yourself for 2 more. That’s often where the magic happens.
💜 There is nothing that I can’t do that I didn’t do before! 
Fabulous what a great place to be. So if you want to try this exercise then brainstorm something things that you have wanted to do. Things that previously but didn’t, haven’t or believed you couldn’t. Then follow the process through …. as above.


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