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Living Positively with a Heart Condition


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Title: Living Positively with a Heart Condition

Living Positively with a Heart Condition
  • By
  • Shelton Kartun
  1. Understanding Grief and Loss
  2. Responding and adapting to Change
  3. Strategies for dealing with Stress

Grief and Loss
  • Grief follows loss and is the response to it.
  • Loss is the emotional suffering you feel when
    something or someone you love is taken away from
  • Everyone grieves differently and it depends on
    your perception of the loss.
  • Symptoms of grief include shock, disbelief,
    sadness, guilt, anger, fear, depression and
    physical symptoms.

  • Primary
  • Secondary less obvious
  • Loss of ones health
  • Loss of ones work role
  • Loss of someone
  • Loss of independence
  • Loss of being productive
  • Loss of lifestyle
  • Changed appearance
  • Lower self esteem

  • We have a tendency to resist change.
  • It creates stress.
  • It makes a whole range of emotions surface which
    include insecurity, anxiety, fear, panic,
    disappointment, anger, upset, unstable, confusion
  • We can perceive it as positive or negative.
  • We can respond to it as we do in grief.

5 stages of Grief or Change
Grief and Health
  • Immune System compromised WBC.
  • Type of heart failure but NOT heart attack.
  • Depression.
  • Cancer Risks.
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • High BP and heart problems in general
  • Fatigue

From helplessness to hopefulness
  • Accept your emotions.
  • Express your feelings.
  • Allow time for what YOU need.
  • Involve and share with family.
  • Dont escape into loneliness.
  • Keep in touch with friends.
  • Join a support group.
  • Seek a professional counsellor.
  • Be nice to yourself and take care.
  • Grow as a person. In Chinese crisis opportunity.

What is Stress?
  • Physical Stress vs. Emotional Stress?
  • When you perceive that the demands on you exceed
    the personal and social resources you are able to
  • i.e. I dont feel Im coping at the moment

Coronary Heart Disease
Emotional Stress Heart Disease
  • People without spouses live shorter
  • Major life changes losses, deaths, moves
  • Those quick to anger or have hostility

Frequent Fight or Flight ? Adrenalin ? may be
Emotional Stress Heart Disease
  • Those chronically stressed more likely to smoke /
    drink / exercise less
  • Adrenalin surges ... Blood clotting HAs
  • More evidence now it promotes CAD.
  • The TYPE of emotional stress is important, as is
    the type of individual (In control or not?)

Personality Types
  • Type A
  • Impatient, Angry, Hostile
  • Are at higher risk for CAD
  • Create Stress
  • More adrenalin
  • Type B
  • Patient, calm, serene
  • Lower risk for CAD

Stress Heart Disease
  • 1 in 7 males .... Heart problems lt60yrs
  • 2 of 5 adults .... High BP
  • Release of fatty acids glucose which converts
    to fat and cholesterol raising BP by clogging
  • Results in chronic hypertension.
  • With smoking/ caffeine heart rate increases 38
    beats per minute.
  • Slower repair and healing if chronically
  • Stressgt Cardiovascular, muscular, respiratory,
    skin, sexual, GIT, eating disorders and substance
    abuse .
  • Stress .... Heart Disease ..... Heart Attack

How Does Stress Affect Us
  • Physically?
  • Emotionally?
  • Mentally?
  • Behaviourally?

Recognising Destructive Stress
  • Physical Checklist
  • Cold hands/feet, dry throat, perspiring, back
    pain, headache, nail biting, skin conditions,
    muscle tension, sitting tensely, dizziness, aches
    pains, grinding teeth, clenched jaw,
    indigestion, difficulty sleeping, racing heart,
    tinnitus, tiredness, exhaustion, trembling,
    weight changes, tummy upset, stooped posture.

Recognising Destructive Stress
  • Emotional Checklist
  • Anger, anxiety, crying, depression, feeling
    powerless, mood swings, irritability, loneliness,
    negative thinking, nervousness, sadness

Recognising Destructive Stress
  • Mental Checklist
  • Constant worry, difficulty deciding, forgetful,
    cant concentrate, lack creativity, lost humour,
    poor memory

Recognising Destructive Stress
  • Behaviour Checklist
  • Short tempered, withdrawn, minor accidents,
    achieving less, more mistakes, changes in
    concentration, eating, sleeping, sex drive, use
    of medication, more alcohol, cigarettes, tea,
    coffee, bossiness, compulsive eating, critical,
    impulsive, relationship withdrawal, job changes.

  • Think about your stressors and create a list of
    what they are when you can so you can determine
    which things you can change to reduce your stress
    levels .

  • Illness
  • Death
  • Relationship problems
  • Work overload
  • New job
  • Unemployment
  • Retirement
  • Loss
  • Crowds
  • Relocation
  • Daily hassles
  • Legal problems
  • Finances
  • Perfectionism
  • Change

What Can I Change?
  • What stressors are in our control to modify?
  • What stressor are not in our control to modify?

Emotions and Stress
  • There is a dynamic relationship between your
    emotional state and your stress levels.
  • Control your emotional health and you
    automatically control your stress.

Tools and Tips
  • Time management
  • Planning Organisation
  • Relaxation
  • Avoid unknowns
  • Acceptance

Tools and Tips
  • Environmental eg. Commuting, Workplace
  • Exercise
  • Diet
  • Habits
  • Outlook
  • Boundaries

Stress Management Tips
  • Walking or swimming
  • Vitamin supplements and anti-oxidants
  • Yoga, pilates, meditation
  • Relaxing Baths
  • Aromatherapy, massage
  • Time Out
  • Move into forgiveness, communication, gratitude
    and understanding

Stress Management Tips
  • Use a support network eg family
  • Avoid addictions eg alcohol, smoking, drugs
  • Build skills
  • Reduce excess weight
  • Set and pursue realistic goals
  • Practice tolerance, flexibility, adaptability

Stress Management Tips
  • Get enough sleep
  • Recognise what you can change
  • Use positive affirmations
  • Dont try and please everyone
  • See stress as something that you can cope with
  • Learn to say NO

Stress Management Tips
  • Sooth tired eyes
  • Massage tense muscles eg shoulders, neck
  • Do muscle relaxation
  • Drink plenty water and avoid cold-drinks and too
    much tea and coffee
  • Follow a well-balanced healthy eating plan
  • Moderate, gentle exercise

Stress Management Tips
  • Practice Mindfulness take your time and observe
  • Attend to your spiritual needs
  • Take short, grounding 5 min breaks throughout the
  • Relax with friends
  • Make regular contact with nature
  • Deep breathing

The Power of Your Thoughts

Common Stressful Statements
  • It will never work
  • I dont have time
  • I tried it and it did not work
  • Theres too much to do
  • I feel terrible
  • I just dont know what to do

Stress that Motivates
  • Using motivational rather than stressful
    self-talk will get you through the day.
  • We CAN change our belief systems!
  • Stressful Self Talk There is nothing I can do!
  • Motivational Self Talk There is always
    something I can do!

What we say makes the difference! Make the choice!
  • I always have choices
  • There is always something that I can do
  • I turn problems into opportunities
  • I keep myself in a good mood
  • I finish fully and I feel good
  • I am making a solid contribution in my job
  • This is a good day

Thriving on Stress
  • See change as a challenge rather than a threat
  • Commit yourself to handling the situation
  • Start believing that you have some degree of
    control over the situation
  • Take responsibility for discovering your
  • Be willing to talk about it
  • Celebrate success, however small it might be.
  • The Longest Journey Starts with Just One Step
  • (Tao Te Ching)

Relaxation the learned skill
  • Deep breathing
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Guided imagery
  • Meditation, yoga, pilates
  • Music and hobbies
  • Biofeedback
  • Pampering massages, baths etc

Quick Stress Buster
  1. Sit comfortably with eyes closed.
  2. Take slow deep breaths in for a count of 5 and
    out for a count of 5.
  3. After 20 breaths open your eyes and re-adjust.

Risk Factors
  • Non-controllable
  • Family history of CHD maleslt50 femaleslt60
  • Men 55 women 65
  • Post menopausal women/ no ovaries
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Controllable
  • Smoking/ Drinking
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity/ Lack of exercise
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes ? Atherosclerosis
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Increased C-reactive
  • Protein CRP
  • Psychological stress

  • In conclusion, living with heart disease is a
    challenge, and presents with significant medical
    and psycho-social impacts.
  • Heart disease of any form has a profound impact
    on a person's lifestyle, and it can often be hard
    for a person to change their lifestyle in
    response to a health problem.
  • Nonetheless, it is still possible to enjoy a
    high quality of life and standard of living with
    appropriate medical advice and the support of
    family and friends.
  • Thank you
  • Shelton Kartun

Contact Details
  • Website
  • Email
  • TEL 021 554 3661 FAX 086 610 6540
  • The Centre covers all of SA and offers stress,
  • and anger management to individuals, couples and
  • Organisations.
  • The Director of the Centre is Shelton Kartun B.Sc
    (Hons) DMS M.ASC M.BAAM