Living well with a Cardiac Condition

Pre-Recorded Course Information

Everyone can feel stressed, worried or experience low moods from time to time. These feelings are normal, but can become more intense following a heart attack or when living with a heart condition.  Many people find that they become less active, or start experiencing unhelpful thoughts about themselves, their health and the world around them.

About this Course

The 'Living Well with a Cardiac Condition' course is especially tailored for people living with a cardiac condition and who would like to learn clinically proven Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques, to overcome common symptoms of anxiety and low mood.

How is the course organised?

'Living Well with a Cardiac Condition' is a five session online course, with new material provided each week. Each session will be pre-recorded and made available via a video link, which you can watch at your convenience. We would encourage you to watch each session week-by-week to keep the therapeutic momentum going. However, the videos will remain available to you for the duration of the course.  Each video will look at different tools and techniques to help you manage your emotions.  They will also be accompanied by a booklet, which contains interactive exercises that work alongside the content of the sessions.  Watching and interacting with each of the sessions will provide you with a good understanding of low mood, anxiety and stress and how to manage it.  You will get more from the course if you practice the techniques between sessions. 

Each week there will also be an optional group-based 'Course Support Session'. This will be interactive, facilitated by two of our clinicians. This session will support you to reflect on your learning and to give an opportunity to answer any questions you may have from that week's course content. In this session clinicians are unable to offer individual support. If you feel you need to speak to someone directly, please use the crisis numbers and helplines listed below

What will I Learn?

Session 1: Welcome to the Course

How what we do and think affects how we feel.

How anxiety surrounding our health affects the body.

Skills around relaxation, goal setting, lifestyle changes and improving sleep.

Session 2: Managing our Mood

What low mood is and how it affects our behaviour.

What actions you can take to improve motivation and boost mood.

How to overcome common barriers to activity and exercise.

Session 3: Managing Thoughts

How cardiac conditions can affect our thinking.

How to identify unhelpful thinking styles and challenge unhelpful thoughts.

How to manage unhelpful thoughts, using the STOPP Technique.

Session 4: Managing Worry

How to identify different types of worries and how to manage them effectively.

The relationship between worry and tolerating uncertainty.

Skills to refocus your attention using 'Worry Time' and 'Problem Solving' techniques.

Session 5: Facing your Fears and Bringing it all Together

How the role of avoidance and reassurance keeps anxiety going.

Techniques to help you to face your fears.

How to spot the difference between a heart condition and anxiety.

How to develop a future management plan and prepare for possible barriers to your progress.


Questionnaires and Feedback

You will be asked to fill in a short questionnaire about anxiety and low mood before each session. This enables us to both give you feedback about your progress and evaluate the course. We also welcome any comments or suggestions you might like to share about the course.

Crisis Support

If you are in crisis or need immediate support:

Samaritans: 116 123 or text "shout" to 85258

For support and information:

Sussex Mental Healthline:  0300 5000 101  open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For more advice on coping with suicidal thoughts:

If you have concerns that you may have symptoms in line with risk of COVID-19, please phone 111.