Dealing with your emotions

Learning how to deal with your emotions is an important part of taking control of heart failure. Although people with heart failure commonly experience depression or anxiety, it doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to living with these feelings. It’s important for your general well-being that you take positive steps to manage these problems.

There are many things you can do to combat these negative emotions and improve your quality of life:

  • Talk about your feelings to someone you trust and respect, ask your family and friends for support and take a more active role in managing your heart failure by learning more about your condition.
  • Research has shown that people who take more control of their condition are less depressed and anxious.
  • Focus on following your treatment plan carefully and actively engage in decisions about your management.
  • Exercise regularly and increase your activity level – feeling better physically can also reduce depression and anxiety.
  • Get involved in new activities that you can enjoy and can give you a new outlook on life.
  • Consider joining a support group for people with heart failure – it can be helpful to discuss your feelings with other people who have similar issues.
  • Try to see the lighter side of your situation – laughter is amazingly therapeutic.

If your depression or anxiety is severe, or doesn’t get better, then speak to your doctor or nurse. A consultation with a psychologist may be very helpful. There are also medicines that have been shown to safely reduce anxiety and depression in patients with heart failure.

Return to Your emotions

ESC Guidelines for Heart Failure

What patients need to know

This guide for patients from the European Society of Cardiology aims to provide an overview of the latest evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.

In particular, it should help patients to understand the:

  • main types of heart failure
  • medicines used to treat heart failure
  • devices that may be appropriate
  • importance of rehabilitation
  • management by a multidisciplinary team
  • importance of self-care in managing your own condition

Learn more


A series of 9 simple, captivating animations explaining heart failure and its treatment.

These narrated animations explain how a healthy heart works, what happens to it in heart failure and how various treatments work to improve your health.


In this section you can watch, listen or read interviews with other people with heart failure and their caregivers.


and share your own views and experiences with other patients, families and caregivers. is a European Society of Cardiology website

The website was developed under the direction of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The ESC is a world leader in the discovery and dissemination of best practices in cardiovascular medicine. Our members and decision-makers are healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to represent professionals in the field of cardiology in Europe and beyond.

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