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Self-Empowerment in the New Year

Make this the year to stick with your resolutions. Learn about PHA's resources that can help you empower yourself and make a commitment to a healthier you this year!

Maintaining a Positive Self-Image

Parent and Child

Pulmonary hypertension is a “whole life” condition that can influence everything in your day-to-day. Changes to your body, both real and perceived, can be difficult to adjust to, practically, intellectually and emotionally. Here are a few strategies that have helped others with PH reflect and improve upon their self-image.

  • Demistify Your Thinking – Without an awareness of the situations and circumstances that trigger negative thoughts, it’s easy to believe that you’re the only one who feels the way you do. By developing a critical awareness of the expectations you feel, it’s easier to recognize that your negative thoughts are just that – thoughts – and not direct reflections of reality.
  • Accept What You Can’t Change Today – While research has come a long way in the past two decades, PH is still a life-altering disease. Allow yourself to grieve for the dreams and activities you’ve had to give up.
  • Make Positive Changes Where You Can – Once you’ve accepted what you can’t change, it gets easier to zero in on areas of your life where you are willing and able to take control.
    • Call in reinforcements. Surround yourself with friends and family who make you feel good about yourself.
    • Be good to your body. Rather than focusing on the body you think you should have, focus on the body you do have. Work with your PH team to develop a nutrition plan, make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep, and don’t push your body too hard.
    • Stay active. Talk to your PH doctor about developing an exercise plan. Low-level aerobic exercise, even just a daily stroll around your neighborhood, can be good for your body and mind.
    • Celebrate your accomplishments. When you reach a personal goal or finish a project, take the time to recognize your achievement. Finding ways to formally recognize your successes can help you build new, positive identities post-diagnosis.
    • Change the way you talk about yourself. If you find that you’re putting yourself down a lot, challenge your negative thoughts by replacing them with kind words that don’t reflect unrealistic expectations. Using your feelings and needs as guideposts can be a helpful way of translating negative self-talk into language that’s more compassionate and realistic.
    • Stay in the moment. Your self-image, like life with PH, will have ups and downs. Your body, your health status, your outlook: none of these will stay the same forever. It can be helpful to think about every day as a new beginning, and appreciate each moment for what it is.

Read the full article, "Maintaining a Positive Self-Image"


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Starting Out the New Year – Making a Commitment to You!

Starting Out the New Year Right - Making a Commitment to You!


The Empowered Patient: Nurturing Partnerships with your Medical Professionals to Get the Best Care Possible

The Empowered Patient with Deborah Levine, MD

Start out the new year right by making a commitment to yourself. This webinar provides strategies to be proactive towards achieving your best health possible and improving your quality of life.


Learn strategies for communicating effectively with medical professionals, and methods for opening the channels of communication between your primary care provider, PH team and other specialists in this webinar.

View all PHA Classroom recordings

Looking for more information? View additional PHA resources on living with PH


Empowered Patient Online Tookit

The Empowered Patient Online Toolkit can help you track medication dosages, pharmacy numbers, insurance plans and more with resources to create your own PH-specific medical binder.

Download the Empowered Patient Online Toolkit

Patient-to-Patient Tips

Day-to-day activities can be challenging with PH. Learn tips and tricks to make life easier in these Conference recordings led by PH patients:

Self-Empowerment for Teens

Being a teenager is about becoming more independent, learning who you are and planning for the future. These years can be rough for anyone, but for teens with pulmonary hypertension they can feel especially stressful. These resources can help empower teens living with PH:

Social Workers: Supporting Your Self-Empowerment

Self-empowerment comes from inside, but there are individuals who can help you achieve it. This Pathlight article written by a social worker highlights how social workers can help you help yourself throughout your PH journey!

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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.