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Positive Despite OAB
Overactive bladder (OAB) is a chronic medical condition that has a way of zapping your positivity. Once, you were full of optimism and hope and your saw your future full of promise. Now, it seems that OAB demands incredible amounts of your time and energy.
Every decision you make and every place you go is influenced by the condition. This leads to stress and burnout as you can no longer see a future without OAB. As positivity declines, pessimism invades.
There is a solution, though — in fact, there are nine of them. By taking active measures to improve your life, you boost positivity and crush negativity. Do you want to stay positive despite OAB? Here’s how:
1. Follow the Recommendations
Your doctor has given you a lot of valuable information regarding your condition. How much did you hear? How much did you miss? How closely have you been acting on the recommendations, and how much have you ignored?
If part of the problem is the poor relationship between you and your doctor, take steps to find a new one. With a level of comfort, trust and understanding towards your treatment team, your symptoms can improve, and you will feel more positive as a result.
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2. Keep Track
Experiment with tracking your fluid intake. This simple strategy can provide more information about how your body responds to fluids. Be sure to account for solids that actually contain high levels of liquid, such as fruit.
With this information, you can create a schedule where you use the facilities before you feel like you need to. By using this preventative technique you can avoid issues before they occur.
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3. Plan and Prepare
Even the best strategies cannot eliminate all problems with incontinence. Because of this, you will be well-served to always plan for a problem.
Keeping spare clothes in your car or using a prepared escape route can reduce some of the embarrassment associated with OAB. Rather than being secretive about your situation, share your experience with the people you are with so they can aid in the aftermath. Using a team approach to OAB will result in higher acceptance and positivity.
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4. Retraining Your Brain
How do you view OAB? Is it a minor inconvenience or a full-blown disaster? After answering these questions, think about how the answers influence your feelings.
Overly negative thoughts lead to negative feelings. Keep in mind that what you see as the truth is not always accurate or helpful. Consider a new way of thinking about OAB that leads to a better result.
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5. Move Towards Mindfulness
The idea of mindfulness with OAB is an important one, but one that may seem challenging. Mindfulness means gaining an increased awareness about what your body is telling you. It is not thinking about or dwelling on an issue; it is only being aware of it.
Getting in the habit of paying more attention to your body may result in new information regarding your OAB symptoms.
Perhaps there is an extra sensation you missed previously that signifies a message from your bladder. You can use this data to move to the bathroom before urgency sets in.
To practice mindfulness, sit in a quiet room while being attentive to different areas of your body. How do they feel? What are they telling you? This might seem boring at first, but it is quite helpful and worthwhile.
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6. Have a Sense of Humor
The ability to build a sense of humor surrounding your situation lies within you. It only requires a new perspective and a willingness to challenge your negative views.
Humor requires a level of acceptance of the condition and acceptance of yourself. Think back to previous OAB experiences that triggered unwanted feelings, and try to reframe them in a way that produces humor. Asking friends and loved ones to aid in this technique can help open you up to new points of view.
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7. Find Relaxation
OAB is stressful. Continued stress leads to a list of mental health issues, with anxiety taking the lead. To combat stress, relaxation is a necessity.
Using relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and autogenic training can calm your body and your mind in a way that reduces stress. Trying yoga can boost the effectiveness by targeting body and mind simultaneously.
Relaxation can also improve upon the mindfulness. These benefits all culminate in improved positivity since stress breeds negativity.
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8. Break the Box
The stress from OAB not only affects your body and your mind, but it influences your behaviors as well. Many people with OAB begin to refuse invitations to events or opportunities to socialize because they fear a symptom flare.
As they spend more time in the home, their comfort zone shrinks until they only feel comfortable inside of a tiny box. This increased tendency to isolate only worsens the stress because there are fewer opportunities to engage in pleasurable activities.
Breaking the box means you continually push past your comfort zone by going places you enjoy with people you enjoy, while finding the motivation to go new places and try new things. This will lead to short-term stress but long-term benefit. Having fun will add new levels of optimism for the future.
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9. Start Therapy
Therapy is not for everyone, but if you continue to struggle with a lack of positivity related to OAB, therapy might be for you. If left unchecked, your high levels of stress paired with increased isolation can eventually lead to depression and anxiety.
Addressing these problems preventatively leads to much better results than waiting until they are fully developed to address.
A therapist, especially one trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, will be capable of assessing your symptoms while factoring in the influence of your OAB. They can expand on the coping skills you are currently using and provide new ones tailored to your exacting needs and abilities.
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