The Importance of Coping Skills for OAB

Skills for Coping With OAB

Everyone has coping skills. Coping skills are the thoughts you have or behaviors you perform to reduce or eliminate something undesirable.

The undesirable something could be a person, a negative situation, pain or psychological stress. If you want to make something better, a coping skill is what you need.

Positive vs. Negative Coping

It must be noted, though, that not all coping skills are created equally. They generally fit into two categories: negative coping skills and positive coping skills.

What Are Negative Coping Skills?

Negative coping skills are ones that may improve the targeted stress, but in turn, will add increased stress later or will trigger the creation of a new stress.

Imagine you are afraid of heights, and you need a coping skill to deal with this. Your coping skill is to no longer drive over bridges. Problem solved. No more bridges mean no more stress, fear or anxiety. But what if your job is across a bridge? This is an example of a negative coping skill. It reduced immediate anxiety but increased stress and raised new concerns, like paying bills.

What Are Positive Coping Skills?

Positive coping skills are thoughts or behaviors that lead to desirable outcomes in the present and the future.

Imagine that you are having a conflict with someone at work. You decide to assertively have a conversation with them about the issue while listening carefully and respecting their point of view. This works to resolve the problem and sets the stage for future disagreements to be approached in a similar fashion. You win in the present and in the future. Positive coping skills are always the way to go.

Understanding How Positive and Negative Coping Skills Impact You

Despite the fact that positive copings skills lead to better results than negative coping skills, people tend to use negative ones often. The contradictory notion is simply explained: positive coping skills are difficult and negative ones are easy.

Positive coping skills require thoughtfulness, intelligence, hard work, insight, empathy, consistency and may add more stress to your life temporarily. Choosing to not drive over the bridge to work is easy. It takes no work, no planning and adds no stress to your life in the short-term. Consider a negative coping skill for the second example. It would have been easier to avoid your coworker and hope the problem vanished. Problems never do, though.

This is where your overactive bladder (OAB) comes into the conversation. Your OAB causes undeniable levels of stress in your life. With this being true, you have a decision to make.

Do you want your OAB symptoms and the resulting stress to improve or worsen? Of course, you want symptoms and stressors to improve, but do your coping skills match this desire? Do you avoid, ignore and escape or do you confront your stress in direct, practical ways?

Negative Coping With OAB

In the moment, people with OAB will make choices to limit their experience of stress. In actuality, these decisions only increase depression and anxiety. Examples of negative coping with OAB include:

Staying at Home

Whenever you are stressed about finding the nearest bathroom or fearful that you will have to suddenly race to a bathroom, staying at home sounds like the easier choice. Over time, your supports may grow tired of asking for your company only to be refused. Also, your comfort zone shrinks without new and novel experiences.

Obsessively Seeking out Bathrooms

Being exclusively focused on bathrooms will detract from your enjoyment of the outing. If your thoughts constantly surround the nearest bathroom, the cleanest bathroom or how long it would take to race to a bathroom, you cannot focus on having fun.  This will make it more difficult to agree to another activity.

Rigidly Monitoring or Limiting Fluid Intake

With OAB, it makes good sense to track your fluids, but being overly inflexible is never a good idea. If you begin to obsess you’re your intake, you will miss opportunities to be spontaneous.  Spontaneity is a great stress buster.

Next page: More negative coping skills and positive coping strategies to try instead. 

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