Incontinence & Anxiety: 7 Ways to Reduce Stress

mature man stressed while managing incontinence

Sweaty palms. Racing heartbeat. Dry mouth. These are some of the side effects of anxiety. Although everyone experiences stress differently, it is almost a certainty people will feel it at some point in their lives.

According to Healthline, anxiety is usually caused by genetic and environmental factors. Major life events, loss of a family member and issues at work are at the top of the list as reasons why individuals may feel anxious.

Anxiety is a common problem and one of the most prevalent forms of medical illness among adults age 60 and older, according to Harvard Medical School. If you’re a caregiver, you or the person you are caring for may experience anxiety while managing a chronic illness or health condition such as incontinence.

Anxiety and urinary incontinence are a two-way street, according to the National Association for Continence (NAFC). They interact and exacerbate each other with anxiety being a risk factor for developing incontinence.
The same appears to be true with other mental health issues, including depression, which is also a risk factor for developing incontinence. Several studies have linked depression to urinary incontinence in women in particular. And, people with pelvic floor disorders are three times more likely to experience depression than the general population.

While it is impossible to remove all stressors in life, learning how to de-stress and addressing issues can be helpful. Identifying the cause of anxiety is usually a good first step.

Common Causes of Anxiety

    • Chronic health issues

    • Issues at work and/or home

    • Concerns with children

    • Trouble sleeping

    • Medication side effects

For Seniors

    • Poor and/or failing health

    • Decline in memory

    • Pain

    • Lack of sleep

    • Medication administration

When left untreated for long periods of time, anxiety can be very harmful to the mind and body. That’s why it is important to try and lessen the stressors in our lives as much as possible.

6 Ways to Reduce Stress

  1. Exercise - This is one of the most effective ways to relieve stress and anxiety. Calming exercises have proved to be beneficial in relieving anxiety. Low-impact physical activity such as walking can be just as beneficial as high-impact. The ADAA also recommends practicing breathing exercises: Take some slow and even breaths for immediate relief. Mental exercises such as counting can also relieve stress. Count from 1-20, focus on breathing steadily and repeat a few times. Yoga is another gentle form of exercise that is recommended.

  2. Start a Hobby - Read a book, listen to a podcast series, fish, play an instrument or start gardening. Hobbies tend to bring joy to people’s lives and help relieve anxiety. Listening to soothing music is yet another great way to relax and calm an over-anxious mind.

    plants in a garden

  3. Hire a Cleaning Service, Caregiver or Helper - If a ‘to do’ list is causing stress, consider getting someone to help around the house or run errands like pick up groceries if a delivery service is not an option. If you are someone caring for a loved one, hiring a caregiver could be a big help in getting some much-needed rest. 

  4. Get Organized -  Setting routines and being organized has been found to have a calming effect. A cluttered schedule or home makes people anxious, according to Psychology Today. Clutter can lead to feelings of guilt about all of the things that should be organized and embarrassment when appointments are missed or home is messy. 

  5. Get Social Support - Loneliness is one of the prime causes of anxiety, in addition to physical ailments, diminishing mental health and chronic illnesses. Social isolation is often the result of someone not feeling good about themselves or their life. Individuals with incontinence may especially avoid socializing and physical activity outside the home, which can lead to a debilitating withdrawal from loved ones and living life to the fullest. Maintaining connections with friends and family can lead to increased happiness and fulfillment. 

    mature woman smiling outside

  6. Seek Professional Help - When the activities above do not help and someone feels too overwhelmed, depressed and uninterested, seek professional help. Call a health care professional to get the care and attention needed to live life to the fullest.

  7. Use Reliable Incontinence Products - Adult diapers, absorbent underwear and other incontinence supplies include special absorbing technology to wick away wetness and keep individuals drier for longer periods of time. Managing incontinence can provide peace of mind and ease tension and stress about leaks.

Adult Diapers & Other Incontinence Products

NorthShore MEGAMAX Briefs – Ideal for those who have severe bladder or bowel incontinence. These briefs are the most absorbent adult diapers on NorthShore.com and are available in a wide range of sizes.

    • Extra-wide, extra-long absorbent core

    • Smooth backsheet helps with odor containment

    • Refastenable tabs with full landing zone

      NorthShore MEGAMAX adult diapers in white and blue colors

"These are my daily go-to product. They are the only briefs that give me peace of mind all day." - Jarred T., New York Resident, NorthShore Customer

NorthShore GoSupreme Underwear – A form-fitting, super-absorbent adult pull-on designed for individuals managing moderate to heavy bladder and bowel leakage. Their less bulky fit is ideal for active individuals.

    • Dual Leak guards for added leak protection

    • Body-gripping elastics offer a comfortable fit

    • Low-profile design allows for discreet wear

      NorthShore GoSupreme Pull-On Underwear
      "The fit is far better than any other pull-ons I have tried! Thanks for a dependable product!" - Margaret J., Florida Resident, NorthShore Customer

NorthShore Supreme Lite Briefs – A great option for managing moderate urinary and bowel leaks during the day or night. Their absorption rate and discreet fit offers individuals comfort and peace of mind when out in public.

    • Full coverage in the front and rear

    • Stand-up leak guards

    • Microsorb lining for quick wicking of liquid

      NorthShore Supreme Lite Tab-Style Briefs

      "Supreme Lite Briefs are perfect for me. Discreet, super-absorbent and they're simply the best fitting diapers I've used." Rodney B., Arizona Resident, NorthShore Customer

Keeping anxiety at bay is not always possible, but exercising, reading a book and getting professional help if needed are great ways to help alleviate stress. When managing incontinence, using absorbent products also help to add peace of mind to day-to-day stressors. MEGAMAX and GoSupreme offer protection and comfort needed to handle the most difficult situations.

Stay less stressed with reliable incontinence protection. Browse our trusted and top-rated products on our Incontinence Products Page or call (800) 563-0161 for personalized assistance.