I am one of the biggest believers in positive aging on the planet. Embracing who we are now, and all the new experiences that come along with getting older, is essential to our long term happiness and well-being.
But, I'll also be the first to admit that sometimes these new -- and often unexpected -- changes can make us want to stick our heads in the sand, hoping that if we ignore them long enough, they will just go away.
Well, they usually don't, so the best and most positive thing to do is confront them, and figure out how to manage them.
One of those experiences that is much more common than you might think is having a sensitive bladder, which can sometimes cause bladder leaks even when doing simple everyday things like coughing, sneezing, or having a good laugh.
In fact, over 40 percent of women over 40 experience a sensitive bladder. That's over 40 million American women!
Often the result of pregnancy, weight gain, or our changing bodies as we get older, this is something that many women experience, but far too many stop living their lives because of it. Don't be one of them.
Here are five ways to be fearless and help you feel that a sensitive bladder is "No big deal!":
Visualize how you are not alone.
Picture this: Again, over 40 million American women experience this and more than 50 percent of older Americans. If you're feeling isolated or invisible (another big issue for many people over 50, especially women), keep this in mind. You are not alone!
Share how you feel.
Most women don't want to talk about their sensitive bladder, even with their doctors, because they're too embarrassed. By simply sharing your thoughts - especially the ones that make you the most uncomfortable - with other people who might be going through the experience, it can ease your mind. If you aren't ready to discuss it with your family or friends yet, consider joining Facebook or online forums and getting involved in online conversations that are specifically geared to those over 50 who are experiencing this.
Get out of your comfort zone.
How do you know incontinence will hold you back or what you're capable of doing if you don't get out there and try? You can always find reasons why not to do something. Instead, focus on all the reasons you should. It's a mind shift you can apply to all aspects of life. And the last thing you want to do is stop doing things that bring you joy and are essential to your long-term health and well-being, like dancing and exercise.
Get the right protection.
Before you jump out of you comfort zone, make sure you are using the right protection. It turns out that most women do not. Only 1 out of 9 women use the right product specifically designed for incontinence.
Embrace who you are now.
Make this your personal mantra: Don't fight your age. Embrace it, whatever it is. This doesn't mean to give up and give in. It is a very powerful concept of letting go of your younger self and embracing and loving your older self. Treat yourself with kindness, respect, and take care of you as you would your children, your family, and your friends. This is your time.
As the Positive Aging expert for Always Discreet, Dr. Phil recently invited me on his show, along with Dr. Rachael Ross from The Doctors to talk about how women can live their best lives, no matter what's going on with our bodies and to share some tips that can really help to manage a sensitive bladder.
Until next time, remember this: We can't control getting older . . . but . . . we can control how we do it!