Being scared is a real thrill. You know that moment in a movie when the killer’s about to spring out on the hopeless babysitter? Or what about the exhilarating time when you walked through a haunted house? Good times, right? But do you know what’s not exhilarating? Walking out of the movie theater or haunted house with damp underwear. There’s just something about being scared that can instantly set off a “Pee!” message in our brains, but why?
As the Halloween season begins, we’re looking to get all kinds of scared, but definitely not all kinds of wet. So to avoid the latter, let’s talk about why people pee when they’re scared and what we can do about it. We decided to explore and learn the mechanics to try and keep the boos coming without those extra leaks.
Why Do People Pee When They’re Scared?
In situations where we are stressed or anxious, the part of our brain that impacts our behavioral and emotional responses gets a tad bit confused. The limbic system, as it’s called, decides to send electric signals to our body that are so powerful that another part of our brain, the PMC, has trouble receiving instructions from our prefrontal cortex. In normal situations, our prefrontal cortex says, “Hey, don’t pee.” However, when we’re spooked, those signals get overpowered, and those leaks just unleash. Whether you struggle with incontinence or not, this can happen to anyone.
However, that’s just one reason why being scared might lead to unwelcome drips. Another popular reason many researchers guess you’re peeing from fright include the ‘fight or flight response.’ The burst of adrenaline, coupled with the body’s response to a scary or nerve-wracking situation, can lead to a quick leak. Not to mention that during a fight-or-flight response, the kidneys actually produce more urine than normal.
Other feelings of nervousness can also make us more hyper-aware of our bodies. So that feeling of having to pee may be real, but your brain is exaggerating the urge and turning a puddle into an ocean. In the case of your body and urine leaks, the call is truly coming from inside the house. We can be the reason why that tiny urge to pee is suddenly too overwhelming to bear.
Have A Happee Frightfest!
Some of us just like to be scared, especially around Halloween. But, if you find yourself with a bit of a wet patch down under after a round of frights, it can feel like there’s no solution but to give up those scary movies and haunted houses. However, don’t fear, because leaks and that overwhelming urge to go can be resolved with a few tricks.
#1 Practice Those Kegels So You Don’t Pee When You’re Scared
Here at Lily Bird, we love to talk about Kegels. These exercises can strengthen your pelvic floor, improve the endurance of your pelvic floor muscles, and help keep any unnecessary leaks from happening. Not sure how to do a Kegel? While peeing, stop the stream for a second. By doing this, you identify your pelvic floor muscles. Now you know which ones to train!
Want a little extra help from your bladder’s own personal trainer? Try Lily Bird Bladder Support Supplements and give your bladder that extra boost it needs. Skip to the loo less at night (or at the movie theater) & say goodbye to the gotta-go. This little pill can help you break free of the porcelain throne.^
#2 Dietary Changes May Help, Too
Cut back on caffeine and beverage intake before doing something that will make you scared or nervous. Walking into the movie theater with that giant soda will not be doing you any favors in the leak department. Caffeinated beverages are known bladder irritants, so go for something safe like water. Try not to overindulge in anything you know will make you have to run to the bathroom in the middle of the good part of your movie.
#3 Mindfulness Is Key
We’re not saying to break out the yoga mat before entering the haunted house maze, but do start paying attention to your body. Be mindful that many of your reactions of fear and nerves or what makes you react a certain way can deter an onslaught of pesky leaks. Also, it’s important to be mindful that you are being frightened or chased for fun, and that this is entertainment only. The masked killer is just a regular old Joe. Your feelings of fear and anxiety are for your own fun, but completely baseless.
Tell The Leaks To Take A Seat This Season
You can still watch your favorite creature feature or go through that haunted house with your family for giggles and frights, sans the pee leaks. Trust me, we love getting spooky, too! But it’s important to be mindful of the choices you make beforehand. That way, you can enjoy getting scared without rushing to the bathroom anytime soon.
When it comes to the brain and scares, it’s important to remember it really is all a bunch of hocus pocus. So don’t mind us – we’ll just be taking the advice mentioned above to heart while we chow down on some popcorn and rewatch our favorite horror movies.
By Jessica Thomas, MPH
^ This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.