Tips for Handling a Panic Attack at Work
When it comes to panic attacks, they can be extremely excruciating, especially if one happens to pop up while at work. This type of mental health problem can even derail your entire day. However, if you have work to do, sometimes you have to learn how to power through the panic attack. So, if it happens at work, what can you do to manage the panic attack so you can continue working?
Here are a few tips that you can try that should help you get through a panic attack while at work:
Try Focusing On Your Breathing
When a panic attack strikes, you need to get in touch with your breathing. If you do this, you’ll be able to help yourself to calm your entire body down. It’s best if you try and do this at your desk while working.
Try to sit as comfortable as you can in your chair. Make sure that your shoulders and head are as relaxed as possible. Put one of your hands on your stomach and the other on your chest during the panic attack. Then take in several deep breaths through your nose and then exhale your breath through your mouth. Make sure to pay attention to how your muscles tighten when you release your breath.
Try to Concentrate On Your Task
If a panic attack strikes, it’s important to do your best to remind yourself that it will pass and do all that you can to try and focus on the task that you are working on. Put all your focus on this and see if you can ride it out by putting all you have into what you are working on.
Consider Going Someplace Private
If you can’t seem to calm down in your work area, this is very understandable. You may then want to go someplace more private like the bathroom or another area that’s private so you can deal with your panic attack. One thing you can do is splash some cool water on your face and neck. After you do that then try to take a couple of minutes to focus on breathing again. You also might want to tell yourself “I’m just fine.” over and over again until you start to feel calmer.
Take a Break and Go for a Walk
Another way you can try to take control of your panic attack is to take a mental break from your work. This can often be a good way to slow down any racing thoughts that might be causing the panic attack. Try taking a brisk walk around the building where you work or go somewhere you can listen to some soothing music. Whatever it is, do something that lets your body know you are just fine.
Consider Reaching Out to a Person You Trust
When a panic attack hits, it can be difficult sometimes to handle on your own. This is why it often can help if you reach out to either a co-worker or a manager that you might trust and feel comfortable with. If you don’t feel confident talking with someone at work you might call a friend or a loved one.
It’s important that you find someone who can support you and validate what’s happening. You need someone that will give you support you need and then let their comforting words sink in. Often they can actually help you to reframe what you might be experiencing.
If you can’t find anyone to talk to then you might want to look at pictures that you may have on your phone. These should be pictures that will help you think about happy times and that will help you feel and think more positive.
Try to Stay at Work for the Day
Even though it is alright to consider taking a mental health day off if you really need to do it. This is because a panic attack really can be totally debilitating and can make it totally impossible to do anything. However, this can make some people rely on this particular option too much and this can create a pattern where your mind will end up equating safety by not being at work. It’s best to try and stay at work when having a panic attack.
Try to Find Mental Health Resources in the Workplace
If it is common for you to have a panic attack at work, you might want to talk to HR and see if they have any options that are available on the job regarding mental health issues. Most companies shouldn’t have an issue with this and it’s vital that the workplace be more understanding when it comes to mental health issues for their employees.
It’s important to find out if your place of employment offers support for individuals that suffer from a variety of mental issues including anxiety issues such as panic attacks.
Remind Yourself It Isn’t Your Fault
One of the most important things is to remember to remind yourself that none of this is your fault. When you suffer from a panic attack you need to show compassion to yourself. Understand that a mental health issue does not mean that it’s a flaw in your personality.
It’s important that you don’t put yourself down at any time but especially during a panic attack. Don’t allow yourself to tell you that you’re a failure or that you’re a loser. You need to try to work on accepting yourself, especially during a panic attack.