Tips for Handling a Panic Attack at Work

no panic attack

panic attack at workWhen 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 panic attack 2health 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.


How Much Do You Know About Stress and Anxiety?


stress2Everyone knows that we all will sometimes suffer from stress and anxiety. But, how much do you know about the two? Take our quiz to find out just how much you may or may not know.

Stress and Anxiety are the Same.

True or False?

If you answered false, you’d be right. Stress is our response to changes in your environment. This can be negative or positive. It’s your body that will react to changes such as starting a new job, an unexpected loss, or falling in love. These things can trigger emotional, mental, and physical responses.

Anxiety, on the other hand, can cause emotions that can be characterized by sometimes overwhelming apprehension, fear, or nervousness.

Causes of Stress are the Same for Everyone

True or False?

If your answer was false you would again be correct. Things that cause stress for one person just might cause stress for another person. Something that might cause negative stress for one, like a deadline, for instance, may be helpful for another person.

Someone Who is Annoyed Easily or Irritable Could be Showing Signs of Too Much Stress

True or False?

If your answer was true, then you’d be correct with that answer. Not only can a person under stress become irritable, there are other emotional signs that are warning signals. These signals could indicate there is a need to work on how they handle their stress which includes a short temper and not being able to concentrate.

Loss of Weight Can Be a Sign There’s Too Much Stress

True or False?

The answer to this is yes. If there are any changes in your eating patterns, like loss of appetite, which can lead to losing weight, or overeating, which can lead to weight gain, can all be signs of stress in your life. There are also some other indicators that can include; being less active, more conflict in your relationships, as well as an increase in tobacco, drugs, and/or alcohol consumption.

Struggling With Chronic Stress Can Lead to Depression

True or False?

The answer to this would be true. If you have chronic stress and it’s long-term, which can be caused by traumatic events or horrible living conditions. If this kind of stress goes untreated, it can play a major factor in depression or to a depressive disorder. This is a type of intense depression that can last for very long periods of time. This kind of depression can also keep you from living a “normal life”. If you suffer from chronic stress, it can also affect your physical well-being that can include heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure.

By Re-Thinking the Expectations You Have Could Help You Cope With the Stress

True or False?

You would be absolutely correct if you said to true. stress3One good way to help you cope with stress in your life is to set down goals that are realistic at both work and at home. This means even if you have to lower your own expectations somewhat. There are some other things that are helpful for coping with stress better that include:

  • Accept that some things in life are just beyond your own control
  • Learn to prepare well for the things you already may know can be stressful
  • Try to see the changes in your life as challenges and not threats
  • Drink and eat sensibly
  • Get enough quality sleep
  • Exercise on a regular basis

Anxiety is Just a Harmful and Negative Emotion

True or False?

The answer to this would actually be false. Sure, anxiety can make you feel afraid or nervous. It also is not very enjoyable. However, it is something that is normal in life and can actually be a helpful emotion to have. If you have some mild anxiety, it can actually help you to become more alert and more focused on standing up to and facing threatening or challenging circumstances in your life.

What Characterizes an Anxiety Disorder?

  • A – Sudden and uncontrollable feeling of terror.
  • B – Unfounded dread and fear of daily situations.
  • C – Afraid of doing or saying something that could humiliate or embarrass you in front of others.
  • D – Any or all of the above.

If you chose D, then you would be correct. Even though anxiety is a very normal emotion, those who happen to experience high levels of extreme fear along with the worry that doesn’t go away could be suffering from a type of anxiety disorder.

Every anxiety disorder will have its own clear symptoms. For instance, if you have a panic disorder, it can cause uncontrollable feelings of dread or terror that come on suddenly. For those with a social anxiety disorder, they may have an extreme fear of being around unfamiliar social events or situations that come with expectations of being scrutinized by other people. Both of these disorders can also come with symptoms that are physical like sweating or shaking.

Anxiety Disorders Tend to Be the Most Common Mental Illness

True or False?

The answer to this would be true. Over 40 million adults that are 18 or older tend to be affected in some way by some sort of anxiety disorder every year. That is around 18% of adults.

Men Seem to Be Twice as Likely as Their Women Counterparts to Suffer From Generalized Anxiety Disorder

True or False?

The answer to this is false. It’s women who are twice as likely as their male counterparts to find themselves being affected by generalized anxiety disorder. This can often be characterized with a minimum of six months of unrealistic worry over their everyday issues that can be excessive.

Which Treatment is an Option for Any Kind of Anxiety Disorder?

  • A – Medication
  • B – Psychotherapy
  • C – Neither
  • D – Both

The answer to this one would be both. All anxiety disorders can be well treated using both psychotherapy and medication or combining of the two of them. The main types of medications that are prescribed for these disorders are anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and there are times when beta-blockers are used to help control the physical symptoms.

We hope that you have found this little quiz to not only be fun but informative about stress and anxiety. If you are suffering from anxiety or immense stress, you may want to think about contacting a therapist in your area in order to get the relief that you need and deserve.