How to Stop Panic Attacks at Work

Have you ever experienced a sudden episode of intense fear and anxiety when there was no real danger? Well, this is a panic attack. During the attack, you have no control over what your body does next. You feel weak and dizzy, your heart pounds hard and you become very nervous. Shortness of breath, sweating, shaking and general discomfort are also likely to occur. Panic attacks can easily escalate to bigger proportions if they are not immediately brought under control. Undoubtedly, no one wants to experience these attacks while at work. To avoid being an easy target, implement the following tips:

Avoid negative thoughts

Negative thoughts are one of the most common causes of panic attacks in the workplace. Perhaps you witnessed a road accident while commuting to work in the morning or watched a horror movie last night. So you spend most of the day thinking about those ghastly scenes not knowing you are making yourself a soft target for a panic attack. Avoid such thoughts by keeping yourself busy throughout the day.

Act like a boss

If you are unable to steer your mind away from negative thoughts and the panic attack takes you by surprise, let it know you are the boss. Most people often allow panic attacks to control them. As a result, they may run, scream or jump on the nearest workmate. When you are under a panic attack, learn to control it. Hold on to the edge of your desk or the armrests of your chair. Try to hold on to something tangible until you regain normalcy.

Breathe - slowly and deeply

The body naturally responds to panic attacks by initiating a fight-or-fright response. Because it needs more energy to run or fight back, you find yourself taking quick breaths. This causes the attack to escalate quickly and become more intense. Instead, you should try to hold your breath, followed by slow, deep breaths. Breathing slowly helps you to relax and reduces hyperventilation -- a common symptom of panic attacks.

Think again

When you panic, you will be more focused on doing something physical; meaning the part of your brain that controls thinking will be less active. To dilute the effects of the attack, it is crucial to keep your brain thinking. For instance, while taking slow breaths, you can start reciting the letters of the alphabet from Z to A or numbers from 100 to zero. You will be surprised the attack will be gone by the time you hit 88!

It’s just a panic attack, after all!

If a panic attack has never ‘given you a call’ you will be forgiven to run or scream when it finally does. However, if it’s a regular visitor, you should have made considerable progress in keeping it under control. In fact, by now you have known it’s just a panic attack and there is no real danger lurking around the office. Relax, the skyscraper housing your office is going crumble down!

Master the symptoms

Mastering the symptoms of a panic attack can help you detect when it’s about strike. According to Help Guide, the most common symptoms of panic attacks include sweating, nausea or stomach upset, trembling and hyperventilation. Given that panic attacks can take up to 10 minutes to reach their peak, this should be enough time for you to detect these symptoms and take appropriate control measures.

Finally, remember panic attacks are triggered by misuse of imagination. Focus on your work and invest in positive thoughts.

Image Sourced: Daily Mail