Panic attack at work can be particularly difficult to cope with. Perhaps your symptoms were particularly challenging to deal with while working. You may have anxiety fearing coworkers will realize it or that your secret will be revealed.
You might be worried that you will have a panic attack in front of coworkers or worse, your boss or supervisor. As an example, avoidance behaviors and phobias could impede your commute to work. Worrying about specific fears may cause discomfort and stress that were not there before. You may feel ashamed of your condition or worried you may lose your job over it.
For these reasons, dealing with panic disorder at work can be extremely challenging, but there are many ways you can learn to manage the symptoms, and keep your job and peace of mind. Here are some tips to keep you going.
Here are 5 ways to deal with a panic attack at work:
1. Recognize Your Triggers
In addition to experiencing recurrent, sudden and unexpected panic attacks, diagnosing the panic disorder is contingent on experiencing a variety of anxiety and panic disorder symptoms.
Knowledge of your triggers, fears, and phobias will help you cope better with them.
Knowing what your triggers are can help you to have a more effective plan for how to handle them. For example, you may discover that you get anxious in the morning. You can make better sleep habits, make a morning routine that you stick to, or start managing your stress and anxiety.
2. Know your symptoms
Panic disorder symptoms may seem frightening. A person may feel suffocating, choking, or in the middle of a heart attack. The physical symptoms of anxiety and panic can exacerbate your fears and lead to full-blown panic attacks.
Realizing your symptoms involves discovering how your body feels and understanding how your thoughts begin to build as your anxiety grows.
For example, you may feel nervous, shaking, or have butterflies in your stomach when you start feeling anxious. Your thoughts may contain several cognitive distortions that are causing your nervousness.
The only way to effectively manage our symptoms is by realizing what they are.
3. Develop Coping Skills
For coping strategies to be effective, they need to be practiced in a relaxed state. Schedule time each day for practicing different relaxation techniques. Some common coping skills include thought stopping, progressive muscle relaxation, and breathing exercises.
By practicing regularly, you will learn what helps you relax the most, and you will be prepared to use those strategies when you are nervous at work.
4. Always be prepared.
Once you have determined your triggers, understood your symptoms, and practiced your relaxation skills, now it is time to create plans that you can use while at work.
Having a plan for how to handle panic in the workplace can help soothe your worry that you’ll experience an attack on the job. Your plan can include relaxing music during your commute, meditation during lunch hour, or pausing to perform abdominal breathing throughout the day.
Having a list of coping tactics handy will help you know what to do when feeling anxious.
5. Build an effective support network.
You may not tell coworkers about your panic attacks, but you might want to tell trusted family, friends, and healthcare professionals. Your support network has a direct impact on healing and recovery.
Having social support can help relieve the stress and isolation you may experience when concealing your symptoms at work.
Talk to Your Doctor about a panic attack at work
If your symptoms persist and you need extra support, try talking to your doctor about treatment options. Your physician will be able to discuss medication options with you or refer you to a mental health professional. Tell your physician about your difficulties at work and try to follow all their recommendations and advice.
Medication is frequently resisted by people who have panic disorder, but medication can help considerably reduce your feeling of anxiety and improve your mood.
The medication may not be a permanent solution, but it may help you to go through the day as you develop other coping techniques.