Difficulty breathing, stiffness, inability to speak, inexplicable fear: these are some states that people experience when panic creeps into their central nervous system. These physical and emotional spaces become difficult to deal with especially if they occur at a workplace. Those who suffer from this try to hide it, are often embarrassed by it and in the end, feel incapacitated by their anxiety.  

 

So how does one deal with a panic attack at work? Are there coping mechanisms that allow one to function even when anxiety has engulfed them? Of course there are. It’s important to remember that anxiety is only a feeling and emotions are never permanent.

 

Be aware of your anxiety

The first step in dealing with anxiety begins with identifying it. Allow it to sit for a while and ask yourself questions that address your fear. For many, it could be a fear of failure. Instead of asking yourself “what if?” ask yourself “so what?”   

 

Belly breathing

This extremely simple method helps in the flow of oxygen and brings about calmness. Let your belly expand when you breath in and let it shrink when you breathe out. Placing your hand on your belly is a powerful tool and helps you connect with the source of your anxiety, which is often experiences in the stomach..

 

Maintain a diary

Not able to make sense of your anxiety? Then maintain a diary at work. Jot down the thoughts and emotions you experience whenever anxiety begins to take you hostage. Being an observer of your anxiety helps you in developing coping mechanisms and doesn’t paralyse you from fear.

 

Meditate

Even a five minute meditation practice can bring about mindfulness. Studies have shown that meditation significantly reduces our body’s fight or flight response and assists in making rational choices. If you can’t meditate, then take part in one activity that requires you to use your senses. For example, watching your surroundings or feeling the breeze on your skin make you feel more present in the moment. 

 

Talk to a friend

People with anxiety disorders don’t often talk about their stress. However, opening up about anxiety could help reduce stress, especially if the friend is able to make them aware of their emotions and help them overcome it in a constructive manner.