A lot is going on in the world. For some, the combined pressures of personal and professional responsibilities can apply crushing weight to one’s psyche. People can begin to experience problems with anxiety and depression as early as childhood. For instance, 70% of teen respondents in a recent Pew Research Study revealed feelings of anxiety and depression. Therefore its key that you are able to manage an anxiety attack. 

The following are five ways for professionals to manage an anxiety attack at work.

How to manage an anxiety attack at work

  1. Breathe

    Usually, you’ll experience anxiety and shallow, rapid and erratic breathing during a panic attack. Your brain is the most metabolically active organ in your body. These physiological reactions will lower your brain oxygen, which triggers additional fear and panic.

    However, you can regain control by taking slow, deep breaths. By doing this, you’ll increase the oxygen that flows to your brain. By learning breathing techniques, you can figure out how to regain control of your senses and induce calm when a panic attack occurs.

  2. Hold your ground

    Never leave your workplace if you experience a panic attack unless you’ve fallen or otherwise need immediate medical attention. Bugging out isn’t the answer. Instead, you must face your fears and concerns head-on. Running away from work every time you have a panic attack won’t work, and it won’t offer a long-term remedy. Try to remind yourself that you’ve had panic attacks before, and things worked out. It also helps to remind yourself that you’re not in any physical danger.

  3. Take a bathroom break

    Although you need to stay in the office, a change of scenery may help you during a panic attack. Try heading for the bathroom or finding another quiet place to regain your composure. If you’re in a meeting, however, you may just have to ride it out. If this happens, focus on your breathing and mentally repeat positive mantras.

    Cold water may also help you to pull yourself together during a panic attack. By splashing some on your face, you will activate your parasympathetic response, which decreases your body temperature and slows your heart rate. If it’s cold outside, head outdoors. Also, you can try using an ice pack from your lunch on the back of your neck.

  4. Keep your job by addressing the issue

    The last thing you may want to do is tell your boss that you suffer from panic attacks. If you don’t, however, they may wonder why you occasionally drop your work and disappear. In the United States, it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against you because you’re suffering from a mental health condition, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces the law.  

    Because of the ADA, employers must provide you with a reasonable accommodation for any disability. You also want to talk with a human resources specialist who may be able to adjust your workload and make things more manageable.

  5. Get in front of the problem

    Sometimes, panic disorders are genetic, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Along with biological processes, certain parts of your brain are associated with fear and anxiety. The Institute recommends treatment with psychotherapy, medication or a combination of the two.NIMH spokespersons express that cognitive-behavioural therapy is particularly helpful for treating panic disorders. It will help you to develop a different way of behaving, thinking and reacting when a panic attack occurs. Also, certain medications, such as antidepressants or beta-blockers, can help treat the condition, although you may experience side effects such as headaches, sleeplessness or nausea. Your care provider can give you more details about the possible side effects of medications.

You’re Not Alone

A growing number of college students recognize that anxiety can make it difficult to manage school life. Nevertheless, many do not take anxiety seriously or consider how it can slow them down. Resultantly, there’s a growing need for more educational initiatives that spread the word about the matter.

The Mayo Clinic offers tips for dealing with anxiety. For instance, the Mayo Clinic Anxiety Disorders webpage publishes tips for coping with anxiety and discovering more about your possible anxiety triggers. There, you can learn about time management techniques and various treatment plans.

It’s hard for students who’ve experienced normal stress to understand the debilitating effect of a panic attack. Symptoms vary from person to person. Effective treatment, however, begins with admitting just how much impact the illness can have on your life.

Although anxiety is the most common mental illness, it is also the most misinterpreted. Still, you can let students who are suffering from the condition know that they are not alone by offering your support. By doing so, you may help them regain their health while at the same time making a positive contribution to society.

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Andrew Deen has been a consultant for startups in almost every industry from retail to medical devices and everything in between. He is currently writing a book about scaling up business and his experience implementing lean methodology.