Panic attacks can be surmised as a near death experience, except, you are not dying but your mind thinks you are. If you are confused with this conceptualization of panic attacks, then you are on the right track.
Essentially, during a panic attack, you feel as if you are going to die but you are not in any mortal danger. Due to extremely high anxiety levels, your brain perceives itself to be in danger, and hence panic attack symptoms ensue.
While some people might have a panic attack triggered by some situations, in others, it may occur suddenly, making the experience more daunting.
It can be even harder to deal with a panic attack when at work. Of course, you do not want to appear vulnerable in front of others, but a panic attack does not exactly schedule itself. Hence, if you have a history of panic attacks, knowing how to manage them is imperative. Otherwise, the constant fear of getting one at work will further impair your mental health.
Handling a panic attack at work
Slow and steady breathing
A panic attack disrupts breathing. It causes one to take fast and shallow breaths. So, to tell your body you are fine and to bring your heart rate down, practice slow and deep breathing.
For it, take a deep breath in, hold it in for a few seconds, and then release it very slowly. Continue for some time so that your breathing normalizes. You can also try to put your head between your legs and continue with deep breathing.
Go to your happy place
To direct your focus away from your symptoms and morbid thoughts, envision your happy place. It not only distracts you but also calms you down a little.
A mantra helps you focus your attention away from the sign of panic attack. So, redirect your focus by repeating a mantra. Ideally, it should be an uplifting mantra so that it allows you to get over the dread of the anxiety attack.
Move to a peaceful spot
During a panic attack, it also helps to retreat to a solitary corner. Of course, you also want to avoid being a public spectacle. So, once you feel the onset of a panic attack, leave for someplace quiet. If your office is the safest place, then draw the curtains to give yourself some privacy.
Tell a colleague
If the panic attack is not a one-off event, it helps to tell someone at work about them. They might be able to offer you assistance in such circumstances, prevent emergencies, stop other people from crowding you, etc.
Remind yourself it will pass
Give yourself constant reminders that your state will improve, and your condition will get better in just a few. For the most part, a panic attack can last from 5 to 30 minutes, so not a long time. Hence, keep reminding yourself of this.
Take your medication
If you have recurrent panic attacks, your doctor may have prescribed medication that needs to be taken at the onset of panic attack signs. So, if you have any such medication, now is the time to take it.