Panic! At The Office: 7 Ways to Deal with an Anxiety Attack at Work

7 Ways to Deal with an Anxiety Attack at the Office
by Rashina Gajjar
Photos Bloguettes | December 02, 2016
If you've been in the professional arena even for as little as a few months, chances are you’ve already experienced pressure and even borderline panic while on the job.  And if it's the holiday months, well, the festive season is a breeding ground for stress. Panic at the office is more common than you might think.
Though I may be speaking for the particularly anxiety-inclined women out there, all it can take is a looming deadline, a snappy comment by a coworker, or a rush of pre-vacation to-dos to bring on a fully-fledged (and perhaps short-lived) existential crisis. Sometimes it’s more convenient to live in the land of denial. Crisis? What crisis? And there certainly is an argument for putting on your big girl pants and hunkering down while the storm passes once in a while. But learning how to manage stress effectively and knowledgably is crucial for both your personal development and for the progression of your career.

So what do you when the pressure gets to be too much? How do you react to spiraling emotions without inducing a seismic reaction fit for the Richter scale? Try following these steps for recognizing anxiety symptoms and relaxing in moments of crisis. Eventually, you’ll develop your own tips and this will become automatic.

BREATHE to alleviate anxiety symptoms

Pressure is both the cause and the consequence. If you're feeling under pressure at work, instead of putting additional pressure on yourself to start feeling better and be productive, it's important to give yourself time. Be compassionate towards yourself. Let yourself feel the pressure and understand it a little better to manage stress. Try taking 10 deep breaths—in through your nose, out through your mouth while filling your belly, not your ribcage—before returning to your worries.
37 percent of Americans will freak out about gaining weight and getting into debt.

GO SOMEWHERE QUIET to deal with stress

Sometimes things hit you unexpectedly. Let's say you're sitting at your desk happily listening to 2012 hits by the Backstreet Boys and browsing your inbox. An angry, dismissive email from a customer pops up, and suddenly you're in tears. Although this can be pretty difficult to avoid, especially when it's brought on by something beyond your control, the key thing here is that you need to get yourself away. The courtyard outside, the roof of the building, a quiet hallway, or even the bathroom—no matter where you choose, it’s most important to leave your desk and find a quiet space where you can calm down.


If it's a looming deadline that's causing you stress, it’s important to find the balance between not pushing yourself too hard, but pushing yourself just hard enough. Don't beat yourself up about it, and don't stress over how impossible it'll be to deliver on time. I was once in the unfortunate situation of having to prep for an enormous presentation with only a few days notice. Once I finished freaking out, I realized that the best, most helpful thing to do was to be pragmatic. Set yourself a few achievable deadlines and stick to them. Map them out in advance until completing the final project doesn't seem impossible. Don't stress about the end result. Focus on the baby steps that will get you there.


When you're panicking at work, it's very easy to feel alone and isolated. It’s as if you're the only person in a world full of Excel spreadsheets that all despise you and are collectively plotting your demise. (I've personally never met an Excel spreadsheet that didn't have it in for me.)

But misery loves company, and you certainly aren't the only one. It could be that the person in the cubicle right next to you is going through exactly the same thing. If you're struggling, turn to someone you trust, and tell them how you feel. Learn to accept that you're in a pickle, and make sure you ask for help. Knowing that others have gone through similar, if not identical, stresses can make overcoming this hurdle seem much more achievable.
Women's favorite holiday escapist vices? Comfort food (41 percent) and drinking (28 percent). 

GET ENDORPHINS to manage anxiety

Whether this is in the form of a delicious chocolate biscuit (my personal weapon of choice), a hug from your 'work-wife', or a brisk walk around the office, a great way to clear your head is to get some endorphins! Physical stimulus will help you stop focusing so much on your own inner battles for a few minutes. 
Women will be 11 percent more stressed than men during the holiday season. 


I regularly talk to myself at work. Ironically, it helps keep me sane. (No, it does not prove I am slowly sinking into a cocoon of insanity. Ask science.)

Introducing coping statements into your life can truly help you when you're in a sticky situation. Whether it's practicing your presentations out loud, acting out phone conversation that you're scared of having, or just giving yourself an old fashion pep talk, positive affirmations are a huge step toward a positive attitude—which is the way forward.
What do you do to weather the storm of panic before, after, or during work?