Are you having a bad day at work? Is your anxiety of getting this latest product to market putting you in overwhelm? Do you think a panic attack is on the way?

Anxiety can present in many different ways. Your quality of life may diminish; your work deadlines may be missed; your mental and physical health may be at risk – you find yourself unwilling and sometimes, unable, to get out of bed.

Anxiety and its close cousin, panic, affect people now more than ever, especially at your place of work – this is true for employees as well as executives. Everyone is under pressure to perform and perform well; however, when you think your department will be eliminated and you may lose your job, your anxiety levels may increase. It can be a terrible feeling of wanting to cry and laugh hysterically at the same time. Anxiety is result of something untoward in your life; panic attacks can come out of the blue. Many people who have panic attacks think they are having a heart attack. This is very disturbing to say the least.

What can you do to lower your anxiety as well as prevent panic attacks? If you have an anxiety attack at work, take some quiet time – go to your car, or the restroom and start breathing. You may not be aware that you are constricting your breathing until you focus on this act of conscious breathing.

If you have a friendly enough relationship at the office, ask this friend to spend a couple of minutes speaking with you so you can be on your way to being calmer. Talk about a neutral topic, not your issue of anxiety. Get back into your body to feel a bit more normal.

Make friends with your anxiety – it is a part of you. Don’t fight with yourself when in an anxious state. Don’t make this anxiety your enemy. If you must take drugs for this medical issue, of course, you can. Yet it would be easier on the rest of your body and mind if you could help yourself more holistically by being more mindful of your needs and wants.

Panic attacks differ in that there is no one definitive thing as a precursor. It is abject fear, mostly the fear of having a heart attack because of how it feels – shortness of breath, nausea and chest pains. Once someone has a panic attack, they worry about the next time they have a difficult time breathing, thinking that heart attack is near. It’s not.

See a medical physician, take some mindfulness classes, change your thoughts and practice loads of self-care.

Protect yourself – there is only one you.

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Joanne Victoria