‘Do Not Panic’

“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.”

Joan Borysenko

More often than not, stress and panic attacks are a common scenario at workplace and there are no universal sorts, types or patterns for the same. For instance, people may turn down a promotion plainly because it involves travel or public speaking; some may make excuses to stay away from office parties, staff lunches, and other events or meetings with coworkers, others may not be able to meet deadlines not because they are slow, lazy or not capable but because the term “deadline” creates a block in their mind which makes them so rigid that they can hardly move forward, and then there would be others who would have the fear of work itself, even though they want to work and they like the profile they are in.

A certain amount of stress and anxiety is normal at work, as well as at home. However, a persistent, excessive, and irrational anxiety that interferes with everyday functioning is an indication of stress disorder. The various symptoms not particularly in the listed order, could be racing heartbeat, chest pains, difficulty breathing, and dizziness/lightheadedness. Fret not because this isn’t a heart attack but a simple panic attack. It is surely an intense situation and many sufferers experience such severe sensations that they feel they might die. Having said that, this is something that can be worked upon, only if one really wants to.

How much ever intense this situation gets, it is still only stress and anxiety. The key to overcome panic attacks is to start being aware of the situation, one should get to know where and when it crops up. The Anxiety Coach gives us the 5 step process to this awareness.



Acknowledge & Accept – Take the first step to acceptance of the fact that you are experiencing an attack. Many do not even realize because they have accepted that it can never happen to them.

Wait & Watch – Do not react instantly. Give the process some time in your head, understand the situation to yourself first, but first and foremost, clear your mind of all thoughts for 5 minutes and then take the topic in, slowly and gradually. Then analyze what this phenomena does to you.

Actions – It’s not your job to bring the panic attack to an end; that will happen no matter what you do but you need to make yourself comfortable in the situation and that’s where we are getting from here –

Deep breathing

Look in the mirror and become your coach

Stay in the present

Do not overthink

Repeat – Take it from the top and repeat the steps mentioned above.

End – All panic attacks come to an end, regardless of how you react to them. It is a natural cycle of one’s response to various situations.

Do not judge people in this scenario, folks experiencing panic attacks need more attention at a workplace. They are not incapable or weak, rather stuck in some situations that they find difficult to react calmly to, not because they cannot but mainly because their reflexes do not support them.

John Kenneth Galbraith once said, “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common – the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time.”

Have you experienced panic attacks at work? How did you handle them? Share with us your stories in the comments below..


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