Anxiety disorders can make a normal day at work feel like a nightmare at times, especially if you’re in a position where you constantly encounter other people. Unfortunately, you need to make a living, and that may put you in uncomfortable positions from time to time. Treating your anxiety through anxiety therapy is the best way to learn how to deal with your symptoms in the workplace, but there are some general steps you can take to make your experience better. Here are some tips for avoiding panic attacks at work.
Talk To Your Employer About Your Anxiety
Before we can discuss ways to avoid panic attacks at work, we need to emphasize the importance of talking to your employer about your condition. This is particularly crucial if you have a severe anxiety disorder that may require medical accommodations. Many of our anxiety treatment patients at our counseling centers in Michigan say that they don’t want to talk to their managers about their anxiety for fear of losing their job. However, most employers are incredibly sympathetic and accommodating, as long as you are willing to help them help you.
Let your boss know what type of anxiety you have, what may trigger it, and what you are doing to treat it so it does not come across as an excuse not to work. That way, if you follow the other suggestions below, your management team will already be aware of your needs.
Understand Your Anxiety Triggers
Anxiety often comes with triggers that you can learn to deal with or avoid. Large crowds of people, overwhelming amounts of information, small spaces, and public speaking are just some potential anxiety triggers. Your anxiety counselor will help you figure out what those triggers are and how to handle them during your therapy sessions, but you may discover others while you are at work. Once you know what sparks your anxiety symptoms, you can either avoid those scenarios entirely or find ways to cope with them (Example: declutter a small office cubicle to make it feel more spacious).
Find Ways To Step Away From Stress
You may not always be able to take a break from a stressful situation, but do what you can to collect your thoughts. For instance, if you work in retail, you may excuse yourself to the stock room for a moment to clear your head, breathe, and prepare for whatever you are dealing with on the sales floor. If you are working with a customer, you will probably need to wait until after the transaction is complete to take your break. When all else fails, say you need to use the restroom and use that time to control your anxiety symptoms.