The Damage Panic Attacks Do To
Your Work Performance

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The Damage Panic Attacks Do to Your Work Performance

People experience a lot of pressure in the workplace. With the fear of layoffs, overwhelming workloads, and other work-related issues, people are often left bogged down by panic attacks. Many other employed individuals also carry their home stress to work with them and this creates more pressure. To put it bluntly, panic attacks are bad. Having a panic attack in the workplace, though, reaches a whole other level of bad, not only because the panic can literally drain your ability to do your job, but because it can make you vulnerable in numerous ways.

A panic attack makes you feel like you`re drowning and can’t breathe or as if your chest is constricted. You may feel detached from your body, from your surroundings such as your workplace, as though you`re floating in a dream. Exercising a panic attack at work is extra stressful. You may feel incredible alone or feel a profound sense of shame to a point of berating yourself for being the only person who can’t control themselves.

If you have a panic attack, you`re not alone. Over 10 percent of people in the UK have experienced a panic attack at one point in their lives. Panic attacks in the workplace can have so much impact on your wellbeing and your work as well. Continue reading to learn more about the damage panic attacks do to your work performance. .

Effects of Panic Attacks on your Work Performance

Missed Deadlines

Panic attacks in the workplace are very common and have been shown to decrease work performance. One of their great impacts is missing deadlines. People tend to experience panic attacks due to deadlines, which might even contribute to missing them altogether. Also, one of the biggest drivers of good work performance is interpersonal relationships. However, people experiencing panic attacks are more likely to avoid their colleagues at work hoping to avoid interpersonal conflict. And since a workplace involves a collaborative environment, it’s clear to see how your panic attacks may affect the work performance of an entire operation. .

Changes Attitude

Panic attacks have been shown to have some effects on your mental health. They cause a negative attitude which can be contagious. A panic attack makes you feel unmotivated and drained as well as depressing and anxiety-prone. These negative attitudes affect your job performance, relationships with co-workers and clients, and might even determine if you remain on the job or leave. Whether you think so or not, you can manage your own attitude, even when a panic attack sets in. .

Lower Job Satisfaction

Your job satisfaction can be deeply impacted when you experience panic attacks. It will be hard for you to go to a work environment where you feel uncomfortable or afraid. If you enjoy your workplace environment, you`ll want to be in that environment more and also become successful in that environment. Your job satisfaction is enhanced when the atmosphere in the workplace is set up for success. .

Poor Performance

Increased levels of emotional and physiological exhaustion associated with panic attacks can lead to a lack of focus, decreased creativity, and poor work performance. Most people who experience workplace panic attacks face excessive fatigue, irritability, and feelings of decreased motivation. If left untreated, panic attacks eventually make you ask for more time to complete your tasks, diminishing the amount of work you can adequately accomplish in your workplace. Having an environment of empathetic bosses and co-workers can lead to better quality relationships within your workplace, which will positively impact the effects of your anxiety. .

Low Morale

Low morale is a state of mind that interferes with your confidence, productivity, and enthusiasm in your workplace. Low morale results in withdrawn efforts and the development of counterproductive behaviors. Most panic attacks report feeling unsupported and judged by their bosses and co-workers, which only diminishes their morale. High morale is vital for your productivity, as well as your confidence at work. .

How to Curb Panic Attacks at Work

Focus on Breathing

Focused breathing centers your body when you`re being hijacked by a surge of panic. Experts have linked breathing to decreased stress levels and decrease negative emotions and anxiety. Being told to simply breathe may be less helpful when you feel short of breath in your workplace. .

Instead, try long, slow breaths as you feel the symptoms of a panic attack rise. You can breathe in and out to a count of five or six in order to slow your heart rate and breathing. This, in turn, triggers your parasympathetic nervous system into action. When experiencing a panic attack, your body`s fight-or-flight reaction is activated, releasing adrenaline and increasing your heart rate. Breathing slowly is a way of telling your body to slow down by acting as a `brake system’ for your emotions. Breathing slowly cues your whole system that you`re safe and not in danger. .

Confront the Panic Attack Head-on

Once you`re in full throes of a panic attack, you may experience some physical symptoms that come with an overwhelming sudden fear like difficulty breathing, paralyzing terror, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, and chest pains. These symptoms can be quite scary, but instead of shying away from your body`s discomfort, you need to accept the situation and make the panic attacks shorter. .

Anxiety and panic attacks require avoidance to really function. The moment you start saying `This can’t happen now. I can’t be having this panic attack. This is not the time,’ then you're getting into trouble. This may seem counterintuitive but the best way to move through to the other side of your panic attack is to face the emotions directly. For example, if your panic attack is characterized by a rapid heartbeat, you can say to yourself, `Bring it on. I know my heart will pound really hard.’ Instead of avoiding the thing that triggers your panic attack, you should intentionally expose yourself to it instead, and flood yourself with panic. You should not fight the panic or try to control or, simply surrender to it and it will eventually burn itself out and you`re good to go. .

Be Logical

A panic attack might stop you from thinking logically. Signals from deeper regions of your brain which take part in decision making can take over instead of being regulated by the part of the brans that’s responsible for decision-making. You need to put your logical part of the brain in the driver`s seat by addressing the panic, re-engaging your rational brain by focusing on other sensations, and noting down self-coaching reminders to cue your logical side. .

Connect with Someone

Most people keep quiet about their situations when they begin to panic at work. If you`re in a workplace where you don’t feel comfortable sharing vulnerability with your workmates, a panic attack can be quite an isolating occurrence. The emotions are accompanied by a sense of secrecy. .

Finding a support structure takes away the secrecy`s isolating power and can put you back in control of the event. Rather than being reactive by just going leaving your desk and going outside to catch a breath, you can choose to be proactive by anticipating that you`re feeling on edge and could use some support. Emailing or texting your family members or friends to see if you can have a conversation during your lunch break or planning a meet up with someone close after work are some of the ways to call on your support. .

Identify Your Workplace Triggers

After a panic attack, where it took place could become a source of dread. If your workplace becomes a source of panic-inducing stress, try to find the triggers to see what can be done about the situation. It would be better to start using descriptive language to pinpoint what exactly about your workplace was so problematic that you ended up reacting that way. .

Evaluate whether things like your office environment, your field of work, in general, social dynamics in the office or your failure to communicate more assertively about your workload could have been the cause. Although you may not experience panic attacks specifically, understanding how you can address workplace stress is useful. .

How My Hypnotherapy Can Help

Our hypnotherapy is rapidly effective. Most patients require one or maybe two sessions. We combine hypnotherapy with other robust techniques, such as NPL and Time Line Therapy to massively stack the odds in your favour. I became a hypnotherapist because I wanted to see people change. I was a volunteer trainer for the Samaritans 13 years ago. Since then, I have helped hundreds of people transform their lives by getting over barriers and overcoming their work panic attacks. Based in central London, my hypnotherapy has been effective in overcoming the anxiety that comes along with panic attacks not only in London but across the UK. .

You can achieve more by changing or letting go of that intensive motion of fear and anxiety that comes with public speaking. A change shouldn’t be hard and should be achieved in the shortest time possible. The tricky part is making the decision to change something. My hypnotherapy approach is professional and caring, and with my experience and expertise, you can rest assured that Kensington Coaching and Hypnotherapy will help you overcome your fear, be more confident, and fruitful not only in your career but also in your day to day life. .

Contact us today for your free consultation
Mend My Mind

Your Coach


Ronal Shah

Senior Coach

Ronal is fully dedicated to powering you forward to achieving your ambitious goals. He trained listeners at the Samaritans to help callers in desperate, often suicidal, situations to move onwards and upwards with their lives. Prior to coaching, Ronal was General Manager at a mid sized company helping his staff get over their internal barriers and get massive results. Born in London, he has lived and worked all over the world, including Japan, Netherlands and the US. He is a Master Hypnotist.


Mend My Mind


Mend My Mind



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