Many of us do not think about what it is like to be anxious, but others can be frozen by anxiety. Some people cannot look at paper from a particular person because it makes them anxious, or cannot go through a certain intersection or part of town. There are some people who cannot bare to throw certain things out because of the anxiety and emotional attachment that they have assigned to an inanimate object.
We may think of people who look like hoarders and we want to tell them to just throw it out. What we need to do is to come alongside them and see what the anxiety may be attached to and why. Many times we can work on small steps and keep the person's anxiety in check.
The truth is that many people may face anxiety in their own way. I have seen others, that when they are anxious, are basically frozen. They cannot move forward, they are just there. I have seen this with people who may be afraid of heights, or some people that may be afraid of fire or blood.
Some people may want to just say "suck it up, buttercup", but that is not the right solution. How would the people saying it feel, if it was they who became frozen?
Many times, if we take the time to talk with the people, we can help them through their block. True, that some people may need longer time to overcome their anxiety and they may need some professional assistance.
Did you ever get anxious about a test? Interview? Freeze on a high dive? What is it that may make you anxious? How about the holidays or birthdays, when you have to see those relatives? You may try backing out of it by saying that you have other plans, just to get out of it.
The Bible says to be anxious for nothing and in Matthew chapter 6, it states 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
These are definitely wise words and directions but it is our humanity that once it gets into the mix, that we do worry or become anxious.
Please have time and understanding for the person that you may work with in a disaster, whatever the person identifies as a disaster. Some people are accustomed to working with disasters all the time, but once it is effecting them personally that they truly understand and may become more compassionate to the client.
We can learn so much just by listening to the people that we meet. As a good friend of mine said, "God gave us two ears and one mouth. Maybe we need to listen twice the amount of time that we speak, after all, I think He knows what He is doing."
Stay safe and listen to people. It will surprise you once you listen to other people's stories.