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Help Yourself to Mindfulness in Adapting to Adversity & Loss

Leave no stone unturned....this is key when using AcknowledgeAssessAssist as a coping framework through adversity and situational loss™. By being open to the options available, you can be assured everything that can be done to help is being done.

Situational Loss™ is the loss of a person, thing or quality resulting from alteration of a life situation related to changes due to illness, body image, environment and death.

Mosby's Medical Dictionary 8th Ed., 2009

A major assumption of the 3-A Coping Framework is that wherever there is adversity, there is loss such as in circumstances of divorce, retirement, job layoff and family illness. Acknowledging the losses stemming from your circumstances and assessing how the losses are impacting assists you in facing reality and truth. The following fictional scenario illustrates:

Jean, a 62 year old woman finds out that her 66 year old spouse, Ray has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. She now feels committed to being his caregiver after expressing with distraught she should have divorced him 20 years ago. The loss of Ray's health is also a loss for Jean that triggers other situational losses including loss of freedom and loss of partner roles. Jean was planning to divorce Ray after their youngest daughter moved out so she also faces the loss of future plans. The impact assessed stemming from her losses includes feelings of anger, frustration, regret, guilt as well as sleepless nights worrying about her future and how long she is going to have to be in this situation.

Mindfulness is an assistance technique that Jean can access to help her work through the painful grief that emerged from her situational losses. Mindful practice involves "letting go" of fighting the circumstances, allowing things to be just the way they are in this present moment without judgment and with self compassion. Although a tall order, well worth the continues effort since self compassion can make it easier for Jean to be true to herself and face reality without beating herself up in the process. Although there is not a fight with the circumstances, there is still a fight to cope with working through the circumstances to the best of her ability.

Mindfulness is practiced through exercises including different forms of meditation such as my mindfulness of breathing meditation. The exercises involve self-observation while not fighting the present moment circumstances. For Jean, this can assist in raising self-awareness and relieving tension, ultimately assisting her through the grieving process after assessing the situation truthfully and adapting to her "new normal". It could be useful to put mindfulness practice on your list of AcknowledgeAssessAssist coping strategies when faced with adversity and situational loss to prevent a downward spiral dip so you can move forward stronger.

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