When life is going well and circumstances are stable, you can face everything. But, when circumstances are not stable due to a family member's death or other loss experience, it can be difficult to face - to cope with what is going on. It is beneficial for you to have the tools to get through tough times especially when in reality, tough times tend to crop up again and again.
The 3-A Coping Tool: Acknowledge, Assess, Assist can serve the purpose of seeing you through tough times. The simplest description is Acknowledge the adversity and loss, Assess the impact, the reaction and Assist with strategies that will strengthen inner and outer resiliency. There are a number of methods such as grief intervention and mindfulness, just to name a couple, that can serve as assisting strategies. The key is to apply strategies that fit the client/patient needs.
The main assumptions of the 3-A Tool are that wherever there is adversity there is situational loss, that grief is a reaction to significant situational loss and that it is beneficial to process the grief. Death related losses can be resolved applying grief models such as working through Worden's tasks of facing the reality of the loss, experiencing the pain, adjusting to an environment where the deceased is no longer there and creating a different relationship that allows you to maintain ties with the deceased as you move forward. Partaking in activities such as rituals and journal writing further assist in moving forward.
At the same time, mindfulness is a tool that can be applied as a non-judgmental, compassionate means of relieving tension through meditation and keeping the griever's attention on the present. The mindful principle of paying attention to the present can be viewed in this video demonstrating the W.I.N. method that is taught to tennis players. W.I.N. is an acronym for What's Important Now.
Winning a tennis tournament does not only take physical toughness. It also involves being mentally tough and moving forward from adverse challenges involving loss. Each time that a player loses a point by making an error or missing an easy point, they are faced with the challenge of acknowledging the loss, reacting, assessing what is important right there and then in order to assist them to move on to the next point beyond the loss rather than dwelling on it. The key for them is to recover quickly to prepare for the next point. Here is a ritual that you see Maria Sharapova and other top tennis players use described in the article, 6 Ways to Gain the Mental Advantage,
Turn your back to the net until you are ready to face the next point.
Second, have a clear plan for the upcoming serve or return of serve.
Third, see or feel what you want to do to "program" yourself with positive
images. Lastly, you must trust in your skills to execute with freedom and
This ritual aligns with the 3-A process of acknowledging and assessing the reaction to a challenge being faced and assisting to recover so you can move forward with strength and confidence. Facing the challenge, making peace with it while orchestrating your next move, like the tennis player's next point, is key. Also, keep in mind - What's Important Now? W.I.N.