5 Heart Smart Steps for Anger Management


Five Heart Smart Steps for Anger Management

Conflict happens to everyone. 

For persons with hidden differences these conflicts can be invisible until there are so many that the person explodes. One hurt builds upon another hurt and no one sees it happening. Conflict self-care is an individual responsibility, but how can we manage it before it grows out of control especially if we deal with FASD, ADHD, SID, ASD and all those other silly D’s.

Some of the things that may cause hidden conflicts others do not see or understand:

  • When I am blamed for something I didn’t do, it is easy to immediately go on the defense because I am not able to confidently dance verbally around the reality. I don’t know what words to use to protect myself so I go off to keep the person away.
  • When someone uses a big voice instead of speaking to me with kindness, I can feel the hard or aggressive tone and when I feel that tone I am triggered. It is different coming from a woman or a man. From a man it is deeper and I may be triggered quicker because I believe at that moment they are being mean and I react to protect myself. I go into defense to defend myself and I do it without thinking I simply react. With a woman when the voice is firm or bratty, it doesn’t make my heart jump so I am not on automatic snap, but I may still be rude to give myself time to think about what just happened. 
  • When plans are quickly changed it is overwhelming and frustrating because I have worked my schedule around the situation, and navigated  to get there which can be very difficult on public transportation or relying on another person. I even have to sometimes reschedule my medication times to make an appointment work, so I can be functional at that appointment. I know people without my differences don’t understand the extreme rudeness change is for me and how it affects my life.  

1. When your heart is upside down – BREATHE first!


BREATHE – Something has turned your heart upside down… frustration, confusion, bully behaviors, overwhelming situations or just life in general. Realize emotions you may consider negative like anger and pain are not always bad.  

  • BREATHE deeply into you belly until you can hold no more air think ‘I can get through this, I can handle this, I can do this.’ (One way is to count in 7 short breaths)
  • BREATHE out your feelings of hurt or anger until you have no air left in your lungs and you need to take another breath. Repeat. (One way is to blow out 8 – 1 long breath and the 7 short breaths)
  • Do this as many times as you need to… Repeat – repeat – repeat

If breathing is not working – 

2. Place your hands together and press hard


PRESS YOUR HANDS TOGETHER HARD (like praying flat hands) AND BREATHE- Continue breathing and press your hands together hard. This is when I say “_______, give me love, peace, joy and understanding.” 
  • RAISE YOUR PRESSED HANDS ABOVE YOUR HEAD AND BREATHE  –  This helps the tightness I feel in my shoulders, arms and neck. I continue to I say “_______, give me love, peace, joy and understanding.” 
  • RAISE YOUR PRESSED HANDS ABOVE YOUR HEAD, MAKE A BIG CIRCLE OUT AND BREATHE  –  This helps the tightness I feel in my shoulders, arms and neck. I continue to I say “_______, give me love, peace, joy and understanding” or sometimes by this time I can simply be quiet…. 
If I am still overwhelmed – 

3. Grasp your hands together and hang on for the ride!


GRASP YOUR HANDS TOGETHER (like folded praying hands) AND HOLD ON TIGHT NOW  BREATHE- Continue breathing and grasp your hands together hard. This is when I say “_______, give me love, peace, joy and understanding. Against such things there is no law.” Try to relax your hands as you breathe.

  • RAISE YOUR GRASPED HANDS ABOVE YOUR HEAD AND BREATHE  –  This helps the tightness I feel in my shoulders, arms and neck. I continue to I say “_______, give me love, peace, joy and understanding. Against such things there is no law.” Try to relax your hands as you breathe.
  • RAISE YOUR GRASPED HANDS ABOVE YOUR HEAD, MAKE A BIG CIRCLE OUT AND BREATHE  –  This helps the tightness I feel in my shoulders, arms and neck. I continue to I say “_______, give me love, peace, joy and understanding. Against such things there is no law.” Try to relax your hands as you breathe. Usually by this time I am ready for a walk or thinking time. 
Open your new heart – 

4. From your praying or grasped hands open your hands into a new heart – now right side up!


  • TAKE A MOMENT FOR YOURSELF – Give yourself a pat on the back for stepping through another hard place. Go for a walk, listen to music that is peaceful, look at something in nature that is beautiful to you (clouds, flowers, trees, animals). 

Take the next step – 

5. Reach out to another person and share your new wisdom.  

  • IF YOU LEARNED SOMETHING NEW from this experience of riding your anger safely through a cycle let someone you love know what happened, how you managed it, what you plan to do again and what the person can do to help you navigate this if needed. 

  Do the best that you can.

 Each one of us can reach another in kindness and love. 

Do something for another today.


Special thank you to POWER PEOPLE
Sam, Liz and David – for their counsel in the development of this program. 
Please share in fullness with our connections –  2013 Better Endings New Beginnings

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Grandpa knows I’m a good girl

Grandpa died on Friday
And I really did my best
My mom left home without me
And my dad was put to the test
My father is a woodworker
Like my grandfather before
And my uncle asked my daddy
To make the box for grandpa to soar
And so I went to my friend’s house
And had a really good time
I missed the mortuary
So I wouldn’t stand in line
I called upon my mother
who was busy as can be
Writing up the remembrances
and an obituary
I asked her to please come home
And do my pretty hair
I wanted my sweet Grandpapa to
Really know I cared.
But she said I’m sorry darling
I can’t come home tonight.
I am sleeping with your Grandma
Go to bed, turn out the lights
I went downstairs the best I could
It was actually time for meds
I could feel my hands shaking
But decided not to go to bed
Instead I stayed up fixing
And fixing my pretty hair

And nothing seemed to be working
As I thought of grandpa
A way up there.
In a mighty fit of frustration
I pulled out and then redid
Only to see in the morning
There were bald spots on my head
I picked my clothes out carefully
Something grandpa would care
A bright red shirt and blue jeans
And barrettes for my hair
I worked til’ almost morning
The sun was about to rise
I took my medication and
Closed my pretty eyes

I didn’t hear the alarm clock
Dad jumped me out of bed
We’re leaving in five minutes
Was all I heard he said.
I grabbed the red shirt I’d chosen
I jumped into my jeans
This wasn’t how I wanted it
I hate being me.
I wanted to look pretty
I wanted to do my best
Instead I went overmedicated
And looked a sorry mess
The red shirt I was wearing
Looked like a club night
And the jeans I jumped into
Were not at all right.
The medication was humming
As we pulled quickly away
And I could tell inside myself
It was going to be a terrible day.
I did my best to be happy
I forgot my morning meds
I wanted to show everyone
How hard I’d worked to be
My very best.
We missed the visitation
We almost missed the church
I missed the long progression
That headed with the hearse
I missed the soldiers shooting
I missed putting grandpa in his grave
I finally understood this was not a very good way
I wanted to hold my mother
Who was busy for her dad
I wanted to hug my family
Who seemed sometimes happy sometimes sad
I didn’t eat a breakfast, and I forgot a snack
I even forgot the medication that I usually pack
I called my dad to say sorry
I tried really hard to be nice
But it got really obvious
People were looking at me twice.
My Auntie told be about the rose
Thar laid upon the stone
And I went to say goodbye to grandpa
When I was alone.
I looked upon each stone I saw
Holding eagles, plaques and pain
Not one stone held the rose
I felt I was insane
I went back home to tell them
That it was no longer there
My Auntie said go back again
And look down and stare
The rose will have grandpa’s name
I really know you care
I watched my feet a walking
And the rose still had it’s stick
But the stone they had told me to find
Was actually a brick.

She’s 22, I overhead
She’s able to behave
She’s doing drugs another said
My grandpa in the grave
I ran away to grandpa who was watching way up high
And I marched around the little town trying not to cry
Lost and scared and empty
My Auntie took me in
And we journeyed to the jail house
To prove I didn’t sin

I looked into the mirror
At my face when I can home
And I soon discovered I was not alone
My mother saw the bare spots that covered over my head
And I went into the bedroom to get my pretty shirt of red.
I held it up before her and I looked into her eyes
And we finally held each other
And she finally cried
And I told her that I loved her
And I said it was too bad
And I told her I love daddy
Who is my real dad
And I told her not to worry
Because I knew something true
That Grandpa saw me for who I was
And that she did too
She showed me the spent chamber they shot for grandpa today
Grandpa knows I’m a good girl, was all that I could say.

We learn from the people who walk before us. Are we brave enough to listen?