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Mindful Human Rights: Establishing practices for awareness of our minds and bodies

Watch our interview with Dr. Poorna Menon ND (USA), a Naturopathic Physician, as she discusses how to implement safety, self-regulation and discharging emotions through practical suggestions to improve mental and physical health.


Her recommendations suggest solutions for processing heavy emotions, discussions on how to create grounded routines, and the importance of understanding personal triggers.


💡Her key tips include:


1. Taking steps to understand what your stressors and triggers are

  • Reflect on the context of your triggers and gently observe if there are recurring themes there.

  • Understand when a situation is genuinely unsafe vs when your mind is reacting to a trigger, but the situation at hand is not genuinely unsafe

  • Focus on creating pockets of safety, such as:

    • A spiritual practice, an exercise routine, eating balanced and nutritious food that your body can digest well and a balanced sleep-wake cycle that leaves you feeling refreshed

2. Creating a healthy and grounded routine

  • Ask yourself, "what can I do to bring safety to myself?"

    • Check-in with your breath and ask yourself what you need this day

    • Look outside the window so that your eyes pick up the rays of sunshine (seeing natural light after waking is very regulating to our circadian rhythm)

    • Drink water or herbal tea (before coffee!)

    • Have a balanced and nutritious breakfast based on where you live and what you have access to

  • With routines: consistency is more important than quantity

3. Process and engage with heavy emotions

  • Pendulate through the processing of such emotions, by visiting the heavy emotions, but knowing how to return to safety.

  • Engage with the practice of "Sounding": when the emotion within you is rising up and feels acute

    • Go to an area that you feel completely safe in, like in nature, your bedroom, or your car and make sounds, whatever naturally comes out of you at any volume whatsoever. It can be growls, grunts, screams, cries, song, etc for 20 minutes. (Don't time yourself - allow it to unfold.)

  • Engage with a practice of journaling or writing letters to those who have troubled you. When finished, you can burn those papers and let the embers float out into the air- symbolic of having honoured your emotions fully and then letting them go.


⚖️ For human rights defenders to manage the unique stressors that come with their work, this interview highlights the importance of practising self-awareness with self-compassion and offers even more meaningful suggestions on how to become better advocates for our health.



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