Kindness: Give Yourself a Gift and Settle for More in 2018

By Jon Frieda

At some point in my life I decided to settle for more and not less. Now, I’m asking you, dear readers, to do the same. I know that when people read this they will instantly identify this statement with monetary gain, but this is not at all what I am referring to. Give yourself the daily gift of better health in the form of more kindness.

Are you familiar with the terms tactical and strategic? Have you ever thought about how these two words apply to the game of life? Tactical activities are those that are urgent. For example, leaving the house early enough to get the kids to school in time and not being late for your appointment, and being nice to your kids, yourself, and others on the road while accomplishing these routine tasks.

Strategic activities are those that are not urgent, and in the hustle and bustle of everyday life they often get overlooked. And while the tactical activities are important, it is the non-urgent strategic activities that are paramount and often dictate your state of mind while carrying out the daily grind. Like a symphony without a conductor, by neglecting the strategic activities, you will end up forgoing harmony and just making a lot of noise. What do I mean by this? I am referring to the hygiene of food, water and sleep. Kindness is a central theme in all of these. Intrigued? Read on.

First off, let’s talk about food. Strategically, in order to nourish ourselves with a reasonable amount of nutrients we need to be eating things like fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats. This is obvious, and to do this on a daily basis is a good strategy. But due to the urgency of life, many of us approach this from a tactical point of view. To prepare a healthy nourishing meal takes time, so when hungry, the drive through is just around the corner. It’s cheap, only takes a few minutes, and satiates the feeling of hunger. What goes on inside your body once you consume it is another story, however. Ask yourself, is the tactical benefit worth the strategic sacrifice of being unkind to your body? Is the trade-off really worth it?

Next, water. Hydration is really important. As a rule, in order to be well hydrated, take your body weight, divide by two, and unless you have kidney problems, drink the resulting amount of water in ounces throughout the day. This is a great strategy, because if you become dehydrated, your whole body will suffer, especially your brain, gut, heart, liver, kidneys, and all of your other vital organs that cry silently if hydration is neglected.
But water does not taste good, and your energy drink, soda, or iced-spiced coffee taste so much better. Unfortunately all of the latter are actually dehydrating as they are liquid concentrates and your body must use what water you do have in your system to flush out the sugar, caffeine, and artificial dyes and flavorings. The result, chronic dehydration. If dehydrated for 24 hours, your brain can dehydrate by as much as 3%. What happens when you don’t water your plants? They wilt and die.

Finally, sleep. Have you ever heard of the circadian rhythm? Are you aware that the majority of your neurotransmitters are produced in your gut while you are sleeping and travel to your brain via the vegus nerve, the tenth cranial coming off of your brainstem? The four major neurotransmitters are acetylcholine, dopamine, GABA, and serotonin.
Would you be surprised to know that your electronic entertainment devices put out approximately three times more blue light than normal sunlight during the middle of the day, and that your peak melatonin production is between 6 and 7pm in the evening? If you sacrifice giving yourself the strategic gift of a good night sleep to stay up and tactically satiate your boredom or desire to escape from everyday life by watching cat videos on the latest social media website, or trying to save the world on your electronic gaming device, or you fall asleep and enter into REM sleep in front of the television trying to catch up on the latest episode of the show that you have recorded on your DVR, then you are shutting down your melatonin production, a strategic and tactical game changer that tricks your brain into thinking that it is the middle of the day when it is actually 12:30am. How are you sleeping at night? Be kind to yourself.

You must be kind to yourself if you are to be kind to others. If you have a short fuse, and feel like you are going to spontaneously combust at any moment most of the time, consider the degree to which you are being kind to yourself. It’s not a hard sell.

If you are interested in knowing more about these briefly described topics, please contact Jon or Patty Frieda at Neels Pharmacy. We will be happy to share specific newsletters that we have researched and written on these topics and more, so that you can begin integrating more kindness into your life and make a real difference from the inside out.

Jon Frieda is the Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Neels Pharmacy. For more information about Neels Pharmacy please call Jon at 314-849-3123 or visit online at www.neelspharmacy.com.