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Sick Again? It Might Be Due To Your Poor Lymphatic System

Sick Again? It Might Be Due To Your Poor Lymphatic System

Do you always seem to be sick with the sniffles, sneezing, runny nose, or cough? Ever had a virus when nobody else around you is sick? Being sick can be miserable. It’s important to get to the bottom of what makes you sick to avoid it in the future.

Chances are, you think your illnesses are related to allergies, viruses, or bacteria. While you might be right, the actual root of getting sick could be due to something often overlooked. You might actually have poor lymphatic health.

The Connection Between Poor Lymphatic Health and Getting Sick

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    The body’s lymphatic system is made up of tissues and organs that help eliminate toxins and waste. This system helps to transport lymph, a white blood cell filled fluid, through the body. In addition, lymph nodes produce extra white blood cells to fight off infections. Lymph nodes are located in the armpits, groin, and near the lungs and heart. In addition, your body’s spleen, tonsils, adenoids, appendix, and bone marrow produce white blood cells.

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    The lymphatic system, like any other biological system, can become overwhelmed and overworked due to an overabundance of toxins. When this happens, the whole system is backed up. This makes it hard for the lymph fluid to make its way around the body. When lymph cannot reach all of the body’s cells, the cells are unable to eliminate waste. This buildup of waste can lead to inflammation, fatigue, infection, and disease.

    Lifestyle Choices that Result in a Poor Lymphatic System

    So, now you know what the lymphatic system does and how its poor health can lead to your poor health. But how does the lymphatic system become congested? Lifestyle choices can have a drastic effect on the health of the lymphatic system.

    Here is a list of some lifestyle choices that result in a congested lymphatic system and poor health:

    1. A Sedentary Lifestyle

    Leading a sedentary lifestyle, one with little to no movement, creates obstacles for lymph movement. During exercise, the lymphatic system regulates tissue volume and pressure by returning fluids to the cardiovascular system. Lymphocyte production also increases when exercising.

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    Make sure to get as much exercise as often. Even something as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help keep your lymphatic system flowing.

    2. Dehydration

    Being dehydrated is another factor that can reduce the effectiveness of the lymphatic system and stagnate the lymph flow. A commonly accepted recommendation for daily water intake is 64 ounces. Without this, the body is unable to flush out waste and toxins.

    Try increasing your water intake to stay hydrated. You can do this by drinking water, unsweetened herbal teas, or by eating fruits (especially watermelon).

    3. An Unhealthy Diet

    Do you grab a bag of chips instead of an apple when you’re hungry? Exposing your body to processed, high fat foods can result in decreased lymphatic function. This decreased function causes increased infections. Try eating healthier options like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to encourage lymphatic activity.

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    4. Stress or Depression

    Stress and depression produce the stress hormone, cortisol in the body. An excess of this hormone can cause sluggish activity in the lymphatic system. Additionally, stress and depression have been linked to some types of cancer. This link is thought to occur because repetitive stress response impairs the lymphatic response.

    5. Digestive Problems

    Constant problems with upset stomach, diarrhea, and constipation can interfere with the lymphatic system as well. Diarrhea, for example, may cause the body to lose fluids and become dehydrated, leading to a loss of lymphocytes.

    To avoid this problem, try to regulate your digestive track. You can achieve this by eating a healthy, balanced diet and increasing your intake of probiotics. Probiotics can be found in yogurt.

    6. Processed Chemicals

    Being exposed to man-made chemicals can be particularly dangerous for lymphatic system health. Products like plastics, cans, pesticides, and scented hygiene products may introduce chemicals like BPA and parabens into the body. These chemicals may be difficult for the lymphatic system to expel. The extra work needed to eliminate these toxins may slow down lymph flow and lead to other illnesses or infections.

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    Conclusion

    Now that you have an idea of the lifestyle choices that can negatively influence your lymphatic system health, you can start making some changes. Focus on living a healthier lifestyle and keeping your lymph flowing freely. Changing some very small things in your life can make a big difference in your health.

    Featured photo credit: Mizianitka via pixabay.com

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    Amber Pariona

    EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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    Last Updated on September 16, 2019

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    More About Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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