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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 July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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