A recent study by Bristol University, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, reported that non-meat consuming humans or humans who lack a balanced diet consumption, are twice as likely to develop depression than people who consume a balanced diet, including animal products.
It can be debated whether this unfairly touts a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle or whether their claims of deficiencies in crucial vitamins and nutrients that lead to negative impacts on mental health, actually is worth considering while making your next meal. It should be noted that this study includes the possibility for switching to a vegetarian diet being a factor of depression development in the first place. Conversely, there are also many articles which state the total opposite. Confusing? Quite.
So, in light of this recent news, below is 5 tips on how to be happy while living a vegan lifestyle; keeping in mind that there are many other factors involved in a having a positive wellbeing.
5 Tips On How To Be Happy As A Vegan
1. Enjoy Your Food and Make Good Food Choices
Veganism doesn’t always come hand-in-hand with good health, vegans can be unhealthy too! But, where possible, try to choose whole-foods over processed and refined ‘junk’. Better eating not only improves your physical well-being but your mental well-being will thank you for eating well too.
Eat foods you love, and foods that will nourish your body, mind and soul. Rather than mourning over the foods you can’t eat, embrace all the plant-based alternatives and focus on the plentiful abundance of plant-based foods instead.
2. Allow your efforts to speak for themselves
People are drawn to positive people who exude happy vibes! Your influence will be far greater if you are accepting and kind rather than preachy or if you shame others for their choices.
So, pick your battles and be a shining example of how beneficial and rewarding the lifestyle is – you may just well inspire others to try veganism by the positive example you set.
3. Be kind to yourself
You may have chosen to go vegan to be kinder to others, the earth and other beings but make sure you are kind to yourself too! Don’t sweat the small stuff or beat yourself up over little mistakes – life is about learning and moving on.
If you accidentally eat something that isn’t vegan or wear an old mascara with beeswax, don’t put yourself down – embrace the learning curve! Your intentions come from a place of kindness. (You don’t worry – you’re still vegan!)
If you believe in being kind to every kind, include yourself in those kinds you are kind too!
4. Remember your reasons for choosing to be vegan
When the going gets tough and you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, stay grounded by reminding yourself why you are doing this. If you feel like the world will never change, have faith that your actions and choices, no matter how small they may seem, are making and a difference and you are doing the right thing.
Also, try to find something beautiful in every day. No matter how stressful you may find your situation, noticing the little, beautiful things can have a very calming effect and consciously seeking positivity will make you happier.
5. Be social
Make like a butterfly – be a socialite! Keep your friends rather than alienating yourself or allowing them to alienate you.
It’s true that not every single person will be supportive of your decision and your choices but that doesn’t have to affect relationships, however if it does – make an effort to connect with like-minded people who will support you. There are plenty of online groups or ‘meet-up’s to help you connect with likeminded people.