Decision Fatigue: How Veganism Can Help

Your brain processes over 50,000 thoughts per day. No wonder we suffer from decision fatigue! One of the main reasons people embrace minimalism is so help combat the mental fog that is the inevitable result of a day spent ruminating.

In addition to other practices, such as mindfulness, veganism can actually contribute to a reduction in our mental clutter. It accomplishes this by automatically reducing the number of choices available to us, and helping fight decision fatigue.

What is decision fatigue, and how does it hurt us?

Decision fatigue happens when we are overwhelmed with choices. You may have noticed shopping trips can be particularly tiring. This is especially when you need to try on a large number of different items. With each choice we make, our ego and willpower are depleted further. The end result is a form of mental (and physical) exhaustion referred to as decision fatigue.

All sorts of situations can cause decision fatigue, but restaurants are a common place where numerous decisions must be made in a short time.

Except, as a vegan there are fewer options! In fact, there is often a single vegan option available (if that).

How can going vegan make things better?

In a strange way, veganism can actually reduce the amount of stress in your life. By minimizing our available options, it can actually make things surprisingly easier.

My mom was telling me this the other day. She’s recently adopted a plant-based diet, and she was telling me that it’s actually made her a lot more satisfied. I was surprised. Mom always spends a lot of time on menus at restaurants searching for the perfect option. And truth be told, for many years I was exactly the same.

I would get the menu and spend ages examining my options. And when the food arrived, sometimes I would feel like I’d made the wrong choice.

Going vegan changed that for me, and I’m sure it has for many others, as well. I examine the menu to find a vegan option, and when I find one – done. If there is no vegan option, I just ask the waiter if there’s a way they can make a dish without dairy or eggs.

But it generally takes me far less time than I ever spent ordering food in the past. And when my meal arrives, I focus on the people I’m with and appreciate the fact that I have food to eat.

It may sound a little bit spartan, but I think having fewer choices can actually add to your life satisfaction.

One small caveat

Of course, this isn’t true for all people, or in all situations. Sometimes veganism can definitely make life a lot more stressful. You can easily become overwhelmed simply by searching unsuccessfully for a vegan food (especially for your kids!).

And if you demand culinary perfection, it will probably get to you.

But if you can simply let go of the idea of perfection, it might actually make your life a bit simpler, and help you to focus on the things that matter most to you.

What do you think? Join the conversation!

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