The good feeling of stopping

We don't have to explain to you that temporarily not drinking alcohol has all kinds of benefits. This is also evident from studies among previous participants in IkPas. Still, saying "no" to your usual alcoholic drink doesn't always feel like a win. While your brain immediately registers a feeling of happiness with the first sip of your favorite alcoholic drink, leaving your drink with it works slightly differently. With these tips you can still create it for yourself instant dopamine shots.

Every year we ask participants of IkPas afterwards what their alcohol break has yielded. Based on these evaluations, we know that two thirds of the participants feel physically and mentally fitter afterwards. More than half sleep better and a third of the participants have also lost weight. Furthermore, almost 80% of the participants became more aware of their own alcohol consumption during Dry January and almost 70% drink less alcohol after participation than before. More than half of the participants also saved money by temporarily not drinking alcohol. In short, not drinking for a while produces concrete benefits. However, most of them you only really notice after a few weeks of break. They are long-term effects. While drinking a drink immediately gives you something for your feeling. Namely, a good feeling. Yet there is a way to build in direct moments of happiness during your break period in addition to the long-term benefits. Below you can read how!

Tips to increase the number of moments of happiness during your challenge

The first bite of your favorite chocolate, your first sip of coffee in the morning, the first puff of a cigarette or the first sip of a beer or wine; all of these actions stimulate your brain's reward system. That then creates a rush of dopamine and voilà: a feeling of happiness immediately sets in. Does this mean that you feel less happy moments during IkPas, because you leave that beer or wine? No, you don't have to. Because you can also use the principle of an occasional shot of dopamine to make yourself feel even better during your challenge. These tips will help with this:

  • Build in spontaneous rewards

Just feeling that rush of 'good job!' you can direct yourself. Enlist the help of friends and family to do this. Ask each of them to give you a little pick-me-up at any point during this challenge. Everyone can decide for themselves how and at what time they want to support you. This is how you are suddenly surprised by a loved one every now and then. With a direct dopamine boost as a result. Trust us, those pats on the back are addictive!

  • Just cross off

Do you want to feel a moment of satisfaction every day? For example, make a calendar on which you can cross off the challenge every day. Combine the calendar with small gifts if desired. This way you create a new moment of happiness at the end of every successful day.

  • Share your victory

Are you on the socials a lot? Then take your followers with you in your challenge and post a fresh photo every day with #IkPas. Make sure that all positive feedback makes you feel good every day.

What also works is learning to reward yourself in a new way. Read how psychologist Carien Karsten does this in a tasty way

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