Many people enjoy gambling for social entertainment, but a few may experience a problem that leads them to a gambling addiction. These are known as compulsive gamblers and can lead to a variety of health issues, including mental and financial problems.
Whether you are a gambler or someone who has a loved one with a gambling problem, there are steps you can take to get help and break free of your addiction. Below are a few tips to help you do just that:
Start with a plan
There is no reason to continue gambling when it has become a problem. Gambling can disrupt your day-to-day routine and even make it difficult to maintain your finances. It can also cause you to lose track of other areas of your life, which is why it’s important to set a spending limit and stick to it.
Learn to delay the urge
When you are feeling an urge to gamble, try distracting yourself by doing something else. This will give you time to reevaluate the decision and decide if gambling is still the best option for you.
Delaying the impulse to gamble can be challenging, but it’s essential for a long-term recovery. It will teach you to control your impulses and build up your resilience so you can avoid gambling triggers in the future.
Be sure to have a support network
Just like with any other behavioural addiction, if you are struggling with a gambling addiction, it is important to seek out support. Whether it’s from a therapist, family member or support group, you will need someone you can talk to and who will be there for you when you need them most.
Find a new activity
It can be difficult to find an alternative to gambling, but you can find new activities that will satisfy your cravings without taking up any of your time or money. This will keep you busy and happy, while helping you break free from your addiction.
Be realistic about the odds of winning
It’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of a slot machine or the excitement of betting on a sporting event. But it’s important to be realistic about the odds of winning and how much you can afford to spend.
Refrain from temptations and temptation-triggering websites
Often, people who have a gambling addiction will have a hard time avoiding temptations when they are around casinos or online. Keeping your credit cards in a safe place and closing your online gambling accounts can help you avoid tempting offers.
Stay on top of your finances
The last thing you want to do is lose all of your savings and have to go back to work. This is a particularly difficult situation for anyone, but you can help by making a budget and setting strict limits on your spending.
Use a friend’s advice
Sometimes, a friend or a family member can provide invaluable advice when you are having trouble with gambling. They can give you a realistic perspective on your behaviour and offer advice on how to break free from your addiction.