Gambling is a popular activity in many countries around the world. It can be a fun way to socialise, reduce stress, and improve your skills. However, it can also lead to mental health issues and addiction if you’re not careful.
Gamble in moderation
Gamblers should always keep a budget when gambling. This is essential to ensure they don’t lose too much money and to avoid accumulating debt. They should only gamble with money they can afford to lose and should never use credit cards to finance their gambling activities.
Talk to a family member, friend or professional counsellor about your gambling problems. This will help you to understand your behaviour better, and will strengthen your resolve to cut down or give up your gambling.
Keep a gambling diary to record your gambling patterns and how it affects your life. Keeping this diary can help you understand your gambling habits and identify the triggers that may be causing your addiction.
Set goals for yourself, to help you stay focused and clear about cutting down or giving up your gambling. These might include a specific amount you want to save each month, or a date you will stop gambling for good.
Find alternatives to gambling
If you feel that gambling is becoming a problem, look for alternative recreational activities or hobbies that you enjoy. These could be anything from a regular walk or run to joining a gym or team sport.
Strengthen your support network
It’s easy to fall back on old relationships or friendships when you have a gambling addiction. Reach out to people you know who don’t gamble, or try to make new friends through other forms of socialising.
Get involved in a group for people who are recovering from a gambling addiction. There are many groups available across the country, and they can offer you a range of helpful tools to help you recover from your addiction.
Joining a support group can be a great way to get the motivation and encouragement you need to overcome your addiction. It can also help you to learn from others who have struggled with gambling and are able to provide you with invaluable advice and guidance.
Changing your gambling habits will take time, so be patient with yourself. If you’re tempted to gamble again, delay your decision until the urge passes. This will prevent the craving from getting too intense and keep you focused on your goal.
Practice relaxation techniques to reduce the urge to gamble. The release of serotonin and dopamine can help to relieve unpleasant feelings and reduce stress.
Do not allow shame or guilt to hold you back. These emotions can often sabotage your attempts to get back on track.
Change the environment that you’re surrounded by to make it less conducive for you to gamble. This could mean avoiding places where you are likely to be exposed to temptation, such as bars and casinos.
If you’re having trouble finding a support group in your area, consider visiting an online gambling recovery forum or joining a 12-step program like Gamblers Anonymous. A 12-step program is based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and can provide you with invaluable guidance for overcoming your gambling addiction.