How to Overcome a Gambling Problem
Gambling is any game of chance or skill that involves risking money or something else of value, usually for the hope of winning a larger sum. It includes casino games, lottery tickets, sports bets, and gambling on the Internet.
Whether you’re playing in a land-based casino or online, the outcome of a bet depends on luck, a player’s skill and knowledge, and the odds set by the bookmaker. The consequences of winning a bet can range from financial success to disaster.
If you think that you may have a gambling problem, seek help and support. It can be difficult to overcome an addiction, but with the right support you’ll be able to achieve your recovery goals.
The following tips will help you stop gambling for good:
Strengthen your support network
When you’re dealing with a gambling problem, it can be hard to find a support group. Joining a 12-step program like Gamblers Anonymous, or finding a sponsor with experience in recovery can make all the difference.
When the urge to gamble comes, try to think of a healthier way to cope with your feelings. You can practice relaxation exercises, exercise, or spend time with friends who don’t gamble to relieve stress and anxiety.
Be honest about your problem
The most common reason that people become addicted to gambling is because they feel that it helps them cope with negative emotions. When you’re having a tough day, or feeling down because of an argument with a loved one, a few minutes of gambling can feel like a way to relieve your stress.
Be realistic about the cost of your addiction
The costs of gambling can be high, and you may not realize how much you’re spending on it. If you’re not careful, your gambling debt can quickly add up to a lot of money that you can’t afford to lose.
Consider giving back to your community
Getting involved with community work, such as volunteering for a local nonprofit or joining a volunteer organization, can be an excellent way to feel good about yourself while improving your quality of life. You can also learn a new skill or gain some additional experience in your field.
Keep your finances under control
It can be easy to let your finances fall into disarray when you’re in the throes of a gambling addiction, but keeping your personal bills and credit card balances as low as possible will prevent a big problem. It can also be a great way to stay focused on your recovery.
Be patient with yourself
If you’re tempted to gamble, tell yourself that you’ll wait 5 minutes, 15 minutes or an hour. You’ll be able to deal with the cravings and resist the temptation if you’re patient enough.
Don’t let your addiction interfere with your health and happiness
If gambling is interfering with your health and happiness, you should talk to a doctor or therapist about your options for treatment. You can also ask your family or friends for advice.