Gambling is an activity where people bet money or other things of value on a chance. It can include betting on sports events or playing casino games like poker, blackjack or roulette.
There are many benefits of gambling, but it can also be a problem. Getting hooked on gambling can lead to a range of health, financial and social issues.
Identifying the causes of your gambling habits can help you to prevent them or control them. This can be done by keeping a gambling diary, talking about your behaviour with people you trust and finding out what makes you gambling more or less.
Admitting you have a problem is an important first step in overcoming addictions. It may be a difficult thing to do but it will help you get the support you need to tackle any underlying issues that are behind your gambling problems.
It can be helpful to find alternative ways to relieve unpleasant feelings, such as loneliness or boredom, which can trigger your urges to gamble. This can be achieved by exercising, taking up new hobbies or practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation.
Change your lifestyle
Changing the way you spend your time and your priorities is an effective way of dealing with gambling and other addictive behaviours. For example, you might decide to reduce the amount of money you spend on gambling or limit your visits to casinos or online sites. You might also change your daily routine, for example by avoiding the places or activities that remind you of gambling.
Keep a gambling diary
If you want to understand why you gamble, it’s useful to record the time, money and other aspects of your gambling habit. You can then use the information to better understand how it affects your life and how you can stop or reduce it.
Setting clear goals is a good way to help you overcome your gambling problem. This can include reducing your time spent gambling, controlling the amounts of money you spend and increasing the amount of money you save. It can also be helpful to set up a plan for when you’re going to stop gambling, such as putting a specific date in your diary for when you’ll no longer gamble.
Steer clear of high-risk situations
It’s crucial to steer clear of risky situations when trying to get help with your gambling problems. This includes limiting the amount of money you have to spend, staying away from casinos or online sites where gambling is offered and avoiding socialising in venues that host gaming.
Be kind to yourself
It is normal to feel disappointed after losing your gambling money, but if you are feeling self-pity, this will only make it more likely that you will continue to gamble. It’s also important to recognise the positive things in your life and be thankful for them.
Try to replace your problem gambling with equally stimulating activities and hobbies, such as exercise or socialising. This can be difficult at first but it will eventually become easier.