Tips for Coping With Urges to Gamble
If you are trying to defeat urges to gamble you may find yourself in a precarious position. It’s hard to stop gambling, especially when it’s something you struggle with greatly. You should always seek out professional support when attempting to prevent problem gambling, but even the best counsellor cannot be with you 24/7 – you will need to use some strategies to avoid gambling urges when you’re by yourself. Here are a few things you can try.
Distraction is one of the key ways to cope with urges to gamble. Once you’ve stopped gambling, you may notice a hole in your life where that activity once reigned. Try finding new hobbies and interests to engage you.
You can try to wait out the urge to gamble. Tell yourself to wait, even a few minutes. That period of time may be all it takes for the urge to lessen or go away entirely.
Reach out for support, whether it’s with a gambling addiction support group, friends who understand your struggle and can help, or through calling your counsellor or a gambling hotline.
Remember the consequences of gambling – if you think about what could go wrong, you may be less likely to act on any urges. Make a list of all of the bad things that have happened to you because of gambling to keep things in perspective.
One of the most important things you should do is avoid triggers and make it difficult to follow through on urges – get rid of credit cards and tell gambling establishments to restrict you from entering their premises. If you avoid situations and people that may lead you to gamble, and take it a step further by removing the ways through which you could gamble on your own, you are more likely to be successful.