Gambling is a fun pastime for many people. However, for some, gambling is a problem that can disrupt their lives and relationships.
The good news is that you can take steps to prevent a gambling addiction from developing and getting worse. Here are a few things you can do to help:
Keep a Gambling Diary
Keeping track of what triggers your gambling urges is a great first step in stopping it. It helps you understand how and why you are tempted to gamble, and it can also be helpful to discuss it with a loved one.
If you know that a certain location or event can lead to a craving, plan your schedule so that you do not encounter these situations. This means changing your route when driving home or switching the channel if you watch sports, for example.
Limit Spending on Gambling
Managing your money wisely is the key to gambling responsibly. Before you go to the casino or online, decide how much you are ready to lose, and stick to it.
Strengthen Your Support Network
Having a support group will give you the strength you need to stay sober. You can find one through a 12-step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous, or you can simply reach out to friends and family.
Change Your Thought Patterns
Changing the way you think about gambling can help you overcome your addiction. By challenging negative thinking habits such as the illusion of control, irrational beliefs and the gambler’s fallacy, you can reduce your risk of gambling problems.