Regardless of whether you’re playing a game of football or buying a scratchcard, gambling is a risky activity. It can cause you to lose money and lead to problems in your relationship, work or study. It can also get you into trouble with the law or leave you with serious debt and possible homelessness.
Gambling is a social activity, and most people gamble from time to time. But if you’re having problems with gambling, you need help.
There are a number of ways to stop gambling, such as talking to a health professional or seeking treatment in a support group. You can also change your gambling habits by learning to relax and relieve feelings in healthier ways.
Understanding why you gamble
If you’re gambling because you feel lonely or bored, it’s important to find other ways to cope with your emotions. For example, exercise, spend time with friends who don’t gamble, or try new hobbies.
Then, if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it’s important to seek help for these problems. These can be triggered by underlying mood disorders or can make your gambling problem worse.
Changing your beliefs around betting
If your beliefs about gambling aren’t healthy, it can be hard to stop. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you learn to think more positively about gambling and make better decisions about your bets.
Keeping track of your losses
Losses caused by gambling can be difficult to stop, but they should be treated as an expense, just like going out for dinner or other discretionary spending. You should also keep track of your budget and don’t let gambling become a habit.
If you are worried about the harm you are causing to yourself or others, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. They can refer you to a specialist or suggest support groups for you and your family.
Trying to get others to stop gambling
A person who is concerned about their own or someone else’s gambling may want to encourage them to get help. This could be through a friend or family member, a support group, or through a helpline.
Counselling can be a helpful way to talk about how gambling affects you and your family. Several types of treatment are available, including cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and group therapy.
Taking action on your gambling addiction
The best way to stop gambling is to make a plan and stick to it. You can get help from a counselor or support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous. If you have trouble finding a counselor, ask your doctor about referrals to local agencies that specialize in treating addictions.
You can also try a self-help program or other resources online to help you stop gambling. Some programs are free, and others cost a small fee.
There are many different kinds of gambling, so it’s best to do your research before starting one. For example, you can check if it’s legal in your area or whether there are any rules against it.