How to Stop Gambling


You are walking through the twinkly casino, the lights glistening as you approach the tables. You feel a sense of anticipation as you lay your bets, waiting to see whether lady luck is on your side. But the truth is, gambling is not what it’s made out to be in the movies. In fact, gambling is a dangerous pastime that can cost you more than you’re willing to give up. It’s easy to fall into the trap of gambling addiction, even when you think you’re in control. If you’re concerned about your or a loved one’s gambling habits, here are some tips to help you break the cycle.

There are four main reasons why people gamble. It can be for social or entertainment reasons, financial, or to try and change their lives. These reasons do not excuse the person’s behaviour but can help you understand what is going on behind the scenes and why it is so difficult for them to stop.

Many people believe that gambling is addictive simply because of how it makes them feel. However, the brain is a complex organism and it takes more than just chemistry to develop a gambling problem. Other factors such as depression, anxiety and other mood disorders can also contribute to gambling problems.

Having a good support system can help you when you’re struggling with a gambling problem. Talk to a trusted friend, family member or psychologist. You can also get peer support from groups such as Gamblers Anonymous. This type of group is based on the 12-step model used in Alcoholics Anonymous, and involves finding a sponsor who has experience staying free from gambling. It can be very helpful to have someone to talk to and to share your experiences.

The first step is to identify what kind of gambling you are doing, and set limits for yourself. Only ever gamble with disposable income and never use money that you need to pay bills or rent. This will make it easier to stick to your limit and to know when you’ve reached yours. It’s also a good idea to only gamble on the weekends and when you have plenty of time to spare. This will reduce your chances of making impulsive decisions.

It’s also important to find healthier ways of relieving unpleasant feelings, such as boredom or loneliness. Taking up exercise, spending time with friends who don’t gamble or practicing relaxation techniques are healthy alternatives. It’s also worth addressing any underlying mood disorders, as these can be triggered or made worse by compulsive gambling.