If you’re addicted to online gambling, it’s time to change your routine. Trying to quit the habit alone is difficult, but it’s essential that you take action. This article outlines some strategies that can help you overcome your problem. You’ll learn about how to set goals, manage your money and stop playing online slots. Additionally, you’ll find tips on how to get support. You’ll also find a link to an app that blocks gambling sites on your computer or mobile device.
The first step to curbing your gambling addiction is to understand what’s causing it. Gamblers often blame themselves, arguing that they’re not disciplined enough or that if they were like their non-gambling friends, things would work out. However, the truth is that gambling addiction is caused by changes in brain chemistry. Every little win triggers a burst of dopamine, the same chemical that gets released when you level up in a video game or see a “like” on Facebook.
While this is a powerful chemical, you can control your behavior with healthy replacement activities. These may be hobbies you once enjoyed, socializing with friends, or physical exercise. It’s important to choose something genuinely enjoyable that will keep you from thinking of your gambling habit and will help you feel better about yourself.
Another strategy is to avoid the triggers that encourage you to gamble. For example, if your normal route to and from work goes past a casino, try taking an alternative route. Or, if you watch sports betting games on television, change the channel or switch to a different station. Similarly, it’s helpful to leave credit cards and nonessential cash at home when you go out. You can also plan ahead by avoiding places and people that you associate with gambling, such as bars and restaurants where gambling occurs.
Finally, it’s important to challenge negative thought patterns that encourage compulsive gambling, such as the illusion of control and irrational beliefs. You can do this by identifying these unhealthy thoughts and challenging them using logic and reason. For instance, the illusion of control is a common belief that gamblers have; it’s false because the outcome of a bet is completely random.
If you are unable to resist the temptation of gambling, it’s a good idea to use self-exclusion to prevent yourself from entering casinos. A website such as DoNotPay can help you by submitting a request to the casinos to put you on their banned list. This method of preventing yourself from gambling is effective and is available for most casinos. It isn’t as comprehensive as a national self-exclusion program, such as GamStop, but it should be a sufficient deterrent.