The problem of gambling addiction is complex, and it can be difficult to overcome. However, understanding the psychological triggers behind it while empowering yourself with cutting-edge tools that change behavior will increase your chances of success. The Freedom app makes it easy to recognize unconscious addictive behaviors and put one more obstacle between you and dangerous gambling websites and games. It also helps to challenge negative thinking habits, like the illusion of control, irrational beliefs, and superstitions. These unhealthy thought patterns often fuel compulsive gamblers, and identifying and challenging them can help you break the cycle of gambling and regain control over your life.
Getting over a gambling habit requires patience and determination. Taking small steps to manage your addiction will make the process more sustainable. For example, if your regular route to work passes a casino, take another route or turn off the TV if watching sports triggers your desire to bet. Another strategy is to limit the amount of money you carry when leaving the house. By reducing the amount of cash you have on you, you will be less likely to be tempted to spend it on online slots.
It’s also important to find healthy activities that will fill the void left by your gambling addiction. Try reviving an old hobby that you haven’t used in a while or pick up a new activity. Some people start exercising, join a sports team, or even learn a language. The key is to find something genuinely enjoyable, and if possible, make it social.
Many people with gambling addictions blame themselves for their addiction, telling themselves that if they were just more disciplined or had the willpower of their non-gambling friends, they would be able to stop. But the real issue is not discipline, it’s the fact that winning and losing trigger bursts of dopamine in our brains, a natural reward chemical that is very similar to cocaine or heroin. And these bursts are what drive us to keep playing, despite the fact that we know it’s not in our best interests.
If you’re struggling with a gambling addiction, it’s vital to seek professional help. A licensed addiction specialist can evaluate your condition and help you develop a treatment plan. You can search online, contact your insurance provider or reach out to the National Council on Problem Gambling for a local referral.