Many people who struggle with online gambling feel that they just don’t have the discipline to stop. However, what they fail to realize is that online gambling is addictive because of how it interacts with their brain chemistry. Every time you win at an online slot, it triggers a burst of dopamine, which is a natural reward hormone. This spike can be very hard to overcome, especially when you are in the midst of a winning streak. This is why it is so important to keep your wins small and not let them balloon in size. If you are able to do this, it will be much easier to walk away with your money when you’re ahead.
Another way to help you quit gambling is to avoid your triggers. Triggers can be any situations, thoughts, or emotions that make you want to gamble. If your habit starts to creep up, you should work on creating a list of those things and figure out ways to avoid them. For example, if driving past a casino or TAB makes you think about gambling, you might try taking an alternative route to work. Or, if watching sports on TV makes you want to place a bet, you might try switching to an alternative channel.
You should also try to surround yourself with non-gambling friends and family. If you are surrounded by others who have a gambling addiction, it can be difficult to resist temptation. You can also try to avoid gambling advertisements by deleting your browser history and blocking websites. Another great tool for quitting gambling is Freedom, which is a software program that blocks access to online casinos and sportsbooks. It is available on Windows, macOS, and iOS devices. It is easy to set up recurring block sessions, and you can customize your settings to include specific sites that are a problem for you.
It is also a good idea to find new hobbies that will stimulate your mind and give you the endorphin rush you used to get from gambling. Hobbies can also help you build a social network of like-minded people and provide an escape from your problems. You might consider joining a book club or volunteering for a local charity, for example. It is also a good idea to seek treatment if you have a gambling addiction. You can check out GamCare’s website to learn more about treatment options and self-assessment tools. Or, you can visit Lifeline’s Problem Gambling page to learn more about gambling addiction and support services in Australia.
Remember, it’s never a good idea to quit gambling cold turkey. This can be extremely challenging and most people who attempt to do so will relapse. If you are struggling with a gambling addiction, seek out a treatment option and reach out for support from friends and family. You can also find resources online, such as GamCare’s website and Lifeline’s website. It is also a good idea to call your state gambling hotline for assistance.