How to Prevent a Gambling Disorder

Gambling is an activity where a person wagers something of value on a random event with the hope of winning a prize. It is often associated with a high level of risk and is a popular pastime for many people. However, some individuals develop a gambling disorder which can be extremely destructive. In addition to damaging a person’s finances, it can also negatively impact their work performance and relationships.

While it is important to remember that the odds are always against a gambler, there are ways to reduce the chances of becoming addicted to gambling. Some of these include:

Identify triggers for gambling and find healthy ways to manage those triggers. For example, if you often gamble after a stressful day at work or an argument with your spouse, consider alternative ways to socialize and relieve boredom such as exercise, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or taking up a new hobby.

Seek treatment for underlying conditions that may be contributing to your compulsive gambling, such as depression, substance abuse or mental health problems like anxiety. These disorders can often be triggered or made worse by gambling, and they can also continue to negatively impact your life even after you’ve broken the habit.

Talk about your problem with someone you trust who won’t judge you – this could be a friend, family member or professional counsellor. Learn to control your money by getting rid of credit cards, putting someone else in charge of your money, closing online betting accounts and only carrying a small amount of cash with you. Try to avoid gambling venues and instead socialise with friends who don’t gamble or pursue other recreational activities that do not involve a lot of money, such as going to the movies, swimming or gardening.

Practice mindfulness techniques to calm your mind and body before making a bet. Incorporating meditation, deep breathing or yoga into your daily routine can help to focus your thoughts and prevent you from being influenced by external factors, such as the expectations of others. Be aware of your emotions and don’t make decisions when you are feeling angry or upset, as this can lead to irrational choices such as chasing your losses, which can ultimately result in Bet Regret.

Gambling disorders are a complex issue, and only one in ten people with gambling disorder seek help. Fortunately, several types of therapy are available to treat the condition, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is an evidence-based approach that targets unhealthy gambling behaviors by teaching you to recognize and challenge irrational thinking and false beliefs. It can also teach you coping skills that you can use to overcome your urges and solve financial, career, and relationship problems caused by your gambling disorder. If you’re ready to take action, BetterHelp can match you with a qualified therapist who specializes in gambling addiction. Take our free assessment today and get started on your recovery journey.