Gambling has become really popular and with it’s move from betting shops and casinos to the internet it has become much more readily available and now you can bet on most events, sports, issues and news. It doesn’t take much for a small occasional bet to become a gambling addiction – it is a very easy slope to slip down.
If gambling is something you find addictive or struggle with then you are not alone. It would be great to chat with you about things that will help you to beat this gambling addiction.
It is good to think about why you do it and why you want to stop doing it. Also try and think back to what made you start to gamble in the first place and what it was that began to make you do it more and more?
Was there something, apart from a lack of money, that was causing you to be dissatisfied with the life you had?
Also it is really helpful to think about why you want to stop – what is motivating you to want to break free?
Motivation is important in breaking free from any addiction – why do you want to be free? Are you just wanting to stop for you? For someone else? For God? The stronger our motivation, and the more it isn’t just about us the greater the power the motivation has.
Think about how and where you most often gamble – do you set out on purpose to gamble or do you just see an advert, an email, a sporting event and think you might have a chance to change your circumstances with a simple bet?
Do you bet by visiting a shop or casino, on the internet or on your smartphone? Avoiding alcohol and drugs would also be really helpful because both of these can lower your inhibitions and make you more likely to gamble.
Think about when? Is it normally at night? When you are alone in your room? When you are with a particular group of friends? Notice when it is and do all that you can to avoid these times and situations.
Sometimes we need to be very radical and cut ourselves off from friends or activities – it might seem hard and painful to begin with but it really is worthwhile in the long run as it will help you to break out of the gambling habit and enable you to begin a new and better phase in your life.
Is there someone you trust who is trying to help you to stop gambling? You could consider making them your financial manager – allowing them to be in charge of how much money you can have access to each day? Let them hold on to your bank cards so you can’t use them easily. With their help go online and cancel your internet gambling accounts. – You must be really careful to only pick someone you know you can trust, don’t choose a fellow gambler or someone who may abuse this power. Don’t give them access to your money, simply ask them to question and if necessary restrict what you can withdraw money for.
Agree to tell this person where you are regularly throughout the day and when you use the internet what sites you have been to – having someone to be accountable to can be a great motivation to keep away from gambling opportunities.
Do you believe there is a God? Have you ever spent time trying to learn about who Jesus is, what he did and why he did it?
When you believe that Jesus loves you and is deeply interested in you it gives you a different picture of the world around you and of what your life is all about. It gives you a new hope and a new focus outside of yourself.
The more you get to know the real Jesus of the Bible, the more you will want to live to make Him happy and this will also then become a great motivation to saying no to the thing you are addicted to.
Find something new to fill your free time, spend time with other people, start a new hobby, keep yourself busy, volunteer at something. Find new, rewarding things to do and people to make a difference to – the more the focus is moved away from you and onto others, or God, the better. The less “spare” time you have the less opportunities you will have to gamble.
Set yourself small achievable goals – 24 hrs free, 48hrs, 3 days, 1 week. Keep something that you enjoy to do, read or eat – and when you reach these goals give yourself the reward! Positive motivation is so important in wining the battle to say no to your addiction.