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.

Here are some suggestions people have found helpful…

Why are you gambling? 

It is good to think about why we do it and why we 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 we need to be clear about why we 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.

How? Where? When?

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 sense of right and wrong 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, better phase in your life.

Choose a trusted friend or relative

Is there someone you trust who is trying to help you to stop gambling? If there is can you make 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. 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. But please choose this person really wisely – you must choose someone who isn’t a fellow gambler, someone who will not steal from you or abuse this position you give them.

Think about the spiritual you

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 people believe that Jesus loves them and is interested in them it gives them a bigger picture of the world around them and of what life is all about. It gives them a new hope and a new focus outside of themselves. The more you get to know Jesus the more you will want to please Him and that will also become a great motivation to saying no to this temptation – Find out about Jesus.

Give yourself a new focus

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 away from you and onto others or God the better. The less “spare” time you have the less opportunities you will have to gamble.

Positive rewards

Set yourself small step goals – 24 hrs gambling free, 48hrs, 3 days, 1 week. Then keep something that you enjoy to do, read or eat and when you reach these targets give yourself the reward! Positive motivation is so important in wining the battles.