No one can stop a problem gambler from gambling. Not a husband, wife, child nor parent. Only the problem gambler himself has the power to do so. Most of the time, a problem gambler will only seek help when he/she hits rock bottom.
Even if you do not consistently gamble, you are still considered a problem gambler as long as you are unable to say no even if it’s only on weekends or once a month. This is similar to the alcohol addiction problem called the weekend alcoholic syndrome. “I don’t always drink, but when I do, I don’t know when to stop”.
If you have have experienced some of these consequences of gambling and seek practical tips to help with your gambling problem, welcome. May you follow each and every method listed below to be a better you.
- Understand How Gambling Works
- Change Friends
- Involve Trustworthy People
- Play A Musical Instrument
- Stay Away
- Competitive Sports
- Cut Credit Cards
- Clear Debts
- Use Debit Cards
- Organized Income
- Get A Part Time Job
- Remember Who You’re Doing It For
- Get Help
Gambling is totally unethical. Consider that if you lose, you’re out of money. If you win, the money you earn is at the expense of others’ losses. Take a casino for instance. Notice how they prey on greed and hope to make huge profits. If we patron a casino, even if we win, we lose, because our hand is reaching into a tainted source. Being aware of where the money you win comes from diminishes the desire to take that kind of money.
You may have a group of friends whom you frequently associate with when gambling. Well, stop hanging out with them. Ever heard of the term “birds of a feather flock together”?
Only people close to you who aren’t judgmental and has your best interest at heart. One of the most important things in dealing with addiction is the support that you can get from responsible family members, relatives and friends.
Learn to play a musical instrument like the easily obtainable guitar. Or if you already know how to play a certain musical instrument, be better at it. At first it can be challenging but after you have successfully gone through the initial lessons, get addicted to the sense of achievement. Make yourself even better by covering your favourite songs and posting it on youtube. Get criticized and make it a challenge to be even better. Feel real good when you have become a master at what you do and get real genuine likes and praises. Here’s the very first video of the Korean legend to get you motivated with.
This should be a no brainer. By all means possible, keep away from casinos or any kind of places that have gambling activities. Take a different route home from work if you must. If you have to, move to a new town that has a very low gambling presence and start a new life. If you live in the US, know that Hawaii and Utah are the only 2 states that has a blanket ban on gambling.
The word competitive gives you an adrenaline rush. Working together to compete with another team will keep you on edge. Join your local athletic club, train to be better in a teamwork sport and take your game to the next level. Basketball, soccer, tennis, table tennis, baseball, badminton and volleyball are some of the more popular, fun, engaging sport enjoyed all over the world.
Help those who have less than you. According to Science, a team of economists and psychologists at the University of Oregon have found that giving to charity activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure. Volunteer at your local animal shelter and help save strays, run adoption drives. Give your time to nursing homes, orphanages, hospices, soup kitchens. Donate anything you have no use of anymore, but may still be useful to others, to organizations like The Salvation Army, Tzu Chi, Goodwill, etc.
The golden rule of personal finance has always been “Never spend more than what you make” and credit cards ENCOURAGE you to actually spend more than what you have. Cut up all your credit cards right now.
Minimize expenses. Really change your lifestyle. Stop your cable tv subscription, start eating at home more, stop drinking alcohol, stop shopping for anything that you do not need. Pay off debts with the highest interest first. Actually, this point relates to a lot of other people, not only problem gamblers.
Debit cards are as clean and as useful as credit cards with zero risks. You only spend what you have. You can refuel your car, shop at supermarkets, pay for mortgages and almost everything else, just like a credit card. It’s exactly like cash in your pocket. Have it loaded up to what you’ll need before you pay and reap the benefits that come from using debit cards. You know you are in control of your life when planning ahead becomes a habit.
Limit your access to cash. If you do not have money on your person, you will be less apt to impulsively go out and gamble this money away. The only time casinos won’t let you gamble is when you don’t have what they want. Money.
Know EXACTLY how much you NEED to SURVIVE each week. Whatever salary that’s left in the month after paying off bills and debts, have it divided into joint savings account of 1 or 2 people that you trust most. Let’s just say for example, you need $200/week on meals and transportation. Have them give you the weekly money instead. Then divide the weekly money into daily expenses, taking with you only what you need daily. That way, they help keep track of your financial life and at the same time, help you get financially disciplined. Eventually, you’ll learn to manage your money better.
This will keep your mind off gambling while helping you clear your debts faster.
Print out pictures of people who love you and put them up in your car, office, bathroom door, etc. Let love be a reminder to you everyday so that you may stay on the right path.
gamblersanonymous.org is a very good site to start with. Browse the site and locate a group meet near you. Recovering in numbers may sound funny, but joining a group of fellow recovering gamblers gives you strength and power over gambling. You help each other triumph over a common enemy. You make lifelong friends who will always understand and care.
Read more about the other 13 dreadful addictions affecting society today.