Changing Behaviour

A gambler who has developed a problem will have adopted an unhealthy lifestyle, with much of their time either spent gambling or thinking about gambling. Changing these behaviours can be extremely hard to do, but it is vital for sufferers to start acting differently and filling their time in other ways in order to break the temptation to gamble.

Professional support, such as cognitive behavioural therapy can be a valuable resource, helping problem gamblers talk through their thoughts and feelings as they learn to develop new behaviours to help them cope, but there are also things you can do on your own. Here are some suggestions for ways to change your behaviour and reduce or eliminate the amount of time and money you spend on gambling.

Seek Out New Hobbies and Activities

Finding something else to do or think about may be tricky at first, but you could consider taking up an old hobby which used to make you happy or trying something new. Staying active is also recommended as it keeps you focused and has great health benefits, so it might be an idea to spend time gardening, doing DIY around the house or going for walks. You could even go to the gym, start cycling or running or play a team sport so that you also have the added motivation of not wanting to let others down.

If you’re not such a fan of exercise, you could try painting, cooking or signing up for adult education classes. Immerse yourself in some good books or try voluntary work; the activity itself really doesn’t matter so long as it is a healthy one that you enjoy and that will keep you occupied.

Spend More Time with Those Closest to You

One consequence of a gambling problem can be that friends and family are neglected, so it is also useful to spend time engaging with those closest to you. You could plan regular trips out with different people, such as a weekly walk in the countryside, an evening at the cinema or a dinner out.

Even just sitting down and talking over a cup of tea can go a long way towards strengthening relationships. Given enough time, you may find that the friends and family you nearly lost due to the consequences of your gambling addiction might become your strongest source of support.

It is a good idea to develop a plan that works for you, so you have something to focus on each day that doesn’t involve gambling. There is lots of support out there for sufferers and you can find out more about all the available services that can help you get on the right track. on Facebook

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