Just because someone hasn’t succumbed to the urge for gambling for a long time does not mean they’re immune to relapsing. A gambling relapse can be an awful experience emotionally as well as another roadblock on the road to overcoming problematic behaviors. Thankfully, there are several tips and tricks you can learn to avoid relapsing and continue recovery. If you want to know how to prevent a gambling relapse, here are five tips you should follow.
Identify Your Gambling Relapse Triggers
There is a wide range of environmental and social stimuli that can activate the urge to gamble. These gambling relapse triggers can vary from person to person and will compel them to participate in problematic behaviors. However, by identifying these high-risk triggers, an individual will know what encourages problem gambling and, in turn, will know what to avoid. Let’s look at a few common gambling triggers that can spurn impulses:
- A desire to win
- Belief in gambling luck
- A need for financial profit
- Drugs, alcohol, and other substance use
- And more
Find a New Hobby
When boredom takes over, and you don’t know what to do, you may feel the desire to start gambling again. One of the best ways to prevent that from happening is by avoiding boredom altogether — which is why discovering a new hobby is a great way to learn how to prevent gambling relapses. With an engaging hobby, you’ll be able to focus attention on something enjoyable and worth your time that doesn’t come at the expense of your bank account.
However, boredom isn’t the only relapse trigger that a hobby can help prevent. Your new hobby can also serve as a way to ease any stress and anxiety that may activate your gambling urges. Exercising, learning how to cook, and artistic pursuits — to name a few potential hobbies — are all excellent means of destressing and keeping gambling desires at bay.
Eliminate Your Access to Gambling
It can be difficult to avoid your gambling urges when you’re able to access a virtual casino from the convenience of a smart device. With that said, one of the ways you can prevent your urge to use these sites is by deleting all the gambling apps from your phone. If that isn’t enough for you, then your smart device can be given to a trusted individual for a designated amount of time. However, you may want to go one step further and block your credit card account entirely until some time has passed.
Avoid Social Isolation
Anyone who knows how to prevent gambling relapse will recognize how dangerous loneliness can be. If you become too lonely, it’s possible for your gambling urges to overwhelm you.
Having others around you or a phone call away can help you avoid this isolation and any recurring desire to gamble.
Create Achievable Goals
If you want to discover how to prevent gambling relapse, then consider creating special goals to accomplish. By thinking about what your gambling behavior will prevent you from achieving, you’ll be able to resist temptations. Of course, ensure your goals are something that you want to create a personal stake in, such as a family vacation or a new car. However, these goals don’t have to be so grandiose. Simply writing down your daily goals with a pen and paper and taking it one step at a time will help keep you focused every day of the week.
For more information on learning how to prevent gambling relapses, contact 800-GAMBLER. We can assist you or your loved one in a variety of ways, including our cognitive behavioral therapy for gambling and our gambling anonymous meetings online. To learn more, don’t hesitate to call us today.