People who have successfully overcome their gambling problem understand one thing, which is that it takes consistent effort, and often more than one strategy, to form a healthy relationship to gambling. While different strategies work for different people, trying a comprehensive approach is a good way to get started. If you’re looking for a tried and true method to identify and manage gambling triggers, try the six D method.
The way to overcome an urge is to understand that it never lasts long. If you feel the need to gamble, try waiting for 10, 20, 30 minutes, or more. Very likely, you’ll find that the urge has passed.
Focusing on your breath makes you more mindful and can help draw attention to any underlying feelings that may make you want to gamble. Breathing deeply can be a good way to take a break from the day and reflect.
If you find yourself fixating on the need to gamble, try to find something that can take your mind off it. A book, television show, or conversation with a friend can all be good bets. Once the activity has finished, your urge to gamble will have subsided or lessened.
Discuss Your Urge
Talking openly about your gambling urges are a good way to conquer them, both now and in the long term. Once you feel comfortable speaking about it, you will find that problem gambling is a common issue that affects people of all kinds. You can try a friend, family member, or gambling helpline.
Do Something Else
It’s well known that one of the best ways to overcome unwanted urges is to replace them with another behavior. Choose something you enjoy, like a long walk, hot shower, or exercise.
If environments that trigger the urge to gamble are part of your day-to-day routine, try to find ways to avoid them. This could mean taking a different route home from work or avoiding social contacts that cause you to want to gamble.
Looking for more information on problem gambling and its triggers? 800-GAMBLER has educational resources that can keep you on top of problem gambling.