Gambling is playing a game of chance where you risk money or something of value for the opportunity to win a prize. It’s an activity that can be fun in moderation, but it can also cause problems for people who are unable to control their behaviour.
How to gamble safely
When you play a game of chance, you need to have realistic expectations about the odds. This means knowing how much you can afford to lose and when it’s time to stop. You need to learn how to avoid high-risk situations, such as taking out loans, carrying large amounts of cash with you, using gaming venues for socialising, or gambling as a reaction to emotions.
If you find it difficult to manage your money or stop gambling, talk to someone you trust who will be supportive. This could be a family member, friend or professional counsellor. They can help you develop a plan for reducing your spending and finding alternatives to gambling.
Set goals to cut down on your gambling or give up altogether. These can be short-term or long-term goals, and can be a great way to stay focused and clear about cutting down or giving up your gambling.
Take breaks from your gambling – it’s important to break away from your addiction for a while. Doing this can give you a sense of relief and allow you to see that it isn’t working for you.
Use a gambling budget
Setting a gambling budget can be a great way to avoid overspending and to limit the amount of time you spend at the casino or betting shop. It’s not a strategy that will guarantee you a win, but it can be a helpful tool to keep you on track with your spending.
Get into an alternative hobby
If you have a hobby that you enjoy, try to change your focus from gambling. You could join a local club, start a new activity or get into a sport. These activities will help you to relax, socialise and generate endorphins.
You can also use your hobby to link up with other people who don’t gamble. It’s important to remember that when you’re gambling, you aren’t socialising with other people, so it’s important to find a way to connect with others in a positive way.
Make it a point to go out with your friends and family, and to do things that you love doing. This will help you to feel more in control of your gambling and may lead you to making better decisions about it.
Consider the negative consequences of your gambling – this can include financial and relationship problems, as well as mental health issues. It can also cause you to act irresponsibly or even commit crimes, such as theft and vandalism.
It’s also important to avoid situations where your gambling is a reaction to emotions, such as when you are depressed or upset. This can have a harmful effect on your mental health and can even trigger thoughts of suicide.