Many people find they can successfully limit or change their gambling through the use of change strategies. We have all used these types of strategies at some time in our lives, whether it be sticking to an exercise plan, or cutting back on gambling.
These change strategies can be implemented without professional oversight, but it can be helpful to check in with a counsellor on the best ways to implement or maintain them. You can speak to one of our counsellors about implementing these strategies today
It’s ideal to select at least 2-3 strategies at a time to work on. If you notice that the strategy is no longer working for you – swap it for a different one.
You will know when it is working because you will have more money in your pocket, and can say that you are successfully limiting your gambling.
So what’s the best strategy for you?
Choose something that has worked for you in the past or that you think will work for you now.
Here are the top 20 strategies that people have found useful for limiting or changing their gambling:
- Really accept that gambling needs to change
- Think about how your money could be better spent
- Remind yourself of the negative consequences of gambling
- Remind yourself of the positive consequences of not gambling
- Make a resolution to change your gambling
- Compare costs and benefits of continuing to gamble
- Remind yourself that sometimes people win at gambling but the system is designed for you to lose
- Engage in an activity that gives you a feeling of achievement
- Calculate money and time spent gambling
- Plan ahead and leave credit cards and non-essential cash at home
- Engage in a new form of entertainment
- Plan ahead and limit the amount of money you carry
- Re-establish trust and belief in yourself
- Complete daily activities around the house
- Monitor how your emotions relate to gambling
- Focus on eating a healthy balanced diet
- Make a daily affirmation such as staying positive or letting go
- Identify inaccurate thoughts about gambling or winning
- Engage in regular exercise
- Read first hand accounts of other people's experiences.
If you have already made a change you might also consider these tips:
- Focus on not gambling each day at a time
- Concentrate on being strong or using will power
- Remind yourself that you don't need to gamble
- Keep busy to avoid thinking about or engaging in gambling
- Distract yourself or do something else until the urge to gamble passes
- Count the days since you've made a change in your gambling
- Engage in behaviours that are incompatible with attending a venue.
Keeping it going
Some people find it is helpful to set a time period for using the strategy such as over a month or two. This gives an inbuilt time to see how it’s going and gives you measurable targets to aim for.
Others also find it’s helpful to tell someone about their strategy and get a buddy to support them.