I’m not going to talk about gambling addition stories, or how Bergeron has never lost at gambling.  I will provide you many excellent tips that will be part of your gambling addition treatment.  Bergeron isn’t providing a gambling addition hotline but I am providing many solid points for you to reflect on.

Have you turned to gambling more often than is socially acceptable? Have you become defensive about your gambling addiction? Are you draining your bank accounts to gamble even more? Then this blog is for you.

Gambling is a popular activity. On the other hand, if you find yourself unable to manage your gambling after you feel any emotion, this is a problem. Fortunately, this is a problem that can be fixed. All it takes is a desire to stop gambling, learning about gambling and what causes it, understanding that you are the only one responsible for your gambling regardless of outside influences, and an open mind to ways to stop your gambling. This is the basis for QUIT, the four steps to stop gambling.

QUIT is a four step process to quit gambling. Similar to the elementary school acronym ROY G BIV for the colors of the rainbow, QUIT is an acronym to help you remember the four steps.

Q stands for “Question Yourself about Your Gambling.” It is crucial to examine yourself about your gambling because this will give you an understanding about why you want to stop and why you gamble the way you do.

U stands for “Understand What the Problem Is.” Equally important as questioning yourself about your gambling is making an effort to understand what the underlying problem is. Many people will say they have a problem but have no idea what the problem is. There are many reasons why people gamble and it is essential to understand what drives you to gamble.

I stands for “I Am the Sole Decision Maker in My Choice to Stop Gambling.” It is critical that you stop because you want to stop not because someone else wants you to stop. You are the one who makes the decisions about you every moment of every day. You can’t blame others for your decisions.

T stands for “Take control and Think Positive.” We cover different ways you can stop gambling and other information that will aid you in your journey to stop gambling.

And there you have it – QUIT, the four steps to stop your gambling. 

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Question Yourself About Your Gambling

It is critical that you start this process by questioning yourself about your gambling. The only way you can stop and continue to not gambling is by recognizing that you have a gambling addiction and addressing the underlying reasons for your gambling.

Do You Feel The Need To Be Secretive About Your Gambling?

If you answered yes, then you have a gambling problem. Being secretive about your gambling includes the following activities: gambling in secret, lying about how much you gamble, feeling others won’t understand you unless you surprise them with a big win.

Are You Defensive About Your Gambling?

If you answered yes, then you have a gambling problem. It is common for a gambling addict to become more defensive about their gambling as they go deeper and deeper into a hole. You may even start blaming others for your need to gamble by telling them that you are gambling for them so they can live comfortably.

Do You Have Trouble Controlling Your Gambling Or Do You Gamble Even When You Do Not Have The Money?

If you answered yes, then you have a gambling problem. Can you walk away from the table once you have started to gamble or do you feel compelled to gamble until you have spent every last penny? Do you start borrowing money to pay for your gambling when you have lost all of your money? This is a red flag that you have a serious gambling addiction. No matter how much you believe that gambling more money will win you back lost money, it will only put you further into the hole.

Have Your Family And Friends Become Worried About Your Gambling?

Listen to your family and friends carefully. Where there is smoke, there is fire. No matter how in denial you are about it, your gambling affects your life in many ways. Your family and friends can see that from the outside looking in.

Now you have begun to examine yourself and recognized that you have a gambling problem. You can now begin to learn about what gambling addiction is and what causes it.

Understand What The Problem Is

Gambling addiction at its core is a type of impulse-control disorder. You know your gambling is hurting you and others, but you still cannot control the impulse to gamble. Regardless of the consequences you can only think about is gambling. You can also have a gambling problem without losing all control of yourself. Gambling is still a problem if it is disrupting your life in any way.

Triggers

Many different emotions and situations can trigger your gambling. You could gamble after you experience unpleasant feelings, such as stress, depression, loneliness, fear and anxiety. You could gamble after a stressful day at work or home.

Start thinking about what triggers your gambling. Keep track of your gambling and what happened before it. We will cover this more in-depth in “T stands for, ‘Take Control and Think Positive.’” However, it is a fantastic tool to start discovering what situations lead you to gamble. Once you have learned this, you can begin to find healthier ways of coping with these feelings. This will also be covered more in-depth in “T stands for, ‘Take Control and Think Positive.’”

Myths

There are also many myths surrounding gambling addiction and problem addiction. You may find that you yourself believed these myths.

Myth 1: You Have To Gamble Every Day To Be Considered To Have A Gambling Problem

False, problem gamblers can gamble once a day, once a month or once a year. Gambling is a problem when it disrupts your life in any way, even if you gamble for only a year.

Myth 2: Gambling Is Not A Problem If You Can Afford It

False, problem gambling is not just a financial problem. If you have a gambling problem, it will affect other aspects of your life, such as your relationship with your family members.

Myth 3: Taking Care Of A Debt Will Help The Problem Gambler With Their Issues

False, if one of your friends helps you out, it will not get rid of the underlying issues that make you to gamble. You must confront what triggers you to gamble and learn healthier ways of coping with the triggers.

I Am the Sole Decision Maker In My Choice To Stop Gambling

It is important that you take responsibility for your actions and decisions. You are the only person who can make decisions for you in your life. You have the right to make mistakes. You have the right to your opinions. You have the right to say no. You have the right to change your mind and take a different path. It is okay for you to feel emotions.

If you are having trouble staying focused on stopping gambling for good, remind yourself that you are stopping for you. Remember all the benefits. You will have a healthier lifestyle, healthier relationships with your family and friends, and you will be better able to cope with what life throws at you.

Take Control And Think Positive

Gambling is a behavior issue. Once you know the situations that make you feel the emotions that cause you to overeat, you can start replacing your gambling with healthier ways to deal with those emotions. You are now taking control of the situation. The following are steps you can take to help you take control of the situation.

Identify What Emotions You Feel When You Want To Gamble

We covered some of this in “Q stands for ‘Questioning Yourself about Your Gambling’”. You can start to identify your emotional triggers by doing your normal everyday activities. Whenever you feel the urge to gamble, stop. Think about what just happened and how it has made you feel that you needed to gamble.

Record Your Emotions And Thoughts

A great way to learn about your relationship with gambling is by recording what you eat and how you feel throughout the day in a journal. This will help you track the exact emotions that cause you to gamble. Once you notice a pattern, you can work to change it. Once you feel that emotion, write it down and allow yourself to feel the emotion (see above). At the end of the day, take a moment to write how you felt about the day as a whole.

There are many ways for you to journal now. If you are more technologically savvy, you can use type a Word document on your computer or use an online journal. There are also smartphone applications available for you to record what you eat. You can always use a good old-fashioned pen and notebook. Don’t limit yourself. Writing down the emotions you feel and what you eat makes gambling seem less abstract and will help you process your emotions.

Allow Yourself To Feel The Emotion You Are Trying To Stuff Down With Gambling

Choose not to gamble five minutes at a time. During the process of feeling those emotions, talk to yourself. Tell your brain, “I am allowing myself to feel the full range of emotions so that I can live a fuller life”. Sometimes the feelings you are trying to avoid with gambling can be resolved in a relatively short period of time. You can free yourself from the pattern of gambling you have been living for good simply by confronting and experiencing the emotions head on.

Restructure Your Thinking

Make a second list of constructive critiques about yourself. Be specific and realistic in your goals and how you can address what you do not like about yourself. Setting positive goals for yourself allows you to be your biggest support instead of your biggest critic.

Restructuring your thinking also allows you to change the way you view a situation. For example, say you couldn’t control your emotions for a moment and end up gambling the night away. Instead of thinking you are a failure, think of the night of gambling as a single event that happened and that you can learn from. Ask yourself the questions that we have covered earlier to discover what caused this night of gambling and how you can better avoid a similar situation in the future.

Exercise And Relax To Relieve Stress

If you gamble to relax after a stressful way, physical activity can be a great substitution for gambling. This doesn’t mean that you have to run a mile every day. You can simply walk for 20 minutes a day or try yoga. Indulge yourself with a nice relaxing bath.

Read Or Find A New Hobby

If you gamble to overcome boredom or loneliness, finding something you are passionate about can be fantastic substitution for gambling. Take your mind off the situation by reading a current book or a passage from one of your favorite books. Try arts and crafts activities such as beading, calligraphy, knitting, latch hook, origami, or sewing. You can find others with the same interests and make new friends.

Avoid Isolation

If you gamble to socialize with others, don’t give up socializing. Instead, find new healthier ways to build a social network.

Get Support

Having a support system in place is one of the most important ways you can achieve and maintain your goal of stopping gambling for good. When the going gets tough, it always helps to have a friend or someone who has been through what you are going through at the moment to talk you through the situation.

Surround yourself with positive influences. Exercise with a friend. Join a support group. Join an online forum. Attend a Gamblers Anonymous meeting. There are many ways to find support in this day and time.

Consider Therapy

Talking to a therapist may be very helpful for you if you are still having problems with gambling and you have exhausted all of the other resources. Therapy can also be an excellent substitution for you if gamble to overcome unpleasant feeling or not think about any problems you might be having. A therapist can help you define what your needs and goals in life are more clearly. You can find a therapist through online resources, community support groups, and your general care doctor. 

Conclusion

There you have it – your four quick steps to stop your gambling for good. All you have to remember is QUIT: Q stands for, “Question Yourself about Your Gambling”, U stands for, “Understand What the Problem Is”, I stands for, “I am the Sole Decision Maker in My Choice to Stop Gambling”, and T stands for, “Take Control and Think Positive.”

Remember, that you are choosing to do this for yourself because you want to stop gambling for good. Take baby steps – you can only climb a mountain one step at a time. Enjoy taking back control of your life. Enjoy rebuilding your relationships with your family and friends. Enjoy your new free time with your friends and family trying out new activities or doing favorite pastimes. You can do this – all you have to do is QUIT.