Approximately 80% of Americans fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions by February, with just 8% of the population sticking with them the entire year. Most of these resolutions require a change of habitual behavior, which can be hard to break and is why so many people fail. Now consider the success rate of someone who is struggling with a behavioral health disorder such as problem gambling. On one’s own, the odds of success are exceedingly slim, while the consequences of not quitting are extremely dire. To assist with this resolve to break the hold problem gambling has on your life, we have compiled a list of steps to take to greatly improve your success rate.
4 Powerful Steps to Finding Success in Your New Year’s Resolution to Quit Gambling
1. Identify Vulnerabilities
Mental and Behavioral Health Vulnerabilities
There are cooccurring (with gambling disorder) mental and behavioral health conditions that could be compromising your ability to break-free from gambling. In identifying the presence of these underlying conditions (as applicable) you will be better prepared to move forward with an action plan as therapeutic interventions may be required. These mental and behavioral health issues include the following:
- Bipolar disorder
- Certain prescription medications used to treat mental health disorders
- Alcohol use disorder
View more on these mental/behavioral health vulnerabilities, which will guide you towards a more effective action plan against gambling disorder.
There are certain occupations and careers that have a concerning relationship with problem gambling. For one, studies find that the rate of problem gambling among active duty military is 3.5 times higher than among the civilian population. Research also finds that instances of problem gambling in athletes are significantly greater than with the general public. If you’re employed/engaged in these occupations and struggling with gambling, you require specific interventions from professionals who specialize in treatment. Click the appropriate links for support for problem gambling:
Whether or not you identify with the vulnerabilities above, keep reading for the next steps to abstaining from gambling in the year ahead.
2. Remove Exposure to Triggers
To avoid falling back into your gambling habit, remove exposure to triggers that lead to casino gaming and/or sports betting. Both casino gamers and sports bettors who struggle with problem gambling should institute a self-imposed ban on gambling apps and certain websites. Delete all gambling related apps from your devices immediately, and make them inaccessible via these methods. Furthermore, consider blocking the likes of ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, and other related news resources that have become affiliate networks for gambling operators. They incessantly “report” on sign-up bonuses and promo codes for online sportsbooks and casinos. You will also need to change-up your sports viewing experience on TV to ensure that it’s ad-free.
View more on problem gambling tiggers which will arm you with added intel to avoiding them.
3. Replace Gambling with Healthy Alternatives
Dopamine is the human body’s “feel good” chemical that is partly to blame for why gambling addicts have a hard time quitting. Whether winning or losing, dopamine is released in the act of sports betting and casino gaming. The feeling is was what you may have heard referred to as “gambler’s high”. In order to keep yourself from chasing this high, you need to attain the same relative chemical reaction from other healthier activities.
As it turns out, your goal to quit gambling involves immersion in many of America’s own New Year resolutions such as outdoor fitness, meditation, and travel in addition to starting a business. View more on the 6 Healthy Alternatives to Gambling.
4. Join a Support System
Research consistently shows that individuals with moderate to severe gambling disorder cannot quit on their own. Moreover, those who are able to abstain on their own for a period of time eventually relapse. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, the best way to keep your New Year’s resolution to quit gambling is to become a part of a support system that includes one-on-one counseling and/or group therapy for gambling disorder. Click a button below to make your life better in 2024, and beyond.
Escape the Hold Gambling Has on Your Life this Year
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