The first step to overcoming problem gambling is admitting that you have a problem. This takes tremendous strength and courage, especially if you’ve lost money or strained or broken relationships as a result of your gambling habits. However, you don’t have to struggle alone. Many others have overcome gambling addictions and rebuilt their lives. They did it with the help of support networks and treatment programs.
Fortunately, it’s possible to stop gambling on online slots and live a normal life again. You can do it by challenging fallacies, the illusion of control and superstitions that cause people to take risky bets. You can also practice mindfulness exercises such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing to calm the mind and stop unhealthy thought patterns. You can replace problem gambling with equally stimulating activities such as rekindling an old hobby or trying something new.
Gambling can be fun, but it’s important to set a gambling budget and stick to it. Never bet more than you can afford to lose and only play on reputable, licensed online casinos that use audited random number generators. Avoid gambling on websites that offer bonuses such as free spins and cashbacks, which can increase the amount you spend without you realizing it.
Most sessions on slot machines will end in losses. It’s important to have a gambling bankroll that covers your normal expenses and doesn’t exceed 250 bets. This way, you’ll be able to stop gambling after three hours and not regret your decision.
It’s also important to know your triggers and avoid them. Identify what causes you to gamble and work with a loved one to create an action plan to prevent them from occurring in the future. For example, if driving past the casino on your usual route to work triggers your urge to gamble, take an alternative way home. Similarly, if you can’t watch sports or listen to music without thinking about betting, try changing the channel or turning off the TV.
You can also limit your exposure to gambling ads by using software such as DoNotPay, which is equipped to recognize and comply with all self-exclusion laws. It can be used to block casinos from displaying gambling ads on your computer or phone.
If you’re struggling with gambling addiction, it’s crucial to seek treatment. A therapist can help you address your underlying issues and teach you healthy coping skills that will allow you to control your gambling habits in the future. Moreover, they can help you develop a realistic, healthy spending plan to get back on track. In addition to treatment, you can also make good use of online resources such as gambling hotlines and self-exclusion services. Self-exclusion is a legal option that prevents you from accessing online gambling sites for up to five years or even a lifetime. This method is particularly useful for problem gamblers who cannot break their addiction by themselves. It can also protect you from negative social consequences, such as strained relationships or financial hardships.