Gambling can be a fun hobby, but it is easy for it to get out of control. Unchecked, gambling can lead to financial hardship, lost friendships and desperation to recoup debts. It is important to take steps to address the problem early and take control of your finances before it gets out of hand.
The first step in stopping gambling is admitting that you have a problem and seeking professional help. A mental health professional or addiction counselor can assist with a treatment plan and provide support and guidance as you work to overcome your addiction.
Another way to stop gambling on online slots is to identify triggers and avoid them. This may include avoiding specific websites or activities that cause you to gamble, or it could involve removing credit cards from your wallet and keeping nonessential cash at home. It is also helpful to find replacement activities that are genuinely enjoyable. For example, some people incorporate hobbies they have always enjoyed or start exercising regularly. It is also important to spend time with friends and family members, who can provide emotional support and encouragement.
Many people who struggle with online gambling use it to escape from underlying issues such as boredom, stress, anxiety or depression. Although gambling can make you feel good at the time, it is not sustainable in the long term and most sessions on slot machines will end up losing money. This is why it’s so important to never bet more than you can afford to lose, and only play games that are within your bankroll.
Changing your habits and routines to prevent gambling can be difficult. It is also helpful to enlist the help of an accountability partner who can check in with you during high-risk times. This person can also help you to recognize and challenge negative thought patterns such as the illusion of control, irrational beliefs or the gambler’s fallacy.
If you find that you are constantly thinking about gambling and finding excuses to do it, it’s a sign that you have a problem. Getting help from a counselor or support group is the best way to combat this and begin your journey towards recovery.
In addition to self-excluding yourself from gambling sites, you can download apps that block access to them, such as Bet Blocker and Gameban. Alternatively, you can buy a non-smartphone or disable your internet connection completely to avoid online gambling altogether. This is not a permanent solution to the problem, but it will help you to regain control of your life and put a stop to gambling on online slots. If you continue to have trouble, consider seeking professional help or joining a counseling network, such as Pyramid Online Counseling. This will give you a safe space to seek professional help and gain confidence in your own ability to recover from your addiction. For more information on this topic, see our Responsible Gambling page. You can also subscribe to our podcast for more useful tips and advice on how to quit gambling.