If you suffer from a gambling addiction and are trying to quit, then you may be interested in learning about how relaxation techniques can help to fight the urge.
Many gamblers will say that they have every intention of never gambling again. After an especially bad losing streak where they have lost a lot of money, they will feel guilty and ashamed and will promise loved ones that they are going to stop. And at this point, they really do believe they will never gamble again. At that very point in time, they have no desire to gamble and are filled with feelings of shame and guilt that they have succumbed to the urge once more.
However, after a period of time has passed, the urge to gamble may come back and, when that happens, nothing can stop them from satisfying it. They will not think of the consequences of losing because they are so focused on gambling and are convinced they are going to win.
Controlling the Urge
If this sounds familiar to you, then you will want to learn how to control the urge once it takes hold. One way to fight the desire to gamble is to think of various scenes where you have the opportunity to gamble but you choose not to. It is important to think of the typical pattern that precedes a bout of gambling. For example, maybe you have noticed that you tend to gamble when you feel upset or when you get a bill through the door and you are worried about paying for it. It could be whenever you read or hear about betting, or somebody winning money on a scratch card or the lottery.
What you need to do is try to picture yourself at the point just before you usually gamble. Imagine what you feel when you see a gambling advert on the television, for example. Picture yourself reaching for your laptop or mobile phone about to log in to your betting account. Imagine your betting account and what you normally see. Picture yourself about to find your favourite casino game and how confident you are that you are going to win big.
Now think of how you will feel when you lose your money. Think of the emotions that will be surging through you as your money slips away until there is nothing left. You will feel angry and guilty for more or less throwing your money down the drain; for simply handing your money over to the site owner who is making huge profits from your hard earned money. Picture the disappointed faces of your loved ones when they find out you have gambled again.
Now try to imagine yourself feeling bored with the whole process. Imagine that even if you do win, you will simply plough everything you have won back on more bets. Visualise yourself feeling bored with the whole idea of betting and think of yourself putting down your laptop or phone before you deposit any funds. You are in control of the urge, and by not placing the bet, you feel good about yourself and proud that you fought the craving.
By imagining yourself before you are about to gamble, (whatever scenario you typically find yourself in) and by picturing yourself choosing to give up the opportunity to bet, you can control your desire to gamble. The key is repetition, and by using this technique every time you are about to bet, you can learn how to stop before you even begin.
It is a good idea to spend time each day running through these scenes in your head. Find a place where you can relax and close your eyes while you imagine yourself not betting. The more you run through these scenes, the less likely you are to want to gamble and when the urge does come, you will find it much easier to fight it.