Whether it’s buying a lottery ticket, betting on horse races or the pokies, gambling is an activity where people place bets on events with uncertain outcomes. These can range from a small amount of money to a life-changing jackpot. It’s important to gamble responsibly and within your means. It’s also important to know how gambling works so you can understand why some people engage in harmful behaviour.
Stress management is one of the most effective ways to reduce your urges to gamble. Using a variety of techniques such as meditation, yoga, self-care, exercising, reading and writing, hanging out with friends, or starting a new hobby can help. Try a few different techniques to find the one that works best for you.
Staying away from high-risk situations is key to stopping your urges to gamble. This includes staying away from casinos and online gambling sites and avoiding carrying large amounts of cash around with you. It’s also a good idea to avoid associating with people who gamble. This can be difficult, especially if you were gambling with friends for social connection, but it’s essential if you want to stop the habit.
If you have a mental health problem, psychotherapy may be helpful to address the underlying cause of your gambling disorder. For example, cognitive behavioural therapy can help you change the way you think about gambling. Other types of psychotherapy include family and group therapy. Family therapy is particularly helpful if you’ve lost contact with your friends and family as a result of your gambling habits.