Addiction is a terrible thing, no matter the type. Gambling addiction has been known to ruin a person’s career, relationships, health, and, more obviously, their finances. Thankfully, once you recognise and acknowledge the problem, there are means of getting better.
The most difficult part of recovery is often the seemingly simple, but exceedingly difficult, act of resisting temptation. Non-sufferers of gambling addiction tend to think that this is process is easy. Opportunities to gamble are not as common as those to smoke, overeat, or drink. At least, that’s what they think. But is this really true? Not to a gambling addict.
Just as important as resisting the temptation to gamble, is the act of resisting other types of potentially addictive or destructive activities. Studies have shown that sufferers of one type of addiction are more prone to others as well. So, a recovering gambling addict is possibly just a few drinks away from becoming an alcoholic, or just a few excessive meals from a food addiction. The tendency to chase a high or try to fill a hole is often overpowering and an addict will find whatever outlet is available.
So, how do you deal with this?
Redirecting these tendencies then becomes your single most important responsibility. To avoid temptation and destructive impulses, it is important to cultivate a lifestyle filled with healthy activities. These will keep your mind active while completely removing, or sufficiently tamping down, the possibility of them causing you undue stress. Additionally, these will involve little risk and often tangible rewards.
There are many activities that fall into this category. However, it is important to find one that best suits you and your particular situation. Here are a few examples of activities and how they can best be adjusted to fit what you want.
This is a particularly good choice, if you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty. It is easily amenable to your lifestyle, contains very few risk factors, provides you with tangible rewards, and, best of all, gifts you with healthy fruits or flowers. Do you work a lot and only have a little spare time? Then arrange a small flower pot for yourself and take ten minutes to do some light watering and care. Do you have even more time? Then go for a full garden, diversify, and enjoy the natural rewarding experience of it all.
Learn to play a musical instrument
When suggesting activities for gamblers, experts will frequently advise taking the time to learn a new skill. This is very useful, as doing this will occupy you fully, giving you little to no time to think about your urges. When it comes to skills you could learn, few can compare to learning to play an instrument. It’s rare to find the person who does not enjoy music in one form or aother, and music itself often has a soothing effect on the mind and body. There are numerous musical instruments for you to choose from, all of them with varying degrees of difficulty and cost in time and money.
This is a staple for wellbeing and is just as crucial to your recovery from addiction. A good workout will not only occupy your mind, but it will often leave you too busy to even think about anything else, and this is an essential benefit. The physical rewards from exercise are just as great, and you will be able to see them every day in your own body. An often-understated benefit is the emotional benefit. Regular exercise will not only have you looking better, it will help you feel better. Exercise has been known to raise self-esteem. Additionally, if you exercise outside it will improve your chances of creating social bonds which are yet another boon on your way to recovery.
Start a passion project
This idea is especially good if you are a creative of some kind, as embarking on a new project will be a good outlet. But, even if you are not an artist of any kind, taking the time to create or build something is a rewarding experience that will let you exercise and flex your mental muscles. But, with this, it is important to start small with projects that are not too taxing and with very little on the line. Whatever project you embark on, the process of working on and finishing it will leave you with a great sense of accomplishment.
This is highly advised as a way to occupy yourself and is likely the best and most rewarding activity you will be able to find. By volunteering your services to your community, you will be dedicating your time to something beyond yourself, which is a great way to strengthen your emotional state. There is no shortage of activities you can do for your community and all of them cost you little to nothing beyond your time.