Gambling addiction relapse is very common, especially during times of stress. There are many things that you can do to prevent yourself from a relapse from your gambling addiction. This list is far from complete, however, I believe that these are five strategies that have personally helped me from going back to the casino and pumping my heart-earned money back into a slot machine.
1. Pick up the phone and call a friend, family member, Gambling Hotline, or Gamblers Anonymous member when the urge hits. Usually when we have an urge to gamble we are really looking for some nurturing from those who love us. Sometimes just a conversation with someone who cares can help your gambling urge pass.
2. Try to find something constructive to do such as taking a walk, creating a new recipe, or even going to the mall or bookstore. Try to do something fun and stimulating since this will be replacing the gambling activity that you are trying to stop yourself from engaging in. Fill the void.. with something to keep you busy.
3. Get out a pencil and paper and write down what it felt like when you were driving home from the casino broke, despondent, angry, and depressed. Describe these feelings in detail. You will start to feel those horrible feelings by just writing these down.
4. Visualize in your mind the drive back from the casino. After writing, use this power of visualization to really experience those feelings. Spend a minute or two doing this. After writing down your thoughts and feelings, and then visualizing these, you will truly experience the physiological feelings of the drive back from the casino or other gambling venue. You will not feel good.. trust me.
5. Reward yourself for not gambling. Buy yourself a small gift or a book. Rent a movie and enjoy your time away from gambling. You will feel uplifted and proud of yourself for not giving into your gambling addiction impulse.