Constructive Ways to Overcome Gambling Urges

Ways to overcome gambling urges
Ways to Overcome Gambling Urges

Gambling urges can be seen in a player who visits the casino often and sits at poker machines for hours in the false hope of winning something.

Not only pokies but Australians are also great fans of lotteries and soon form an addiction to them.

These urges are dangerous and can lead to problem gambling.

When you form a habit to play poker regularly or bet on sports or daily play lottery and spend so much money on gambling, you need to stop it at once.

It can strain your relationships, disrupt your work, and lead to financial disaster. You might do things you haven’t considered, like running up huge debts or stealing money to gamble.

Do not worry; there are many constructive ways to fight this addiction.

And once stopped, the best thing is to stay out of it.

Constructive Ways to Overcome Gambling Urges

There are many ways to overcome Gambling urges. Constructive in the sense that you don’t need any medicine or treatment.

It is to tell your brain to stop spending time on games and find a creative way to spend it.

1. Know How You Spend Your Free Time

Man reading book
Hook to some storybook in your free time
  • You are struggling with periods of boredom in your lives. It is, therefore, always better to plan your days so that you do not get tempted to fill your empty space by gambling.
  • It’s better to develop a habit of using your free time productively by creating art, singing, gardening, or doing similar work.
  • Research supports this aspect, showing that problem gamblers have a low threshold for boredom. When faced with an uninspiring task, they avoid or do not complete it.

Tip: Start a free podcast and read books.

2. Why Not Do Something Different

Do Something different
Think out of the box to do something different
  • When you gamble, your brain works in a certain way, but it still needs to be continuously knocked that you have stopped. So, it is better to set new goals and work every day.
  • When you are dedicated to problem-solving, you will be better able to cope with gambling urges when they come.

Tip: Try something different, like opening a lemonade bar in your neighbourhood or holding a dancing competition at home.

Why is Gambling Addictive?

3. Get Back an Old Hobby

Ignite an old hobby
Ignite an old hobby
  • Gamblers often lose interest in hobbies as they get increasingly involved in playing and betting. After you have stopped, it is important to rekindle old hobbies.
  • This will promote your self-esteem and provide a regular reminder of your new way of life.
  • Like addictions, it is necessary to find a healthier activity to replace gambling addiction. This will keep you focused on your new way of life rather than what you miss out on.

Tip: Get back to drawing, painting, singing, pottery, building blocks or whatever you felt loved to do as a kid.

What is Responsible Gambling?

4. Live One Day at a Time

Live one day at a time
Live one day at a time
  • This means you must stop worrying about what happened to you yesterday or what will happen tomorrow. Live on today!
  • An urge to get even with the bookmakers or casinos will restrict your ability to focus on your recovery issues.
  • Living one day at a time also means not worrying about what tomorrow might bring.

Tip: Keep focused on what you can do today to help your ongoing recovery from addiction.

Biggest gambling losses in the world

5. Ignore Gambling Ads and Betting Events

Sportsbet ad
Sportsbet ad
  • Though gambling ads are banned in most states in Australia, if you find such ads, ignore them.
  • Research has indicated that gamblers tend to have difficulties with the management of impulse control and with delaying gratification.
  • You need to strengthen your dedication to resolve special events when they are approaching.
  • If you were a sports gambler, special events such as football World Cups and European Championships, the Wimbledon tennis tournament, the Cheltenham Festival, Royal Ascot, or the Ryder Cup can be quite challenging.

Tip: Avoid the increased hype in the media surrounding these events, especially when bookmaking firms offer special offers.

How to manage yourself playing pokies

6. Find Different Ways to Relax

Ways to relax
Ways to relax
  • Stress is the barometer of how you manage your emotions and can be a major contributing factor in relapse from gambling recovery.
  • Finding new, healthy ways to cope with stress is very important, whether through physical exercise, meditation, hypnotherapy, or speaking to a trusted friend.
  • The risks are that the temptation to gamble will become stronger and stronger as you become more stressed.  

Tip: Play with kids, watch comedy movies or stroll and relax your mind.

7. Live in Truth that Gambling is Losing

Gambling is losing
Gambling is losing
  • It is important to keep reminding yourself that without discipline, you will almost certainly lose your money, regardless of your betting strategy.
  • On a per-capita basis, Australians placed gambling bets worth AUD$198 billion in this financial year, resulting in a total loss of AUD$24 billion.
  • Your gambling urges might appear as seductive temptations when you are undergoing financial worries, particularly as most forms of gambling offer the potential of immediate high reward.

Tip: George Bernard Shaw: “In gambling, the many must lose so that the few may win.” Remember this.

8. Write a Daily Gratitude Note

Write a daily gratitude Note
Thanks and smile are the two ways to show gratitude
  • Make a point to write small notes about whatever good things happen to you. Be thankful to all the people who make your day and to God.
  • You are less likely to search for excitement when you take a grateful approach. Try it; it works.

Tip: Connect with people around you and your community, and stay positive.

9. Nothing Worked, Seek a Counsellor

Seek Counseling for Gambling
Seek Counseling for Gambling
  • Counselling and talking therapy are the best ways to heal any old emotional wounds that are getting in your way.
  • Building trust and rapport with a therapist can help identify specific personal vulnerabilities to relapse and hidden triggers and devise a plan for a successful recovery.

Tip: Some counsellors in Australia offer free service to problem gamblers. Please don’t feel shy approaching them. You need to heal and discard the old habit of gambling.

Taking Forward

There are many ways to overcome gambling urges. Determining and strong will will hold you back from engaging in gaming activities that harm you and cause you financial losses.

Remember that you and only you should try all means to stop your gaming urges.

With a positive mind and community support, nothing is impossible in this world.


How will I know if I have a gambling urge?

If your brain triggers you to play pokies or lotteries or bet on sports again and again, you are stressed if you don’t win, and you chase your losses.

What should I do immediately to stop?

You should stop chasing losses or wins, avoid the society of gamblers, save money for your family, and find a new hobby. Have the company of good friends and talk with them.

Can I play games even if I have a controlled habit of gambling?

You can play free games or play within a budget once a year if you want.

What will the counsellor do?

The counsellor will guide you and provide cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). They will also ask you to join self-exclusion programs at gaming venues so that you can limit your play.

About the author

Kamal Kaur