Coping With Urges
When an individual with a gambling addiction has urges, immediate action must be taken. A gambling urge is very powerful and an individual can give into this urge very impulsively.
If an individual gives into an urge without making an intervention, a vicious slide back into the addiction can happen in an instant. This can create a downward spiral of financial losses as well as severe demoralization.
Here are some tips to help cope with urges to return to gambling:
o Call your therapist or someone in your support group immediately. Do not waste any time taking this step!
o Go online and visit one of the gambling forums in MSN or Yahoo groups and read some stories about people’s gambling addiction. Reading about their stories may help the gambling urge pass, since it will give you a reminder of just how destructive your gambling addiction really is.
o Get to the closes Gamblers Anonymous or even an Alcoholic’s Anonymous meeting as soon as possible. You need as much support as you can get.
o Call an old friend just to say hi.
o Visit a bookstore and treat yourself to a good cup of fancy coffee with whipped cream.
o Treat yourself to a massage. It is very self-nurturing
o Take a long walk outside or in the park as exercise improves mood.
o Rent a good movie or watch a good comedy show on television.
o Treat yourself to a good meal. Indulge yourself a little…your are worth it!
It is hoped that some of these tips were helpful to either yourself or to a family member or friend with a gambling problem. It is important for the gambler not to give into these urges as these will pass.
Remember that we are all looking to receive pleasure and avoid pain. A person with a gambling addiction needs to replace his or her gambling activity with a pleasurable activity that is slightly indulgent… but non-destructive.