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Coping with Triggers as a Recovering Gambling Addict

April 4, 2024 Kevin Anyango

Recovering from gambling addiction throws a lot your way, including coping with triggers. You're constantly dodging old habits and navigating a world that sometimes seems designed to trigger cravings. From the countless betting advertisements on your screen to casinos on almost every block, there are so many triggers, and it is so easy to feel overwhelmed. For a long time, these triggers proved too strong for me to overcome. I found myself repeatedly drawn back to gambling, each time promising myself that it was the last. In this article, I'll be sharing some of the strategies that have helped me manage my triggers in gambling addiction recovery.

Triggers and Recovering from Gambling Addiction

Here are some of the ways I handle triggers in gambling addiction recovery:

  • Knowing my triggers — What are your triggers during gambling addiction recovery? Is it feeling stressed about money or work, the social atmosphere of a bar, or the adrenaline rush you used to get from placing a bet? Once you identify your triggers, developing a plan to address them becomes easier. 
  • Practicing self-care and mindfulness — Find something you enjoy to keep your mind occupied. For me, a quick jog, a high-energy workout class, or even just some brisk walking can completely shift my mood. Mindfulness practices like meditation and deep breathing techniques are also a great way to clear your head and detach from the emotional pull of a gambling addiction trigger.
  • Taking away the bait — Sometimes, the most effective way to manage a trigger in gambling addiction recovery is to avoid it. If walking past a casino is a major challenge, try taking a different route. Unsubscribe from all gambling-related emails and texts and anything else that can be a trigger. You can also use website blocker tools to restrict access to risky sites.
  • Remembering why you started — When cravings get intense, it's easy to forget the progress you have made. In those moments, I remind myself why I started this journey in the first place. I visualize the life I'm building for myself, free from the destructive cycle of gambling addiction.
  • Joining support groups or finding people you can share your journey with — It is easy to feel like you can't make it, especially when you don't have someone to walk the journey with you. Sharing your struggles with a trusted friend, family member, therapist, or sponsor can help you develop strategies to resist the urge to gamble.

Handling triggers in gambling addiction recovery is not a sprint. It takes time, and there will be setbacks along the way. However, with dedication and the right tools, you can overcome these obstacles. Remember, there are many resources available, and a supportive community awaits. Keep moving forward, one step at a time. You've got this.

APA Reference
Anyango, K. (2024, April 4). Coping with Triggers as a Recovering Gambling Addict, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 25 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2024/4/coping-with-triggers-as-a-recovering-gambling-addict



Author: Kevin Anyango

Kevin Anyango likes to say, "I am still me, no matter my mental health." Find Kevin on Twitter

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