Here is a confession between you and me, there was once a time that I lost all my money on gambling. Imagine losing all your hard-earned money in just a few seconds. Earlier that night, you enter the casino feeling like the luckiest guy in the world. You just had a great feeling about how this night would go, and in your mind that would be you walking out with millions of dollars.
What will you spend it on? Will you buy a new house? A new car? How about a yahct? You’ve always wanted a yatch. Maybe you will put up a foundation to help the poor and give back. Maybe you will go on a vacation around the world for a year.
Sadly as the night came to an end, your expectations doesn’t seem to match your reality. You hear someone ask you if you want to continue. All you have left is 1,500 US Dollars. Are you going to bet all of it? Or just go home? Go home with that amount? What about your million dollars? You find yourself saying that you are going to bet it all. You hear a collective gasp of doubt around you and you try to sound confident with your decision as you say, “Go home or go big, right?”
In the next few seconds, you feel cold sweat forming in your palms. It’s over! You lost! With your head bowed down and shoulders slumped, you walked away from the table. You have lost everything. The money you worked hard for months were all lost in a night. What will you do tomorrow? You are broke. Earlier that night, you walked inside the casino with a heart full of hopes but at the end of it all, you walk out with empty pockets and a heart full of regret.
However, the next week you find yourself trying again. This time, you will win that million dollars. If this is you, stop and ask yourself if this is really worth it? Are you addicted to gambling?
If your answer is a resounding “yes”, then this is for you. Here are a couple of tips on how to avoid the dangerous habit of gambling.
- ACTIVELY STAY AWAY FROM CASINOS AND FRIENDS WHO ENJOY GAMBLING. That is the best way you can avoid losing money. You can’t lose money if you won’t join in the first place. If you can’t seem to avoid it without any external help, don’t be ashamed to ask from support from your friends and family.
- KEEP YOURSELF ACTIVE AND BUSY. If you stay idle for too long you might get the itch to go visit the casino even for just an hour or so. Believe me, you won’t be getting out that establishment for another two hours or so. If you feel the strong urge to go gambling, make yourself busy with a movie or go bake, plant, hike, or do whatever that will keep your mind off it. If you go back, you will find yourself hooked again. Just don’t let that happen.
- LEARN SOMETHING NEW. Keep your mind active by forming other healthy habits like planting trees, painting, trekking, or hiking. It will keep your body in shape, your wallet safe, and your mind busy which is the most important thing. Idle minds tend to wander.
There is nothing wrong with gambling if you know how to control yourself. However, if you are a compulsive gambler, there is no shame in asking for professional help. How will you know if you are a compulsive gambler?
- You want to increase and increase the amount that you gamble to be able to achieve the same level of thrill. You used to gamble ten dollars and you were okay with it. It got you excited but as time went on, gambling ten dollars has lost its luster. You start increasing the amount to twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, until you can’t afford it anymore.
- The money you lost in gambling doesn’t deter you from gambling again. We call this chasing your losses. It doesn’t work. You just lose more money in the process.
- You find yourself having no choice but to steal, lie, hurt people just to get money to gamble.
- You put important relationships, jobs, school, and work opportunities in line just so you can gamble.
- You constantly find yourself asking help from others to bail you out of the hole you have dug yourself into because of your gambling.
Gambling is a fun recreational activity as long as it stays like that. Light gambling can be a fun to do and can be a bonding experience between people involved. Remember, if you want to join a gamble, just be sure to set a loss limit and know when to get out. People with a compulsive gambling habit can be spotted because they are the ones who keep on playing with the goal to recover the money they had lost. Note that this behavior becomes destructive over time.
Remember, the best way to avoid this would be to not start at all.
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