Are you thinking about changing your gambling?
For most people, changing their relationship to gambling isn’t a straightforward process. One day you may be ready to call it quits and the next day you couldn’t imagine your life without it. When you’re dealing with any big change in your life, it’s normal to go back and forth on your decision until you’re really ready.
Most people who are thinking about changing their gambling move through some different steps.
You are happy with your gambling all the time and don’t see a problem.
You recognise you might have problem with gambling and can see the benefits of backing off, but at the same time, you still enjoy it and aren’t quite ready to give it up.
Use the gambling calculator to see how much money you can save by changing your gambling behaviour and what else you can spend it on.
You accept you need to make a change and start making plans. This could include thinking about ways to avoid gambling triggers, like finding other ways to deal with stress. Seeking help from services designed to support people with problem gambling can be useful in this step.
You are actively trying to change your gambling behaviour using strategies which may include distracting yourself with other activities and talking to supportive friends and family.
You are trying and testing different strategies to find the ones that help you and finding new ways to use the time you once spent gambling — like exercise and new activities. Find a range of self-help strategies.
You are maintaining the changes you’ve made to your gambling behaviour and resisting the pull of old habits using a range of strategies. In this step it’s important to keep up your new behaviours so they can become habits.
People often go back and forth between these steps while they’re changing their behaviour, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you go back to a previous step. Recognise it’s a part of the process and get back to your strategies or try talking to supportive people around you or counsellor — We can help.
Keep in mind that every small change you make to reduce your gambling behaviour is an achievement and can lead to big changes - you just need to make a start.
Whatever step of the journey you are on, if you need some help, go to Get Support.