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The New Year is a great time for a fresh start, allowing you to old habits behind and commit to a healthier, more balanced future. However, using sheer will power to succeed might not be enough. To keep yourself on the right track, you need the right tools and support. With a good support system in place, relapses become easier to avoid or recover from. All of the following can help:

Developing New Interests

Compulsive gambling can eat up a lot of a person's time. When you decide to cut this activity out of your life, free time and the resultant boredom are real dangers to your recovery. Identify one or two hobbies you have always wanted to explore more, and then begin dedicating time to them.

Getting lost in enjoyable and healthy activity can help avoid triggers that could otherwise lead you back to sports betting or other gaming. By dedicating a couple of hours a day to a new activity, you can keep yourself active and engaged with your life in a way that builds satisfaction and wellbeing.

Incorporating Mental Health Care and Stress Relief into Each Day

Many people's gambling triggers are emotional. They'll feel stressed about finances, which can lead them to want to take a chance. Or, they'll have a day where they feel especially confident and lucky, as if this is the day that they'll have a big win.

Good mental health care practices can help avoid the behaviors that can harm during big ups and big downs. Instead, they help you stay on a more even keel and develop a stronger inner stability. Some people find relief from meditation while others find mindfulness activities or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy exercises helpful for them. 

Working on Physical Health and Wellbeing

A large body of research shows that people who work out regularly report higher levels of happiness and are more emotionally resilient. There are a lot of different explanations for how and why exercise helps. Some point to the fact that exercise releases feel-good brain chemicals like dopamine and endorphins, while reducing stress hormones like cortisol. Others say that a better level of physical wellbeing naturally leads to a better level of emotional wellbeing, as well. Still others point to the benefits of being outdoors or the social advantages of team sports and exercise classes.

No matter the mechanism behind it, exercise has strong benefits for people who are in recovery. Start exploring different activities to see which are likely to be helpful and enjoyable for you. Some people find they do best with the disciple of daily visits to the gym. Others find that they enjoy losing themselves outside in nature while running, walking or swimming. Explore a number of activities to find the best one for you. You'll soon find that you have the power to recover strong, especially with the right treatment program.

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Developing a Positive Support Network

The company that we keep can have a huge effect on lasting recovery from problem gambling. Some individuals can either act as enablers or actively contribute to the behaviors you are trying to avoid. Some, on the other hand, can help support your growing sobriety. Surround yourself with the sorts of people who can lend emotional support when needed and who help you grow toward the person you want to be.

Recovery isn't easy. Making new habits can, in fact, be the hardest thing that you do. But, by putting new habits and surroundings into place, you can support your New Year's resolution and move on to a world after compulsive gambling. What can make your recovery easier, and more consistent, is finding the right gambling treatment program. Contacting a gambling addiction treatment professional is the first step towards helping you or your loved succeed with their gambling resolutions. Let’s chat confidentially about gambling addiction and learn more about the assistance that can help you get your life back on track. Taking this first step could change your entire life for the better.

Topics: Gambling Addiction, sports betting, New Year

Rick Benson

Written by Rick Benson

Rick founded Algamus Recovery Centers in 1992. A Cornell University graduate, Rick is an Internationally Certified Gambling Counselor (ICGC-II) and a Canadian Problem Gambling Counselor (CPGC). Algamus and Rick were featured on the very first episode of Intervention on the A&E channel.