As with any behavioural addiction, the first step to stopping gambling on online slots is to acknowledge that you have a problem and seek help. Thankfully, there are several ways you can do this. The most important is to place barriers between yourself and the addictive behaviour. This can be done by blocking access to dangerous websites using apps like Gamban or by installing self-exclusion software on your computer or mobile devices.
Another crucial tool is to change your thoughts. People who struggle with compulsive gambling often have unhealthy thought patterns that reinforce the behavior. These include the illusion of control, irrational beliefs and the gambler’s fallacy. These thinking patterns can be challenging to change, but it is possible to replace them with more productive coping strategies.
Changing your thoughts can also be achieved through identifying and eliminating triggers. For example, if your regular route to and from work passes by a casino or you regularly watch sports games that make you want to gamble, try taking a different route or leaving your credit cards at home. Also, consider avoiding forums or groups that focus on gambling as this can be very tempting.
It is essential to recognise that gambling is a game of chance, and while some people can be skilled at improving their chances of winning, the vast majority of players cannot. In fact, there is not one single strategy that can guarantee that you will win a jackpot in an online slot game. All that can be done is to play responsibly, stick to your budget and avoid making common mistakes.
Many people struggle with gambling addiction because they use it as an escape. This is not uncommon, and some studies have shown that non-drug behavioral addictions can cause changes in the brain that are similar to those caused by drug addiction. People who struggle with these kinds of addictions can feel the same cravings, impaired control and withdrawal as those that have a substance use disorder.
For those who struggle with gambling addiction, it is important to replace the addictive behaviour with healthy habits that offer a similar sense of reward. This can be achieved through volunteering, exercise or even simply focusing on the positive aspects of your life. For example, you could start a journal that lists everything you are grateful for each day. This can reduce stress and depression triggers and help you to change maladaptive coping mechanisms for good.
Some people will attempt to stop gambling on online slots by going cold turkey, but this is rarely a good idea. It is much better to adopt new, healthy behaviors gradually and build up to a point where you no longer have a need for online slots. It is also important to seek help from a reputable gambling treatment centre. Admitting that you have a problem is the first step in getting back in control, and a qualified addictions counselor can help you develop a treatment plan that suits your needs.