Every day we do things because we have to. Think about it… a lot of our day is often filled up with tasks such as our job, grocery shopping, filling the car with petrol, mowing the lawn, vacuuming the house…the list goes on! While these things do need to be done, they are not rewarding in and of themselves. The danger is, that often we get so bogged down with what we have to do that we forget to do things simply because we want to do them!
Every day, we need to do at least one thing simply because we want to.
It’s very easy to get into a ‘slump’ or get bored in a daily routine that is filled with work and chores. Many people say that they use gambling to deal with this boredom. But actually – there are so many other things to do, and sometimes all you need is a little reminder.
What are some of the things you used to do but don’t anymore? Did you play sport? Play a musical instrument? Cook? Play board games? Do jigsaw puzzles? Go for walks? Kick the ball around in a park? Read books? Go to the gym? Do Sudoku?
Incorporating pleasant activities into each day works on two levels. Firstly, it really helps to improve our mood and secondly it can lower our likelihood of gambling. Both of these are great things! Let’s take a bit of a closer look:
- Improving our mood
Participating in pleasant activities increases a person’s positive feelings. The more someone engages in pleasant activities, the lower their chance of loneliness or depression. This means, that doing pleasant activities makes you feel good!
- Distraction from gambling
Many people feel that they gamble because they are bored, lonely or want some excitement. If you have something fun to look forward to in your day, you are less likely to be bored and therefore less likely to go and gamble. Try and organise fun activities for your high-risk gambling times, e.g. pay day, times when you know you normally get bored etc which can serve as great distractions from gambling!
An example of this would be someone who gets paid on Thursdays and usually goes straight to the pub to the Pokies after work rather than going home. Instead, they could organise to go to the gym or movies with their friend on Thursday after work so that they don’t play the pokies.
It might take some getting used to if gambling has been your main activity for some time. But incorporating one thing you WANT to do, rather than HAVE to do each day is a good start!
If you think you may have a problem gambling, help is available. Call Gambling Help on 1800 858 858 to speak with a gambling counsellor. Free individual sessions are available to anybody who might be concerned their gambling has gotten out of hand.