Gambling Freedom - Quitting Gambling - Day 1
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Gambling Freedom in 60 Days: Day 1

The reason you signed up for a 60 day program was likely because gambling has caused you severe financial harm. So your first goal should be to be constantly aware of this damage happening again.

What financial pain has gambling cost you?

Today, plan to reach out to make new non gambling friends. If you gamble online you also need to make new friends. You need something different to do other than gamble.

What is your motivation for quitting gambling now?
1. ___________________________________________________________
2. ___________________________________________________________
3. ___________________________________________________________
4. ___________________________________________________________
5. ___________________________________________________________

You have heard that the love of money is the fruit of all evil. How have you proven that to be true?
1. ________________________________________________________
2. ________________________________________________________
3. ________________________________________________________

Have you tried to quit gambling before? ________

Why did that attempt fail? ___________________________________________________

What new activities will you start this week to replace gambling?
1. _________________________________________________________
2. _________________________________________________________
3. _________________________________________________________
4. _________________________________________________________

Today throw away and get rid of anything that is gambling related. Get rid of poker chips, delete your gambling web sites, change your Email address so that you no longer get invitations from gambling sites.

Strive to learn from people who are trying to quit. We will follow several people to see how they did it – Ty, Sue, Tom, Joy and TJ   Sue is rebel. TJ has hit rock bottom. Tom gets bored easily.

Sue is struggling to believe what her new friends at GA are telling her about the destruction gambling brings. But she is still paying off debts she racked up while gambling. So she said to herself twice today: gambling has caused me destruction, it has in the past and it will in the future (unless I quit).

Tom gets bored easily (which leads him right to gambling) so he wrote down what he planned to do today (instead of gambling). If you gamble for fun you need fun activities to replace gambling . If you gamble for excitement you need exciting activities etc.

TJ hit rock bottom so hard that he will do anything to avoid falling back. He came up with a plan to lower his stress with exercise.

Does stress lead you back to gambling? Do you find that exercise reduces stress? Today start a new exercise program. If you are way out of shape start small and build every day or every other day. People who maintain a regular exercise program feel less depressed and less anxious, improve their self concepts, and enhance the quality of their lives. (Folkins & Sime, 1981).

If you gamble to get out of a financial hole try to find some extra work instead.


Quitting Addiction Exercises


One of the biggest keys to quitting addiction is to know (and have organized) what exercises you need to do to help in quitting gambling. On this web site and on many others there are mental exercises you can do. But to simply read about them and then to do them for a few days is not the answer. The day one process includes starting a journal to write down every exercise you come across so that you can reference them at any time in the future. It does not need to be fancy; a Wal-mart one subject notebook for a dollar is just fine.

The way I would organize the journal would be to reserve the first 4 pages for exercises you know you would like to do every day. In the next section I would jot down idea’s that seem to be good, but ones that you are not sure you want to review every day. Over time if you change your mind about one of the exercises, you could promote it to the front everyday section.

You can fill your journal with quitting addiction idea’s every day (that you find a new exercise). You can write down key points from my articles or any articles on the internet. You can put in idea’s you get from overcoming addiction books. You can write down idea’s you get at addiction help groups you attend. The point is to write down all the great idea’s you hear or read that you think will work for you, so that you can have instant access to them in the future. Most of us don’t realize how quickly we forget things. We can’t afford to forget things that affect our future, family, finances, freedom and many other things.

The following are examples of some types of exercises you may want in your journal.

1: Form a habit to say to yourself 5 times a day that “my addiction causes me financial destruction. It has in the past and it will in the future.”

2: Have a list of the benefits of quitting your addiction. Write down all the benefits then memorize the top 5 and top ten benefits. This will allow you to say the benefits multiple times each day until you get on more solid footing in your recovery.

3: Pray often each day “Lord keep me from temptation”(This is part of the Lord’s prayer from the Bible).

Every day keep adding ideas that work for you. You can choose to work on your journal all day. But if your addiction is long term it is more important to make it a habit to review it or work on it every day.

Your use (or lack of use) of a journal will tell you exactly how much you really want to quit your addiction. If you can’t spend four minutes per day reviewing and doing mental exercises you probably have a good chance of staying addicted. On the other hand if you start the journal and are careless with reviewing it every day you have also learned something. You have learned that one of the reasons that you are still addicted is because you are not dedicated enough to having a new routine. For more severe addictions you may need to refer to your journal several times each day to that you will remember to do your exercises consistently.

Even when you are having one of those days where you strongly suspect that you are going to fall, still, review your journal. Maybe it will help turn you around. But it will at the very least keep you in your new routine as long as possible. You never know when fighting off that craving for as long as possible will lead to you never giving in again as long as you live.

Don’t be mad at God or at people who can help you. Let somebody in and be open to their help.

Never forget the #1 rule for quitting gambling: Never give up.

TJ hit rock bottom so hard that he will do anything to avoid falling back. He printed out the following strategy.

John Lee wrote the following at

“The Four Ds – a Simple Relapse Prevention Strategy

You can (and should) try to avoid cues and triggers but there’s no way to dodge them all; if you’re in recovery – and you want to stay in recovery – you need to learn to cope with cravings.

Cravings come in waves. They feel like they’ll last forever but if you can endure for 20 minutes or so, they always dissipate into nothingness.

And fortunately, the more often you resist those cravings, the weaker they get and the less frequently they bother you.

If you can hold on for just a few minutes, you can almost always overcome your cravings. To help you with this, here’s an easy-to-remember coping strategy (The Four Ds) to get you safely past the 20 minute danger zone.

Find freedom from gambling with the 4 D’s.

The Four Ds

This is a classic relapse prevention technique. The Ds stand for:

  1. Delay– Since cravings rise and fall like waves, if you can delay a relapse decision for 20 minutes you’ll generally find the cravings dissipate on their own.
  2. Distract– Craving time passes more quickly when engaged in a distracting activity for a few minutes.
  3. Deep breathing– Deep breathing exercises help you maintain calm and purpose when cravings hit, keeping you from making rash decisions.
  4. Drink a glass of water– Drinking a glass of water relaxes you and sets your purpose. Imagine your cravings as like a runaway train gathering momentum to a disaster. Simple activities like taking a moment to drink a glass of water are like brakes that slow that train!1

So the next time you feel a craving, remember The Four Ds and avoid a permanent mistake caused by a temporary urge.

Here are 20 solid distraction ideas that will keep you occupied just long enough. Try any or all that make sense to you, or better yet, come up with a list of your own.

You may want to write down a few go-to distraction tasks and keep them on your person (see the example chart at the end of this article). This way you won’t be left scrambling for distraction ideas when already struggling with cravings – you’ll have your ideas planned out and ready to go.

20 Distraction Ideas for Cravings

  1. Take a shower, even if you don’t need one. Scrub hard and turn the water as hot (or cold) as you can stand it. Let it soak into you for a few minutes and by the time you towel dry 20 minutes later you’ll probably feel a lot less tempted to fold.
  2. Wash and wax the car
  3. Call a friend and talk about their problems (not yours)
  4. Clean the fridge, the bathroom or the garage – cleaning anything provides just the right amount of physical exertion and mental distraction – and as an added bonus you feel better after getting it done.2
  5. Walk the dog (or just take a walk around the block)
  6. Go jogging
  7. Do a quick home work-out
  8. Meditate or do yoga
  9. Play a musical instrument
  10. Do a progressive muscle relaxation exercise or write in a journal
  11. Catch up on work for a few minutes
  12. Prepare an interesting snack, and then enjoy it
  13. Do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle
  14. If you’re tempted to gamble at home, then get out of the house and go for a drive. This can be a risky. Don’t get in the car if you’ll steer by autopilot to the nearest casino.
  15. Play a challenging video game
  16. Do bicycle maintenance
  17. Cut the grass
  18. Walk out and get a coffee
  19. Fix that thing that needs fixing – replace burnt-out light bulbs or dead batteries, etc.
  20. Water all the plants or groom your pet

The next time you feel a craving coming on, take a moment to feel it in your body, and then tell yourself that it’s going to pass if you can just wait it out – and then use one of the 20 methods listed above (or any others you can think of) to distract yourself while you wait for that urge to disappear.

And since the more tools you have at your disposal the better your odds of success, learn how to urge surf as well – it’s a fantastic mindfulness technique that lets you glide with attention right over the peak of a craving.


Distraction Ideas – write down 5 that would be good for you: include at least one that forces you into action.
Reasons for Staying free

  1. To avoid an early heart attack and to avoid exacerbating my high blood pressure problem
  2. To be a better parent for my child. To avoid breaking a promise to my child that I would not gamble again
  3. To succeed at work (rather than just treading water)
  4. To stay married (spouse will divorce me if I keep gambling)

Thanks for reading day 1 on quitting gambling and how to stop cravings.

Please click for day 2 in the lower right hand corner.