Now that you’ve decided to quit gambling for good, and you’re on your way to freedom from addiction, you need to be on your guard against triggers.
Gambling relapse triggers exist everywhere in daily life, and they’re connected to emotions and stress, factors that are impossible to avoid. The better prepared you are to face these triggers, the more successful your recovery will be.
Let’s take a look at a list of triggers to be aware of.
6 Common Relapse Triggers that Can Harm Your Recovery from Gambling Addiction
As you go about your daily routine, it can be difficult to avoid the familiar circumstances that prompt you to go back to your old ways. Here’s what to look out for.
Your emotions can go up and down very on a day to day basis, even hour to hour sometimes. And negative emotions can be triggered by the smallest things. This can lead to a downward spiral that can cause a relapse into negative patterns.
It’s important to develop some coping mechanisms so that these emotions can simply pass through you without doing damage.
Stress is a huge factor is triggering negative emotions. It’s vital to keep yourself in check during stressful moments at work or with family when you might find yourself seeking comfort through your addiction. When these moments arise, stop and do a breathing exercise, taking a few seconds to center yourself.
Believe it or not, being over-confident can be a major trigger to relapse. During recovery, it’s important to always be self-aware that you are never out of the woods.
Many addicts often reach a point in their recovery where they feel strong, and thus put themselves in risky situations that they simply aren’t prepared to handle.
A healthy level of confidence is great, but you need to always understand that no matter how strong you feel, remember that addiction is a chronic disease, and you need to always stick closely to your relapse prevention plan.
4. Relationships and Sex
Relationships can be complicated and stressful. This is especially true when a romantic relationship comes to a sudden end. Keep in mind that it’s a wise idea to avoid beginning a new relationship during the early stages of recovery, when it’s very easy to get triggered by your emotions.
5. Halt: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired
HALT is an acronym that encompasses four of the major high-risk situations that can trigger relapse in addicts.
Your best bet for avoiding the emotional ups and downs caused by these situations is by taking care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, eat well, exercise, and avoid people who bring drama into your life.
6. Isolating Yourself
Gambling addicts often withdrawal from the type of support systems that can help them through the recovery process.
Support groups are important because they put you in contact with a counselor or sponsor who is there to listen and help in any way they can. Isolation can cause loneliness, which in turn triggers destructive patterns.
Recovery Is An On-Going Process
It’s important to remember that an addict is always in recovery, and there are common relapse triggers are all around you. Everywhere you go and everywhere you look, the temptation is always lurking around the next corner.
Identifying triggers and learning how to avoid them is vital to the success of your recovery.
Click here to learn how to know if a loved one is addicted to online gambling.