“You should get out more.” Five words many of us have heard before, rarely spoken in praise. Yet what if those cheeky snide remarks were onto something? We should all get out more, as any doctor will tell us, and this — along with a few other healthy living suggestions we’ll discuss today — really can make a difference in keeping us away from compulsive gambling.
Like the thrill of gambling, exercise releases endorphins. “For starters, exercise releases endorphins, the body’s “feel-good hormones,” that can calm the mind and relax the body.” Clinical psychologist Jenny C. Yip, PsyD said. Unlike gambling, we’ll never go into debt or lose those we care about through exercise. We feel better when we’re in shape, and every time we finish a brisk jog, there’s a real sense of accomplishment involved. When our muscles are sore — the good kind of sore — our bodies will thank us. Fitness is a journey, not a destination, and that journey is filled with fun. Walks through parks with friends, sprints and swims in decathlons, it’s all a part of the journey.
It may sound daunting at first, and believe you me, it will be hard, but over time you’ll find it easier to meet your cardio goals. You’ll be inspired to stretch those goals. Rather than banking on odds you can’t control, why not invest time and effort into a cheaper way to get those endorphins going? You’ll look great, feel great, and experience a clarity of mind only possible through exercise.
An Apple a Day
We can’t blame you if you’re starting to feel like today’s blog entry could be found on all sorts of pages unrelated to gambling. But hear us out — healthy eating really can keep us away from gambling. “A balanced diet that includes lots of fiber helps keep your gut system running efficiently by helping to support a more diverse gut microbiome.” John M. Grohol, Psy.D. said. Think of it this way. Addiction is built on impulses; we impulsively crave a hit of whatever we’re stuck on, including slot machines, lottery tickets, poker hands, and other such fare. When we’re addicted to gambling, we’re seeking that one big win that may well never come to us. Mathematically speaking, it is downright illogical for us to believe we’ll ever find it, but since someone has to win eventually, we figure it may as well be us.
Break the Cycle
This kind of thought process is dangerous. As you likely already know, compulsive gambling can destroy lives. What else can destroy lives? Poor diet. What sort of thinking prompts a person to eat fast food three meals a day every day of the week? Impulsive thinking! When we eat poorly, we blame time and money for our impulsive decision-making. When we gamble overmuch, we blame the cards for not favoring us. We may even blame a lack of money for the money that we’re spending on our bets. It doesn’t make much sense when you stop to think it through, does it?
Here’s where the correlation comes into light. The better we feel about ourselves, the less likely we are to make mistakes. Gambling when we’re trying to get our lives back in order? That’s a mistake. And the better we eat, the greater we’re feel. Fresh home-cooked meals rich in vitamins and minerals will leave our bodies in good condition and our minds running on all cylinders. Now we can consider all our options, including the detriment we’ll cause if we spiral back into a lack of self-control. The very sort of self-control we lack if we’re constantly eating out, causing harm to our minds and bodies! It’s all cyclical, and that is why it’s so crucial that we take care of ourselves when we’re breaking away from our vices.
No matter how strong we are, we’ll always have an easier time curbing addictions when we aren’t alone. You’re going to need a dedicated support network, and developing these sorts of bonds will also mean living a healthier life. Mental health has inescapable ties to compulsive gambling, and our mentality will improve when we’re surrounded by people who care about us and want to see us get through this. “Social media can be a good adjunct to treatment, but not necessarily a replacement. If online support and resources are all that some people can manage, then I think it’s important we support them in that.” A reminder from Dr. Stephanie Smith, a clinical psychologist
Good news, then, because we can find these people just about anywhere. While there’s no replacement for a deeper sense of love only available to us through those who are closest, there’s plenty of good vibes to be had in hiking guilds, dance clubs, and any other hot hangout scene. Get social! Scope out the local offerings and challenge yourself to reconnect with other people. There’s no underestimating just how helpful it is to see a few friendly faces in life.