Gambling Triggers and Self-Esteem – Why You Can’t Stop Betting

An effective approach for breaking free of gambling addiction involves taking it day by day and avoiding situations and venues associated with betting – such as casinos, TABs or online gambling sites.

Writing a daily journal can help you identify triggers. For instance, if cravings occur when bored or stressed out, change up your commute route or watch sports to distract yourself and avoid these cravings.


Triggers are any individual, place, or thing that triggers emotional responses and negative symptoms such as fear, anxiety, panic, flashbacks and physical discomfort. Triggers could include anything from smells to routine changes. Many times triggers are related to past trauma while some could also be tied to unfounded fears like phobias. Vicarious trauma (stress caused by others) may also play a part.

Identification is essential in taking steps to alleviate triggers. Journaling may help identify where they come from; for example hearing your parents criticise you or being bullied at school are potential sources. Therapy could also provide valuable help retraining negative beliefs and changing behavioral responses so situations that once caused frustration may turn positive over time – like child tantrums becoming conversations rather than arguments and losing parking spaces turning humorous rather than frustrating!


Self-esteem refers to an individual’s beliefs about themselves and how much they value themselves, affecting how they act and react. People with high self-esteem tend to take care of themselves more, discover their potential, set goals for themselves and reach them more readily than those with low self-esteem who tend to engage in unhealthy coping mechanisms and negative self-talk that lead them down a path towards depression or anxiety.

Develop a healthy sense of self-esteem takes time, but starting by limiting screen time and practicing mindfulness can make a big difference. Spend more time with family and friends; spending time together makes us feel like part of something larger. Another effective way of strengthening self-esteem is giving back to the community – this could include tutoring a child or cleaning up parks – giving back is also key when building self-esteem. Seeking professional help for mental health concerns may also play a vital role.


Stress is often the catalyst for problem gambling. Finding effective methods of stress management – like meditation, yoga and mindfulness practices – can help combat temptation to gamble and stay away from harmful addiction. Proven techniques include mediation, yoga and mindfulness practices which reduce anxiety while encouraging self-reflection and allowing you to more clearly recognize emotions and triggers that could influence gambling behavior.

Journeying away from betting can be full of highs and lows, yet relapses should be used as opportunities for learning rather than setbacks. Building support networks, seeking professional services, and learning from past mistakes will make navigating relapses easier as you strive towards living a balanced life. Committing yourself fully, taking an active approach, being patient with yourself, as well as having compassion is required on this journey to recovery.

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