Gambling is fun during the experience, but for many people it’s hard to stop. The problem is, that when gambling becomes habitual, it changes the brain’s reward circuitry, and triggers cravings for more wins. This can lead to gambling addiction, which is a serious disorder causing significant harm. The good news is that you can overcome it with professional treatment and self-exclusion tools like Freedom, a gambling blocker for Windows, Mac and iOS devices.
One of the most important ways to stop gambling on online slots is to understand why you’re doing it. For most people, gambling is a way to escape the stresses of daily life and find a temporary source of happiness. This is true even for those who don’t consider themselves heavy gamblers. Every little win triggers a burst of dopamine, the same brain chemicals activated by levelling up in a video game or getting a “like” on Facebook.
People who develop a problem with gambling often have the illusion that it will solve their problems. They may use gambling as a way to deal with stress, depression or even to escape their loneliness. However, escaping into a video game or a casino will not make the underlying issues go away and in fact can cause more stress, depression and anxiety in the long run. This is why it’s so important to find healthy activities that will give you the same dopamine rewards, without causing negative side effects.
You can try a new hobby, rekindle an old one or learn something completely different. This will occupy your mind and shift your focus away from problematic gambling. You can also volunteer to help others, which has been shown to increase happiness. Other healthy coping mechanisms include meditation and deep breathing exercises, which can calm your thoughts and reduce urges to gamble.
It’s essential to keep track of your money. Set a budget and stick to it. Ensure you have enough cash for your basic expenses, then decide how much you’re willing to spend on online gambling. If you don’t have any cash left, it’s time to stop gambling for the day.
Another key aspect to overcoming gambling is understanding how variance works in slot machines. It can be difficult to understand variance from a technical perspective, but knowing about it can help you avoid common mistakes. This includes choosing games that pay out more frequently, avoiding high volatility slots and playing only those from reputable providers.
It’s also worth noting that many online casinos do not list their variance on their websites, so you need to research this yourself. You can also look for a slot that has a progressive jackpot, which will give you a chance to win big. This will help you feel more in control of your bankroll.