Understanding and Overcoming Your Pre-Wedding Jitters and On-the-day...
Don't Take A Gamble With Gambling Online
Here's advice on staying out of trouble online
Gamcare has seen an explosion in women gamblers over the last couple years. With online gambling literally at your fingertips it's easy to get sucked in. Feeling a bit bored at lunchtime? A little excitement in the form of online action is the click of a mouse away. Fed up after a long day at work, or juggling both work and childcare? You can gamble at your home computer or set your laptop buzzing with some bingo. No problem!
Online gambling can be fun and a diversion from daily life in moderation. But you need to be aware you don't get sucked into problem gambling. Some key things to consider about your personality might help keep gambling under control. Consider the following questions:
Do you get bored easily? Yes No
Do you like taking risks? Yes No
Are your moods quite changeable? Yes No
Do you get your feelings hurt easily? Yes No
Do you hide your feelings? Yes No
Do you find it hard to control habits like smoking? Yes No
Have you ever worried about your behaviour around certain things like drinking? Yes No
Are you secretive about how often you gamble online? Yes No
Would you describe yourself as very stressed? Yes No
Being honest, do you not look after yourself very well? Yes No
Yes answers can mean you're susceptible to gambling-type issues. That's because typically gamblers show destructive behavior patterns like not looking after themselves, having unhealthy habits and being secretive. They also experience negative emotions like feeling under stress, believing they have to hide their feelings, being susceptible to moodiness, and feeling bored easily.
If these questions ring a bell with you and you're either gambling regularly online, or tempted to, then take these nine necessary steps as preventive measures:
Identify your pattern: When do you go online to gamble? Is it always at the same time of day or evening? Perhaps it varies depending on your obligations that day. Identify your pattern of online gambling even if it turns out you don't have a set pattern. Arm yourself with whatever knowledge you can.
Recognise your weaknesses: Within that pattern can you recognise that feeling weak, vulnerable, or stressed out, drives you to gamble online? It's important to highlight your weak points when you're most likely to want the "lift" that gambling gives you. Then you can act on those rather than "burying" the things that worry you or causes stress.
Develop your strengths: Think through when things go right for you. You might have strong points, say, like dealing well with the demands of your boss. How can you apply those to areas where you feel weak and vulnerable? Get creative and apply the things you do that work well on, say, the partner you find hard to handle. The more you develop your strengths the less likely you’ll succumb to a desire to gamble.
Stop keeping secrets: If you've been secretive about how much you're going online it's time for some honesty. Gamblers keep their problem behaviour from the people they care about most. They don't want to upset their partner or their families and they becomesecretive. Always remember your loved ones want to know if you're struggling. They can help you resist going online and in making good choices like getting rid of your PC.
Learn to burn stress: If feeling stressed drives you to look for some light relief (believe me gambling isn’t light relief if you're getting in trouble with it!) It's far better to look for constructive ways to burn stress. Take up some exercise that you’ll enjoy and stick to as it can be a brilliant stress burner. Make it a regular date in your diary.
Face your challenges: As you begin to recognise your weaknesses and develop your strengths stop running from challenges. When faced with, say, a deadline you fear you won't meet don’t turn to online gambling as a distraction. Instead face challenges head on. This can develop your self-esteem in leaps and bounds - critical for fighting a compulsion to gamble.
Enjoy some "safe" risk: There's nothing wrong with having a risk-taking nature if you channel it into "safe" risk. I speak from first-hand experience! There are many ways you can challenge yourself that won't damage you but will vent that desire for action. Try an action sport like wall-climbing, white water rafting, or abseiling. Take up a hobby like public speaking or amateur dramatics. These will set your adrenaline buzzing.
Get off the rollercoaster: It's crucial to steady your mood swings that might veer from "excitable" when you're online, to completely depressed a few hours later. These keep you hooked in this cycle of seeking a "lift" online. Practice daily relaxation and calming meditation. Yoga is also excellent for calming your emotions.
Handover financial responsibility: If you've got in trouble financially hand over your finances to your partner or trusted family member. Do so until you've regained strength to fight your gambling compulsion.
Ring the Gamcare helpline for confidential advice - 0845-6000-133
Published in The Express Newspaper
My new book The Emotional Eater's Diet is published in the UK on May 15 - I’m very excited as I hope emotional eaters - women or men will find it helpful. Each year 2/3s of people start a diet and 20% start a new diet each month. Yet 95% of diets aren’t successful.
I firmly believe that emotional eating to soothe difficult feelings is the culprit behind most of this failure. My book has a huge range of practical tips/strategies to help understand your emotions and manage your appetite. There are mini-quizes and real case studies.
It’s available to preorder on Amazon. Please remember that food can fuel your energy needs but not your emotional needs. Take care!
I'm delighted that my latest book Sex Academy was endorsed by my fellow self-help author Siski Green who said: "Sex Academy really is THE Bible of sex books. The lessons and lectures cover the A-Z of everything you want to know - from Anal sex to getting Zero sex." I hope you enjoy it!
I was so excited and HAPPY to write this book on happiness covering my 10 unique Happiness Principles. I hope it helps increase your well-being, contentment, and happiness. I've packed it with dozens and dozens of easy-to-use strategies, plus life-changing insights. Based on about five years of collecting case studies and research I hope you'll find it helpful.
My latest sex guide's out - I've gone through thousands of questions people ask me about sex - from why they don't feel desire to how to handle a partner's kinky fetish. Here are the answers plus loads of tricks and techniques. Enjoy!
Discover the relationship between your dreams and your sex- and love-life! Go on a journey of self-discovery in this unique dream book. Case studies, a dream directory, and ‘dreamersises’ help you interpret your dreams.
My research found if a couple's been together more than one year it's unlikely you've tried any new sex tip, trick or technique for at least four months! Rescue's at hand with my 250 hottest sex tips for every aspect of your sex life.
No couple or single can be without this unique, best-selling book containing a vast range of techniques, tricks and tips to turn your lover on. From attracting someone new to recharging your old relationship, Fabulous, explores each of the sexual senses in turn!
No. 1 selling book offering you tons of fantastic sex tips PLUS a new and revolutionary ways of looking at sexual pleasure and ‘problems‘ and how they fit into a person's whole life and relationships.
No. 1 selling sex book covering everything from how your body works to infinite sex tips. The Daily Star said: 'Sinful Sex has something for everyone'
A unique parenting book giving you creative techniques to understand your child better through their dreams and nightmares. These reveal so much about a child that most parents miss out on. Strengthen your parent-child relationship, their confidence and well-being!