Substitute Behaviors


Finding healthy activities to replace the time you spent gambling is a large part of maintaining your recovery. And since everyone gambles for different reasons, and understanding why you gamble is essential. Below are some examples of why people gamble, and healthy alternatives to address your needs:

Reason for Gambling

Example Alternative(s)

Adrenaline rush / excitement Be adventurous (try rock climbing or white water rafting, ride a roller coaster, etc.)
Social interactions / overcome shyness Take interactive classes (public speaking, etc.), join a community or social group, and/or discuss your feelings with a counselor or therapist
Escape from problems / unpleasant feelings Try meditation and/or discuss your feelings with a counselor or therapist
Boredom or loneliness Find a passion (art, movies, books, sports, etc.) and seek out others with similar interests
Relax after a long / bad / stressful day Exercise (even 15 minutes/day can help!) / Deep breathing, meditation or massage
Solve money problems Gambling makes money problems worse, not better! Seek help from a debt counselor, financial advisor or trusted loved one1

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