Keeping Emotions in Check when Gambling Online

Some say there’s nothing more relaxing than spending an hour or two playing online casino games at home. True in some cases, but most online gamblers hit online casinos with a way more than relaxation in mind.

Excitement, risk, fear of the unknown, elation, euphoria, tension, anxiety – all far more commonplace when gambling online than blissful relaxation.

If you’ve never experienced the thrill of striking it lucky with the roll of a dice or the turn of a card, it’s hard to understand the joy of the whole thing. Even if it’s a modest prize you’re pocketing, there’s something uniquely intoxicating about casino gaming in general.

As in literally intoxicating – studies having shown that gambling releases the same chemicals in the brain associated with love, chocolate and even some types of recreational drugs.

Without the thrill and excitement of the whole thing, online gambling would be a pretty mundane experience. But at the same time, it can be difficult not to let your emotions get the better of you from time to time. At which point, it becomes difficult to make the kinds of rational and objective decisions needed to stay safe and protect your bankroll.

Emotional Resilience
This is where resilience to emotions pays dividends, enabling you to stay in control and remain rational at all times. Resilience in this instance refers to three different types of resilience – physical, psychological and financial:

Physical Resilience
As the name suggests, physical resilience refers to keeping yourself in a sound enough physical state to watch over your best interests when gambling online. Avoiding gambling when feeling tired or under the weather, taking regular breaks, eating well, staying hydrated and so on – all essential for keeping your emotions and decisions in check when gambling online.

Psychological Resilience
This is where things get a little more difficult, as it’s up to you to draw the line between the rational and irrational. It means carefully questioning the bets you place before to place them, considering whether you’re starting to feel any negative emotions and acknowledging how emotions can affect your decision-making capacity. It’s essentially about becoming a more conscientious and thoughtful player, rather than gambling on instinct or compulsively.

Financial Resilience
By far the easiest of the three – financial resilience simply means putting measures in place to ensure you never wager money you cannot afford to lose.  Carefully consider your bankroll, allocate a budget and under no circumstances spend a penny more. Irrespective of the winning or losing streak your may be on, your budget should be finite and non-negotiable.

Dealing with the Highs
Speaking of winning streaks, you’d be forgiven for thinking that no harm could possibly come from a period of ridiculously good fortune. Spin after spin, roll after roll, you don’t seem to be able to put a foot wrong. Your bankroll and the smile on your face grow with each wager – how could this possibly be a bad thing?

It’s easy – positive eventualities like these can be catalysts for greed, overconfidence, laziness and illogical expectations. Your brain is firing on all cylinders and releasing all manner of chemicals, subconsciously making you think you’re invincible. When under normal circumstances, your more logical side would tell you this simply isn’t the case.

This is why keeping yourself grounded during even the highest of highs is essential. All winning streaks and lucky spells come to an end eventually – it’s up to you to walk away before yours comes crashing to a halt.

Just as it is important to set a budget, it’s also important to establish targets. For example, once you’ve netted a total combined profit of £50, you walk away and come back when you’re a little less giddy.

Dealing with the Lows
You’d also think that if there was ever a reason to cut your losses and walk away, it would be a horrific and prolific losing streak. Roll after roll, the dice seems to be loaded entirely against your favour and nothing seems to be going your way.

You blow your entire bankroll, you’ve had a shocking run of luck and you’re in a fundamentally terrible mood. At which point, the rational and logical thing to do would be to walk away and try to forget the whole thing ever happened.

When in reality, the way the brain reacts to such scenarios will most likely motivate you to chase your losses. You might be convinced that if you just keep hacking away at it, you’ll eventually recoup at least some of the cash you’ve waxed. Ask anyone who knows a thing or two about casino gaming and they’ll tell you the same – there’s nothing more dangerous than chasing losses.

So again, it’s a case of learning how to walk away at the moment your budget has been exhausted – irrespective of how wound up, anxious and angry you feel at the time.

A Purely Positive Experience…
Something the vast majority of people lose sight of from time to time is the way in which online casino gaming is supposed to be a pursuit of pure pleasure. It’s not about turning a profit, nor is it about frantically placing bets out of frustration alone. 

Leading gambling authorities worldwide have a collective and unified message that should be heeded by all players:

When the fun stops, it’s time to stop.

What this means is the moment negative feelings creep into the equation, it’s time to walk away and give yourself time to regroup. Anger, frustration, anxiety, rage, disappointment, depression and so on – all indicators that you are now gambling for emotional purposes, rather than enjoyment.

Some people are naturally more predisposed to feelings like these than others, so it’s worth questioning whether you’re even cut out for online gambling at all. Unless you take nothing but pleasure from the pursuit and can keep on top of your emotions, think twice before gambling online. 

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