Gambling for most of us is a form of entertainment, a fun pastime. Gambling is enjoyable for the player when one plays for the entertainment part of it, when one gathers with friends and makes it a group activity, and most obvious of all when the player wins. At the same time, gambling can lead to addiction and financial troubles, and that is not pleasant at all. While most people are responsible gamblers and not necessarily gambling addicts, everyone who gambles is affected by gambling and the way it changes your hormones and mood. Therefore, as a gambler, it is good to know how gambling changes the chemistry of your body, how your body reacts to gambling, and how gambling affects you.
Yoga, on the other hand, is a proven method to balance the body and its hormones. Yoga is a system that focuses on breathing, asanas (the yoga poses), and meditation. Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine have found out that the practice of yoga should be considered as a possible treatment for depression and anxiety. Clearly, yoga affects positively you entire body by increasing the flexibility, helping control the weight, contributing to great energy in terms of both quantity and quality, and in general improving the muscle tone. While it was considered an Eastern practice, more and more people in the Western world are practicing yoga nowadays, and the entire yoga community is growing rapidly. By having so many positive effects on your body and hormones, yoga can potentially help with your gambling and is a worth trying method for curing gambling addiction.
NOTE: Please note that the article is written from the standpoint of:
A: A player who has a gambling addiction, and yoga can help by being beneficial to all current treatments;
B: A player who does not have a gambling addiction, but yoga can help increase the concentration which can in turn help with gambling.
GAMBLING, HORMONES, AND ADDITCTION
Both yoga and gambling affect your hormones. However, studies have found out that gambling affects the brain in a way similar to the effects of drugs and alcohol. UK Medical Research Council have studied that gambling affects two areas of the brain that are usually linked to alcohol and drugs. These same areas, also known as insula and nucleus accumbens, are linked to rewards and decisions.
One chemical, in particular, is to be blamed at large for gambling, motivation, addiction and more. That is dopamine, a neurotransmitter, or a chemical that transmits information in the brain and is widely-spoken about and generates tons of articles daily. It is often regarded as the chemical of pleasure.
YOGA, HORMONES, AND ADDICTION
The benefits of yoga are endless and proven over the years and include blood pressure control, stress relief, muscle built, flexibility, and also battling addiction. As a physical and spiritual practice at the same time yoga can help with mental health and mood swings. Yoga affects our hormones in a positive manner and yoga nidra in particular (type of yoga that includes more meditation) can help fight PTSD, mood swings, insomnia, improves back pain and stress levels, fights and regulates blood sugar levels among many other benefits.
A program called “Yoga and the Brain” lead by Stephen Cope, a therapist and director of the Institute of Extraordinary Living studies how yoga affects the brain. The researchers at the institute are using MRI to measure the brain and the effects of yoga on it. According to Forbes, one of the findings is the positive reaction of the body to stress levels and the reduction of the cortisol levels of those practicing yoga.
A BIT ON GAMBLING ADDICTION
What usually takes one there and makes it a guilty pleasure is often anxiety, stress, and lack of self-control. Gambling could be a serious health issue as it can lead to an addiction. According to studies gambling might be a problem for approximately 600,000 people in the UK alone.
YOGA CAN HELP
Why is it worth trying? There are two main reasons why people need to try yoga for gambling addiction. First, there is no FDA approved drug that treats pathological gambling. There is no straightforward solution to gambling addiction. There are multiple of resources that are currently used including therapy, support groups, non-approved medication. Second, yoga is a proven treatment against addiction and hormonal health in general and can only add to the benefits of all other current treatments.
WHAT CAN YOU TRY? HOW CAN YOGA HELP?
Here is a list of steps you can take to try yoga to help with you gambling, whether you have an addiction or not. What is for sure is that yoga can help your concentration while gambling. It is well known that after a period of gambling we all get tired and that is when the human factor plays a major role, and all the illogical decisions take place. This is the moment when the casino has a true advantage. Therefore, it is valid to say that yoga can help boost your casino performance in general by helping you improve your concentration.
- Encourage yourself and pick a home yoga video or join a yoga club. Yoga is about self-control, self-care, and self-learning. Take a break and resist playing. Select a video that will be beneficial to you and seems easy enough to try. Don’t force yourself, don’t push yourself. This is a time that you dedicate to yourself and is for your self-improvement and enjoyment.
- Focus on yourself. Relax and Enjoy. In our busy lives, we often tend to ignore ourselves, but yoga gives you an opportunity to focus on yourself. Make YOU a priority. Needless to say, there is no need for a practice that seems difficult. If you are not there yet, you don’t have to do it. That is fine. Just select some beginner level practice, relax and enjoy.
- Try yoga and positive thinking. Try mantras, visualisations, and positive affirmations. Yoga is a very positive endeavour and will allow you to bring some positivity in your world. Visualisations are a powerful tool that helps you imagine where you want to be in the future, what it is that you want to achieve, and more. Positive affirmations can be any positive statement that is directly targeted at you and is in present tense, such as, “I am the best version of myself and I practice responsible gambling.”
- Try guided meditation. There are many guided mediation videos out there on YouTube. These home guided meditation videos are a quick fix for any beginner who is interested in trying out some meditative practice at home. You can try Meditation For Inner Peace by Yoga With Adriene (include hyperlink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4S4twjeWTs) It is a basic ten-minute guided meditation that will help you be at peace. You can also try another home guided meditation by Yoga With Adreine called Meditation for Anxiety (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pLUleLdwY4). Both videos are simple suggestions for home guided meditation. Remember that there are plenty of meditation videos that you can find on YouTube.
- Enjoy the suggested yoga videos and poses:
- Yoga For Stress Management | Yoga With Adriene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zbtKeeAa-Y&list=PLui6Eyny-Uzytt2xll_JwFbd3WYJyOtT4
- Finding Your Center | Yoga With Adriene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgeTSarKZ8c
- Movement Medicine – Energy Practice – Yoga With Adriene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F47hdaNXwT4&t=1s
- Yoga For Stress Relief https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsOqcwcy2mI
YOGA PRACTICE ADVICE
To accomplish and create a successful yoga practice at home try our tested tips, and you will make it happen.
- Dedicate Me Time to Yourself. Set up some time when you are all alone, by yourself at home. Some time that you know, you will not be interrupted. No matter if you have dedicated 15 minutes or more, make sure no one will interfere with your yoga practice. That is your time to focus on yourself.
- Unplug. Literally, put on the silence mode of any devices and programs and apps that might disturb you, such as your cell phone, Skype, etc. Don’t let anyone bother you during your yoga practice. This is your private time of serenity. Make it your habit to switch off. Be mindful and respectful of it.
- Get comfortable. Pick the right place at the comfort of your own home that suits your inner-self the best. Listen to your intuition to guide you. Use your yoga mat or some carpeting to make sure you will feel comfortable during your yoga session. Have your yoga accessories, pillows and blocks handy.
- Get rid of any negative thoughts and feelings. Let go of your anxiety, and relax. Practice some deep breaths. After a few minutes, you will feel a rush of calm and energy. The deep breaths will help you slow down in general, they will slow your heart rate, and the response of your body will be the feeling of relaxation.
- Make yoga a daily habit. It takes a little over 20 days of repetitive work to turn any given activity into habit. The first few days may be enjoyable, and most likely you will feel better. However, it is easy to discontinue unless you make it a habit. Once yoga becomes a daily habit, you will feel the full benefits of it. And it does not have to be a full 90-minute yoga class. All it takes is 10, 15 minutes in the morning or whenever you find time.
YOGA AND GAMBLING. IT IS ALL ABOUT SELF-CONTROL.
The good news is that there are no negative sides of trying yoga and checking how it affects your gambling or gambling addiction. Remember, that it takes time to build a new habit and to stop a habit. Both will require a lot of work, patience, and clear goals. Yoga can help you improve your self-control and self- understanding. Once you make YOU and your self-care a priority that is when a significant step is made on you way to changing your state of mind. Try yoga and NAMASTE!
NewCasinos.nz Magazine Issue 2