Mental Health Tips for Gamers

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BetMGM Jul 05, 2021, 2:52 PM

If you’re passionate or competitive about gambling, it’s understandable that you might occasionally experience negative emotions when you play. There are many reasons for these negative emotions, including having a bad run of luck or playing when you’re burned out. Whatever the cause, playing during these times could lead to irresponsible gambling that you may later regret. Here are eight mental health tips to ensure you bet responsibly when taking part in online gambling.

1. Take a Break

One of the easiest ways to avoid playing when you’re emotional is to take a break. If you find yourself on tilt, simply step away from whatever casino game you’re playing and find something else to do. A break will help you calm down and clear your mind of any negative emotions so you can return to the game at another time with a better mindset. This will hopefully improve your performance if you’re playing a skill-based casino game like poker or blackjack, but even if you’re playing luck-based games like online slots, ensuring you’re relaxed will mean you have more fun.

2. Write Down Your Feelings in a Journal

If you’re struggling with negative thoughts or emotions, it may help to express your feelings in a journal. 

By jotting down your thoughts regularly, you’ll find you can reduce stress, keep a lid on your anxiety levels, and improve how you manage depression. Of course, if you prefer to keep things in the 21st century, there are plenty of note-taking and journaling apps you can download onto your smartphone. Do some research and find one that works for you. You may also be surprised by what you get out of re-reading what you’ve written. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

The entry under “Journaling for emotional wellness” in the University of Rochester’s Health Encyclopedia offers the following tips to help you start journaling.

Try To Write Everyday

Set aside a few minutes daily to write — this will help make journaling a habit.

Make It Easy

Keep a pen and paper handy. That way, when you want to write down your thoughts, you can. You can also keep a journal on your smartphone.

Write or Draw Whatever Feels Right

Your journal doesn’t need to follow a structure. It’s your private place to discuss and create whatever helps you to express your feelings. Let the words and ideas flow freely. Don’t worry about spelling mistakes or what other people might think.

Use Your Journal As You See Fit

You don’t have to share your journal with anyone. If you want to share some of your thoughts with trusted friends and loved ones, you could show them parts of your journal, but you’re definitely not obligated to do so.

3. Exercise Regularly

A man doing a plank exercise in front of his laptop.

While sitting on the couch or in a chair all day and playing online slots or other online casino games may be tempting, a lack of exercise can negatively affect a gamer’s mental health. 

A 2006 study, “Exercise for mental health,” published in The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, discusses the benefits physical activities like jogging, swimming, and walking can have for mental health. It found that these activities would likely result in the following improvements:

  • Lower levels of anxiety
  • Reduced depression
  • Improved mood
  • Better cognitive function

Regular exercise also reduces the knock-on effects of negative emotions, like poor self-esteem and social withdrawal. For optimal focus, include easy at-home regular exercises before or after playing casino games.

What makes it even better is that you don’t need to sign up for an expensive gym membership to take advantage of these benefits — you only need 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise a week to see an uptick. This could be as easy as a brisk walk for 30 minutes or three shorter 10-minute walks spread out over a few days. Your pace should be such that you feel you’ve got your blood flowing. Naturally, you can do more than that to improve your overall fitness if you’re careful and don’t overdo it.

4. Eat the Right Foods

You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “healthy body, healthy mind.” While this certainly applies to exercise, it’s also important to consider what you eat. This extract from the Harvard Health blog article, “Nutritional psychiatry: Your brain on food,” highlights one of the critical roles that food (and your gut) play in maintaining mental health:

“Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and appetite, mediate moods, and inhibit pain. Since about 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract, and your gastrointestinal tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, or neurons, it makes sense that the inner workings of your digestive system don’t just help you digest food but also guide your emotions. What’s more, the function of these neurons — and the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin — is highly influenced by the billions of ‘good’ bacteria that make up your intestinal microbiome.”

While scientists have acknowledged food’s role in affecting a person’s mood, it’s a relatively new field of study, so the jury’s still out on some finer details. Consider a Mediterranean-style diet, which consists predominantly of fruit, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, seafood, olive oil, a moderate amount of poultry, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and little red meat. Highly processed foods, like sodas, processed meat, and refined grains, should be left off the table. Try switching up what you eat and notice how this affects your overall life and your gambling gameplay in particular. 

5. Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep

A woman asleep in bed.

Whether you’re learning how to play casino card games, spinning the reels of your favorite slot, or having a good time around a virtual roulette table, it may be tempting to squeeze in one more game late at night, especially when you’re learning how to play casino card games. However, you need to be careful not to sacrifice much-needed sleep. An article published by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute titled “How Sleep Affects Your Health” looks into how sleep helps maintain mental wellness. In the article, the author highlights, “Studies also show that sleep deficiency changes activity in some parts of the brain. If you’re sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change.”

Ultimately, this means that getting enough sleep will provide you with a better-functioning brain and also help improve your mood. So, if you like to play online slots or other games of chance late at night, make sure you’re not losing much-needed sleep over them.

6. Practice Meditation

While this may seem a bit “out there” for some, there’s no doubt that meditation can improve your mental health.’s aptly titled “12 Science-based benefits of meditation” shares how meditation: 

  1. Reduces stress 
  2. Controls anxiety
  3. Promotes emotional health
  4. Enhances self-awareness
  5. Lengthens attention span
  6. May reduce age-related memory loss
  7. Can generate kindness
  8. May help fight addictions
  9. Improve sleep
  10. Help control pain
  11. Can decrease blood pressure
  12. Is accessible anywhere

As a gambler, meditation can help you maintain a clear mind to make better decisions when playing, whether that means beating cognitive biases or having the clarity to make the right decisions for better outcomes with online casino games. 

If you’re unsure how to meditate, many online resources and smartphone apps deal with the many different styles of meditation. Take your time, and make sure to search for a method that works for you.

7. Find Your Community

If you’re struggling with your mental health, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are many online communities and offline groups that you can join for support and mental health resources. Consider looking for a support group to help you through any difficult times you might be going through.

8. Be Mindful Of Gambling Addiction

The last of the tips for mental health for gamblers is to be on the lookout for signs that indicate you’re possibly a gambling addict. Here are some significant symptoms to look out for when it comes to gambling addiction: 

  1. You are spending most of your time thinking about or taking part in gambling-related activities.
  2. You feel depressed, irritable, or worse when you don’t get to play.
  3. You spend more time gambling to make you feel good.
  4. You chase losses when you gamble.
  5. You’re unable to quit or play less.
  6. You borrow money to gamble.
  7. Real-life responsibilities, like work, family, and basic hygiene, become secondary to playing.
  8. You find yourself becoming increasingly socially isolated.

When activities like gambling, whether you take part in sports betting or online casino games, are taken to extremes, it can lead to financial hardships, strained relationships, and potential addiction. Knowing how to gamble responsibly is built upon recognizing the signs of addiction and taking the necessary measures to protect yourself and others from harm. 

The risk of gambling addiction is also why the law states you must be a certain minimum age before you can place a bet. This regulation helps ensure that people are given a chance to achieve a certain level of emotional maturity before they’re allowed to gamble. 

However, despite these laws, there’s no guarantee that you won’t become a gambling addict. Apart from knowing what to look for when it comes to gambling addiction, it’s also vital that you know how to prevent becoming a gambling addict. Here are some responsible gambling tips to help you avoid becoming addicted to your favorite games at an online casino: 

  • Don’t gamble when you’re upset or stressed.
  • Limit your alcohol intake while gambling.
  • Research and learn how the games work before placing real-money bets.
  • Use responsible gambling tools on online casino sites and apps to set budget and time limits. 
  • Remember to take frequent breaks when gambling.

Another critical factor to consider is where you’re playing online casino games. Reputable online casinos have initiatives to ensure their customers know how to gamble responsibly. For example, BetMGM Casino has taken numerous steps to protect its players and reinforce responsible gambling. 

Gamble Responsibly and Enjoy Great Games at BetMGM

If you’re in the mood for responsible online casino fun, check out all the thrilling titles BetMGM has on offer. The casino games app and website offer an incredible range of gambling experiences, from live dealer casino games to casino table games and slot games. There are also great ongoing or limited-time promotions, like the BetMGM Welcome Casino Bonus, that you can use on your favorite casino games.

Register at BetMGM to enjoy fantastic online gambling responsibly.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.