Emotional eating is the practice of turning to food – consciously or unconsciously – to deal with feelings and emotions. These feelings may be with you most of the day. However, it is often only when the pace slows down, that you notice them. Not knowing how to handle these powerful emotions, eating follows.

Emotional eating occurs because something is going on in the inside. It may be stress, it may be boredom, or it may be tugging of your soul to change the direction of your life. Emotional eating is an attempt to fill a void, cope with stress, suppress uncomfortable emotions, or to create a state of numbness to difficult situations or feelings. Emotional eating can also be a way of avoiding thinking about problems that seem unsolvable.

The top ten reasons for emotional eating include:

1. Feeling disempowered to change your life
2. Feeling overwhelmed or trapped and not knowing how to move forward
3. Unresolved stress and anxiety
4. Perfectionist attitudes or fear of making mistakes or failing
5. Loneliness or Boredom
6. Having a sense of insecurity
7. Feeling undeserving of the abundance and pleasure life has to offer
8. Low self-esteem or poor self-image
9. Eating to hide an emptiness inside
10. A sense of feeling deprived caused by dieting or "being good" with food

Emotional eating occurs when a person believes that they are unable to deal with their situation. They not only feel a certain emotion, but they also believe themselves unable to effect change in their own lives. For example, a person may long for an improvement in his or her marriage, more success at work, or the ability to express himself or herself more creatively. However, because of low self-esteem, undeveloped self-leadership ability, ineffective stress management skills, or a lack of self-worth, they may be unable to see that they do actually have the ability to have what they want. Rather than stay with the terrible feelings of disempowerment, emotional eating makes it possible to shift attention to something else.

Identifying what triggers your emotional eating can be difficult. However, using the list above can help you become more aware of your personal triggers to emotional eating. The next time you reach for food, take a moment, and identify why you are eating. Once you become more aware about why you eat, you can start addressing old issues that keep you stuck.

Author's Bio: 

If you're not living the life of your dreams, or getting the results you want, it's probably your beliefs holding you back. Inspirational author and personal growth expert Dr. Annette Colby, RD can help. Whether you are trying to take the pain out of life, turn difficult emotions into joy, release stress, end emotional eating, or move beyond depression, you can achieve success. Annette breaks it down step-by-step so anyone can achieve the life they are wanting to live, no matter how tough life was before. To access hundreds of content filled articles and sign up for an inspirational Loving Miracles newsletter visit www.annettecolby.com.

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