The potential causes of overeating, emotional eating, stress, or depression are numerous. Using food to deal with difficult life situations and complex emotions, or feeling despair and hopelessness about your life can be linked to your own personality, problem-solving abilities, and capacity to deal with life in creative and self-supporting ways. If you have been making a serious effort to lose weight, end overeating or binge eating, or move beyond depression or sadness, you know that long-term change involves more than just willpower, tightening your grip on food, or antidepressant medication. Your journey towards greater happiness requires setting workable goals for improving your life and figuring out what strengths you have to solve your problems.

Initially, it may not seem like you are making much progress. Maybe your weight has not changed significantly, you reached a plateau, you are still using binge or emotional eating to deal with stressful situations, or you have not yet moved beyond your depression. However, on your path toward your new life, many changes have been taking place behind the scenes. To avoid feeling discouraged, allowing your anxious emotions to undermine your confidence, or giving up, it is important to make note of the many changes that are occurring. These changes are the necessary foundation of your new life.

Read the following symptoms and signs of empowerment, and notice how far you have come in your journey. Become aware of the positive changes that are happening in your life. You can live the happier life you desire and deserve - and you are already creating that life right now.

Some Signs And Symptoms Of Growing Empowerment:

• Engaging in the daily process of developing a new relationship with your self based on love, respect, and desiring the best for your self.

• Gaining a new feeling of hope and realizing that changing your life is a process, it might be taking longer than you want, but you can absolutely have what you want.

• Changing your disempowering beliefs of "hopeless," "unable to move through this," "things will never change," to a new growing sense of positive future expectations.

• Applying newfound optimism and creative solutions to old problems.

• Stepping past learned helplessness and grasping your ability to create change and in your world. A newly found knowingness that you can indeed effect change in your own life.

• Consciously deciding to acknowledge your efforts and successes because you have decided you deserve to feel a daily sense of accomplishment.

• Engaging in relaxation and stress reduction techniques to feel better.

• Trying out new solutions such as communication, journal writing, and conflict resolution skills to deal with your emotions, stress, and anxiety.

• Moving away from worry and deliberately choosing to think thoughts that make you feel more confident and secure.

• Occasionally feeling healthy, energetic, and having vitality - and deciding that you like the feeling of being more alive.

• Waking up one morning and looking forward to the day ahead.

• Discovering that you are gaining an appetite for wonderful, appealing, life-enhancing food - not because you "should" be eating healthy or that you are "supposed" to eat good food, but because you are becoming increasingly drawn to certain foods that make you feel more alive.

• Learning that you do have a loving inner voice, and deciding to trust your intuition and gut-level feelings on a more regular basis.

• A growing desire to place your needs, wants, and desires at the top of your priority list.

• Newfound optimism in life and self, with an increasing willingness to persevere through uncertainty and setbacks.

• Developing confidence in your ability to make self-loving decisions and following through with supportive actions.

• Taking personal responsibility for your own emotions, thoughts, and stress.

• Not as easily pulled into the dramas of those around you, nor taken into their emotional upheavals.

• Becoming an advocate for your self to get what it is you want, need, and deserve.

• Taking positive steps to create the life of your choice.

Achieving long-term weight loss, ending overeating or binge eating, or moving beyond depression or sadness, leads to an eventual feeling of, "It's great to be me, it's great to be alive!" This feeling most likely is not going to happen all at once. Instead, it involves developing a new loving relationship to yourself, your body, and your goals and purposes. During this process, you form a new identity and develop a new path about where you are going and how you are going to get there. Even if you are still feeling overweight, hopeless, depressed, or not seeing much point to your life, know that you can turn things around. Use the list above and start looking for evidence that change is already occurring in your life. Your efforts are making a difference and things are getting better.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Annette Colby, RD can help you take the pain out of life, turn difficult emotions into joy, release stress, end emotional eating, and move beyond depression into an extraordinary life! Annette is the author of Your Highest Potential and has the unique ability to show you how to spark an amazing relationship with your life! Visit
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