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Jill | PsyD in Clinical Psychology | CBT enthusiast | Runner | Strategies for Healthy Thinking Supported by Science | https://ConqueringCognitions.com

Research shows that at least one of these can help you get a second date.

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

While waiting for an oil change, I overheard a conversation between two young adults. A nervous looking guy was chatting with a pretty young woman sitting next to him, and the conversation was not flowing easily. He was talking way too much and not keeping her interest.

As I watched this awkward encounter, I realized that small talk and casual conversation doesn’t come easy to everyone.

As a therapist, I talk to a lot of people, so I have plenty of practice with starting conversations. …


Daily hassles can add up to big stress if you’re not careful.

Image by anncapictures from Pixabay

This morning, as I was rushing out the door to an early appointment, I forgot to unlatch the lock on the garage door before I tried to open it. When I pressed the opener, the 16 foot garage door rose three inches, just enough to tightly wedge the security lock in place.

Despite yanking on it and yelling at it, I could not budge the lock. The car was stuck in the garage.

I tried several times to close the door, but each time I pressed the button, it lowered briefly, then bounced back up before I could disengage the…


Reconnecting after a lost year

Image by Sheila Santillan from Pixabay

This weekend, I watched Our Friend, a movie based on the 2015 essay by Matthew Teague. This powerful piece was written shortly after Matthew’s young wife, Nicole, lost her battle with cancer. After learning of Nicole’s diagnosis, a mutual friend, Dane, offered to help with the children for a few weeks.

A few weeks turned into two years. Dane put his life on hold to support and care for his two friends and their children during their time of need — an amazing act of service.

This film is a touching story about love, loss, and friendship. While watching the…


Social comparison and the sting of envy

Image by Jm TD from Pixabay

I was recently scrolling social media and saw that a friend posted a photo of her new backyard pool. She was floating on a raft, drinking a cocktail, and her kids were happily splashing in the background. I instantly wanted a pool.

I live in Colorado where very few people have pools, and I don’t even like to swim. They are expensive to maintain and a ton of work to keep clean. I have never desired a pool, yet I still felt the sharp sting of envy when I saw hers.

Envy is a complicated emotion. It can hit us…


Anecdote | Life Lessons

A runner, a dog, and lessons learned along the way.

Image by Mark Dutton from Pixabay

It has been five years since we adopted Molly, our first dog. My family had many reasons for wanting a dog, one of which was a running partner for me.

At the time, I ran in the early morning hours before work. I loved the quiet, but so did all the wildlife around my mountain home, a few species of which were quite intimidating. Running with a dog seemed like a smart safety measure.

When Molly joined our family, she was a 7 month old puppy who had been living on the streets. She was very thin and scared when…


Give your brain a boost with these research supported techniques.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

We demand a lot from our brain — constantly asking it to process, organize, and retrieve information. It works long hours with no breaks. Even during sleep, our brain is busy organizing neural networks to help with memory consolidation and learning.

After a year of chronic stress, a hard working brain can start to struggle. A lot of people, myself included, are experiencing memory problems, poor concentration, and increased distraction. A combination of symptoms often referred to as “brain fog.”

This Is Your Brain on Stress

Stress, especially the chronic kind, is not helpful to our brain. In brief, when we are experiencing stress, the amygdala…


May the odds be ever in my favor.

Image by kalhh from Pixabay

I’m not your typical blogger. I’m 49 years old with limited computer skills and almost no social media presence. Prior to starting my blog, I didn’t know anyone who had their own website, so it was completely uncharted territory.

According to Marko Saric, co-founder of Plausible Analytics, there are over 500 million bloggers with more than 2 million blog posts published every day. These are staggering statistics that are frankly depressing to a relatively new blogger.

When I first considered starting a blog, I thought of countless reasons why it was a horrible idea. …


The treatment is an infusion of joy.

A hospital grade drip infusion system with the words, “An infusion of joy.”
Image by Thanks for your Like • donations welcome from Pixabay

I caught it — the post pandemic malaise that is floating around everywhere. I tried to run from it (literally), but it still caught up to me. It’s in the air and has been difficult to shake.

My motivation is low, sleep is restless, and I’m more forgetful and distracted these days. The world is starting to open back up, and I’m not sure I have the energy to engage.

To help shake off the year-long heaviness, I need more than the usual self care. I need an infusion of motivation and enthusiasm. Show me the joy!

Music Is Invigorating

It is well…


Complaining is a barrier to happiness.

Image by Libel SanRo from Pixabay

This morning, as my husband walked into the kitchen for coffee, I launched in about how the trash wasn’t picked up yesterday as scheduled.

He stood there patiently while I complained about the unpredictable waste management schedule — oh, the injustice of it all!

Suddenly, I caught myself. My poor husband was just starting his day and his first encounter was listening to me complain. That wasn’t fair to him, and it certainly is not how I want to spend our time together.

In truth, who cares when the trash is picked-up? …


#2: Career progression

Girl in a white dress with flowing blond hair running alongside a dinosaur through a wooded area.
Image by Lothar Dieterich from Pixabay

I became a runner by chance, but remain a runner by choice.

I started running my sophomore year in high school. Having recently transferred to a new school, a friend suggested I sign up for the cross country team to meet people. It seemed like a good idea even though I had no experience running. I remember thinking, “How hard can it be?”

On the first day of our pre-season camp I learned my first lesson — never underestimate running.

I couldn’t run a mile without feeling winded and immediately regretted my decision to try and meet people this way…

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