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Clinical Psychologist | CBT & Mindfulness Enthusiast | Runner | Sharing Life Lessons Supported by Science | https://ConqueringCognitions.com

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As a psychologist, I was familiar with the many theories of happiness. So when I needed to make a change, I put one to the test

Cherry blossoms.
Cherry blossoms.
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

At 25, I moved to Washington D.C. for an internship at a large medical center, a position that I desperately wanted and was thrilled to receive. Having just completed my doctoral coursework, this was the last hurdle before receiving my degree. I was excited about the hospital, the training opportunities, and the chance to live in D.C. for a year with a real paycheck.

A few weeks into the internship, I felt my mood begin to shift. I was doing challenging and rewarding work that kept me busy most of the time, but something was missing. I was lonely.

After…


Ten minutes is longer than you think

Man checking the time on his wristwatch.
Man checking the time on his wristwatch.
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

For years, I was lost in a whirlwind of work, kid’s activities, school obligations, and household chores. It seemed there weren’t enough minutes in the day to accomplish everything on my to-do list.

I started falling behind on some little, yet important, tasks such as cleaning the shower, clipping the cat’s claws, and purging the food from the refrigerator.

I was complaining about my lack of time one day when a friend recommended Laura Vanderkam’s book, 168 hours: You Have More Time Than You Think.

This is a helpful book with great insights, and one suggestion I use daily is…


Extending kindness when it is hard can be especially powerful

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

We frequently encounter situations where kindness is difficult or inconvenient.

During a stressful work day, it’s hard to be kind to a customer who is angry and demanding.

It is challenging to speak with kindness when your partner forgets about something that was important to you.

When someone shares an opposing political view, it is difficult to keep the conversation respectful, productive and kind.

In these situations, we have a choice. We can respond with frustration or take the high road and model the behavior that we want to see in our world, even when we don’t expect to get…


Research indicates that viewing and discussing certain films can make your relationship more satisfying and successful

A man and woman sitting on a couch watching a movie on their laptop computer.
A man and woman sitting on a couch watching a movie on their laptop computer.
Image by FrankundFrei from Pixabay

“I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

Recognize this movie line?

Here’s a hint — it was said by Harry to Sally.

If that is not enough, I fear you haven’t had the pleasure of watching Rob Reiner’s classic film, When Harry Met Sally. I love this movie— a story about friendship, love, and all the ups and downs in between. It is a highly relatable film about relationships.

Sometimes when we watch a movie…


Have you seen it?

Image by Kranich17 from Pixabay

A few weeks back, I lost my motivation.

I have looked everywhere for it, and I’m afraid I might have misplaced it when I was on vacation. That is the last place I recall seeing it. I’m worried — this is the longest it has ever been gone.

I put up signs around the neighborhood hoping someone might see my motivation:

  • Just Do It
  • Be Awesome Today
  • You’re a Winner

The signs didn’t seem to help and someone defaced one of them — it now reads, Be Absent Today. What nerve!

I’m beginning to fear the worst. Maybe my motivation…


Creative strategies based on psychological principles and learning theories.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Kids say the craziest things, and crazier still, they often believe what they say.

One day, after picking up my son from kindergarten, my then five-year-old proclaimed, “I don’t like math.” I responded with a perplexed, “why?”, because I remembered kindergarten math being pretty fun, counting groups of bananas and cute puppies. He shrugged his shoulders and sighed, “I just don’t like it.”

Later that evening, my husband and I discussed the conversation and felt concerned. If our kindergartner was already making a value judgment about math, he was setting himself up for a long and difficult school journey.

We…


A trashy tale of woe.

Image by Brigitte makes custom works from your photos, thanks a lot from Pixabay

One of the benefits of living in the foothills of Colorado is the company of wildlife — deer, rabbits, bobcats and the occasional bear. A few summers ago, a bear became quite fond of my house, stopping by every Wednesday morning for breakfast.

Wednesday is trash day.

Due to my morning work schedule, I had to put the trash out at 0530. Unfortunately, this allowed the bear plenty of time to feast before the neighborhood woke up.

After a few weeks of cleaning up spilled trash, I decided to take a reasonable approach and write the bear a note. …


Our words say more than we realize

Image by MarieXMartin from Pixabay

Following an unexpected breakup, have you ever scrolled through your partner’s social media posts to see if there were clues you might have missed?

As it turns out, there likely were some hints, in both your posts and theirs.

Research from the University of Texas at Austin found that online word choice and language patterns begin to shift as early as 3 months prior to a breakup.

In this study, researchers examined over 1 million posts from 6,803 Reddit users who had recently endured the end of a romantic relationship. …


One gesture of goodwill can grow into an epidemic

Image by Uki_71 from Pixabay

Death is not convenient. It doesn’t look at the calendar and determine if it is a good time or not for the victim or their family.

When my beloved grandmother passed, I was living thousands of miles away from home. My husband had recently deployed to Iraq and I was busy raising our two young boys while growing a third. I vividly recall the phone call with news of her death— it was unexpected and devastating, but I didn’t cry. I immediately started planning my trip home.

This was an undeniably difficult time. I was in the first trimester of…

Jill (Conquering Cognitions)

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