Food and Fitness

To Raise Happy Kids, Cultivate These CORE Strengths

by Lynda Wallace

Kids are different in more ways than we can count – it’s one of the things we love best about them. But no matter who our kids are, we all want to help them cultivate the qualities that will start them off on a happy life.

So here are four great attributes that have been shown to help kids to be happier, healthier, more successful in school, and better prepared to genuinely thrive throughout their lives. I call them the four CORE strengths.

Kids with CORE strengths are:


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Q&A: Dreading Thanksgiving Because I’ve Gained Weight

Dear Active Happiness,

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year, but this year I’m dreading it because I’ve gained weight since I saw most of my family last Christmas.

I love my family, but I’m so embarrassed about my weight that I’m tempted to come up with an excuse for not showing up. I need advice.



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Ask Us Q&A: Weight and Happiness


Dear Active Happiness,

I always used to think I was overweight, but now I look at pictures of myself when I was younger, and I’d give anything to look like that again. Between work and kids, I have no time to exercise, and at the end of a long day, I just like to relax, and eating reduces my stress. But I can’t stand the way I look, and I’m unhappy about it. What can I do?

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Happiness Simplified: Green, Red, and Yellow


by Lynda Wallace

There are a lot of headlines out there about what does and doesn’t make people happy. We could all be forgiven for being a little confused. So I’ve gone through the best of the research and organized the things that affect our happiness into three categories. Here they are:

Green Light: These are Happiness Builders that tend to make for happier lives the more we experience them. These ought to be our highest priorities.

Red Light: These are Happiness Destroyers. We ought to experience as little of them as we can.

Yellow Light: These are Happiness Builders that tend to make us somewhat happier, but not nearly as much or for nearly as long as we think. They can be worth pursuing, but not to a degree that crowds out Green Light items.


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Why Be Happy?

Some of the Reasons May Surprise You
by Lynda Wallace

Why be happy?Why be happy?  It seems an odd question. Do we really need reasons? It seems obvious that being happy is a good thing.

Perhaps, but we don’t always act as if it’s a worthwhile goal.

“I can’t go around being happy all the time. I have to earn a living and raise my kids. I worry about my parents and my bills. And so many people in the world need help. Focusing on my own happiness seems self-indulgent. It isn’t going to get me where I need to go.”

Okay, let’s start there. Where do you want to go?


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Can I Really Be Happier?


by Lynda Wallace

We all naturally expect big changes in our lives to have deep and lasting impacts on our happiness. But research has clearly demonstrated that we adjust pretty quickly and thoroughly to most changes in circumstance and return to something pretty close to the level of happiness we experienced before the change.

Does that mean that we each have a genetically determined happiness “set point” and there’s little or nothing we can do about it? Is it all genetic after all? 


The ways we choose to live our lives have an enormous impact on our happiness. Here’s why, and what we can do about it.


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Three Wishes for Happiness

by Lynda Wallace

When people are asked to name something that would make them happier, they tend to respond with the big things:  to be rich, to be beautiful, to live in Hawaii.

It’s easy to understand. When given a chance at the winning ticket in Mega Millions, or at a villa on the Big Island, how many of us would ask instead for a more optimistic outlook on life, or a little more contact with old friends? Not so many.

But here’s the big surprise.


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Taking Action to Make Change
by Lynda Wallace

If I remember my high school science correctly, inertia is defined as the tendency of an object in motion to remain in motion and an object at rest to remain at rest, unless acted on by an outside force. In other words, we’re likely to keep doing what we’re doing until something gives us a push.

Do you ever find yourself watching TV and thinking somewhere in the back of your mind “I’m not even enjoying this” but not reaching for the remote to turn it off? Or noticing it’s a nice day and knowing you really do have 20 minutes to spare but not getting up and going for a walk, for no apparent reason? It definitely happens to me.


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The Best Advice Our Readers Ever Received


by Lynda Wallace and the Active Happiness Facebook Community

Each day this week on our Facebook page, I asked readers to post the best advice they’ve ever received on a different topic. I was looking for the advice people are most grateful to have been given — on happiness, relationships, health and fitness, and raising happy kids.

The response was fantastic — hundreds and hundreds of great comments full of wisdom and humor.

Here are a few of my favorites, along with some links to related articles.


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