3 Ways to be Healthy and Happy By Design

Healthy and Happy By Design Barbara Ficarra Photo 1280x720 Design Your Healthy Life BarbaraFicarra.com kayaking-918464_1280

Healthy and Happy By Design BarbaraFicarra.com

Healthy and Happy By Design – The Blueprint

Start designing your healthy and happy life. Remember, it’s about taking small actionable steps. Small steps can have a big impact. Don’t get overwhelmed by thinking about too many things. Stay focused and start small. Your life is about being Healthy and Happy By Design.

Just like in interior design, it’s the small tweaks, the small makeovers, the simple pops of colors that can have the biggest impact. You don’t need a major overhaul. Sometimes, it’s the new pillows, a fresh coat of paint or new artwork that gives a room a lift it needs.

Here are three simple actionable tips you can do to give yourself a lift and add pops of color to your successful, healthy and happy life.

Explore opportunities outside the boxDesign a BLISS BOARD™

Begin by designing your BLISS BOARD™. Visualizing your idea of health and happiness is key to achieving it. Just as an interior designer might ask you to cut out photos of looks you love from home design magazines, and in much the same way that designers create a mood board or a concept board, create a BLISS BOARD. By using a burlap message board, corkboard, poster board or a painter’s canvas (which is my board of choice because canvasses are sturdy and come in many sizes and are relatively inexpensive) as a backdrop to collect thoughts and images that inspire you. Pinterest and Instagram are perfect compliments to your BLISS BOARD. What would you love to achieve? What are your personal aspirations? What are your professional aspirations? A life with less stress, a little more calm and more energy? An organized and clutter free home? Maybe you want to meditate or become more productive? Maybe you want to take your career or hobby to the next level. Have you always thought about kayaking? Snorkeling? Hiking? Singing? Cooking? Playing an instrument? Horseback riding? Speaking at conferences? Writing? The suggestions go on and on. Choose what you love. Visualizing your idea of health and happiness is key to achieving it. Make sure your BLISS BOARD feels good when you look at it, just as a new lamp or a great piece of furniture should make you feel happier about your space. [I’ll share more information about the BLISS BOARD in future posts and I’ll show you mine.] After you complete your BLISS BOARD, choose the top three things you want to complete and add them to your BLISS LIST. Chances are your BLISS BOARD will have lots of images. It would be overwhelming to choose everything that you want to accomplish at once. Start small, choose three things and after you complete those, choose three more. Remember, it’s small actionable steps that have a huge impact. New York City Interior Designer, Christopher Burns always has his clients gather images that speak to them and he suggests to them to create their vision board. (Or as I like to call it BLISS BOARD.) He also asks his clients about their favorite places to visit such as a restaurant, hotel, or favorite vacation spot they keep going back to. It’s a way to understand what the clients truly love. 

Sunflower Medium Photo by Barbara Ficarra BarbaraFicarra.com Healthy and Happy by Design

Healthy and Happy By Design BarbaraFicarra.com

Surround yourself with things you love

Your first initial response to this might be, “But wait, things and products don’t bring happiness, it’s about the simple things in life, such as kindness, gratitude and giving back.” I wouldn’t dispute that for a second, because that is very true, but when it comes to your home, make it your oasis. Design it so it evokes joy and bliss. Surround yourself with things that bring a smile to your face, things that trigger joyful memories, and things that have meaning, things that you love. It could be as simple as boosting happiness in your home with fresh flowers, displaying artwork that you or someone you love painted, exhibiting family photos throughout your home showcasing family treasures or just displaying something that you fell in love with at the local home store or during your travels around the country or around the world. Cultivate and evoke joy in your home with things you love. Also, beautiful and bold furniture pieces, lighting and artwork can bring bliss. Choose what you love. The photo below is an image that I took of one of my mom’s painting. Her paintings are beautiful to me and they remind me of her. Every time I see them, they evoke joy! 


Oil by M Photo by Barbara Ficarra BarbaraFicarra.com Healthy and Happy by Design

Healthy and Happy By Design BarbaraFicarra.com

Express Gratitude

Yes, it’s the simple things that can boost health and happiness. Expressing gratitude isn’t difficult to do. Express gratitude verbally or with a written note to your family, friends or colleagues. Expressing gratitude can boost your happiness and health, according to Harvard Health Publications, and it is associated with increased levels of optimism and energy. “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” It’s important to express gratitude. Let the people in your lives know how grateful you are for them and that you appreciate them. Simply say, “I am grateful to have you in my life and I appreciate you.” Keeping track of what you are grateful for in a gratitude journal can help you focus on the positive and become more optimistic. I like to call my gratitude journal a bliss journal because by writing down things that I am grateful for, it immediately brings a sense of bliss. But whatever you call it, it’s something very easy to do, so why not give it a try?


Your Turn – The Blueprint to Design Your Healthy and Happy Life


Do you like to step outside the box? I would love to see your finished BLISS BOARD. Please send me a link to your Pinterest or Instagram.

And remember to surround yourself with people and things you love for a happier and healthier life.

Thanks for being part of the Healthy Design Community at BarbaraFicarra.com. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me here.

Healthy Design Element: Color, Space

Healthy Design Action: Design ways to achieve health and happiness.

______ Design your BLISS BOARD and your BLISS LIST. Step outside-the-box and do things that you are passionate about. Like of it like adding little pops of color to your life.

______ Design your space in your home to include things that you love. 

______ Design your daily routine to include the simple act of expressing gratitude. Make sure it’s heartfelt.

Remember, small steps have a big impact. Just start with one action. Have fun!

Design Your Healthy Life™


P.S. Get your FREE newsletter filled with chic healthy lifestyle design tips.


Side note: Since my site, BarbaraFicarra.com is a lifestyle site that explores the intersection between design, art, tech and health, I thought it would be fun to further the experience with a link to One Kings Lane. One Kings Lane is a website where you can shop for home goods. This is the link if you are curious. It’s an affiliate link, an advertisement. Thanks so much.“We see decorating as a journey that never ends.”-One Kings Lane

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