6 Simple Healthy Living Tips for a Happier and Healthier You

Monday, December 22, 2014 17:34

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

Healthy Living Healthin30 Blue Abstract (1)

 “A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realize how blessed you are for what you have.” — Unknown

Healthy living is about being in charge of your health. It means being proactive and empowered to take action. Healthy living is about doing simple things—which bring you calmness and serenity, and it can have a big impact on your overall health and well-being. 

Here are six simple healthy living tips to help you live happier and healthier: 

1. Be Empowered. When it comes to health information and advice, don’t believe everything you hear or read. Information may be incomplete and flawed. Whether it’ online, in print or on-air:

  • Be cautious
  • Be skeptical 
  • Be smart
  • Dig deep 
  • Ask questions
  • Talk to your doctornurse or other health care professional (registered dietician, pharmacist, physical therapist, etc.) before making any drastic changes or to get more information.

2. Restore calm and inner peace. Just breathe. Everyone feels stress; no one is immune to it, however, not all stress is bad. We have a stress response that can be life saving in certain situations. In the short term, stress can boost the immune system, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, but chronic stress can be harmful. One way to learn to help cope with stress is to take 15 minutes each day to focus on you. For example, focus on your breathing. Inhale deeply and exhale. Harvard Health Publications offers information on proper breathing to reduce stress: “As you inhale, try saying this phrase to yourself: “Breathing in peace and calm.” And as you exhale, say: “Breathing out tension and anxiety.” When you first start, aim for 10 minutes of deep breathing. Gradually add time until your sessions are 15- to 20-minutes long.”

3. Listen to your favorite joyful soothing music. Research shows that listening to joyful music is good for your health. Listening to soothing music can decrease blood pressure and anxiety levels in patients with certain heart conditions. Research from the University of Maryland Medical Center found that listening to joyful music can have a healthy effect on blood vessel function, and most of the participants in the study stated that country music is their favorite type of music that evokes joy. (I love country music!)

4. Enjoy the Outdoors. Surround yourself with beauty of the outdoors. Have calming positive thoughts as you let nature in as you take a peaceful gentle walk. Walking 30 minutes per day can boost your mood and help decrease stress.

5. Write in a bliss journal™. Every day, write down things you are grateful for. Write down things that bring you pleasure. Write down things you love. Focus on the positive things in your life, and write them in your bliss journal.

6. Give yourself a compliment. Boost your self-esteem. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies. Be kind to yourself and leave the negative self-talk behind. Create positive thoughts and share them with yourself.  Focus on you. Acknowledge your accomplishments and tell yourself, “Well done.” Think about everything you do each day, and acknowledge the positive things. You deserve to shine.   

Your turn
What healthy living health tips would you like to share with our readers? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below or on Facebook. As always, thank you for your time.

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Image courtesy of [Serge Bertasius] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Speaking Event: PIAA International Conference, Amsterdam

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 19:35

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

PIAA Amsterdam Speaking Event Barbara Ficarra


I recently had the honor of speaking at the PIAA International Section Conference, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” — How Threats Can Become Opportunities in Medical Liability, in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The conference was designed to allow attendees to share experiences relating to medical liability and the medical indemnity industry internationally, and it was a huge success.

I was delighted to be invited to participate to speak about social media in medicine. The presentation, Social Media: Friend or Foe in 21st Century Medicine? was part of a panel. We each presented separately and subsequently took questions from the audience.

Moderator: Dr. Hartley S. Stern, CEO, CMPA
Speaker: Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA, founder Healthin30.com, award-winning broadcast journalist, writer – The Huffington Post, consultant
Speaker: Jane O’Brien, former Head of Standards & Ethics, General Medical Council (GMC)
Speaker: Chad P. Brouillard, Esq., Foster & Eldridge, LLP

The phenomenon of social media has taken the world by storm. Health care, like every other area of life, has been impacted. This session provided a broad perspective on all of the factors and issues that medical professional liability insurance and indemnification organizations and individual physicians should bear in mind in using social media. These include potential legal, and new, causes of action for medical liability. 

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PIAA Conference


PIAA Speaking Event Barbara Ficarra Amsterdam

PIAA Speaking Event 2 Barbara Ficarra Amsterdam

LinkedIn Pulse | Empathy: Beyond a Connection

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 9:40

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

This is my first LinkedIn Pulse post, Empathy: Beyond a Connection.


Empathy-Heart-Clear Vision:Mission Barbara Ficarra Healthin30 ID-100227359

Being a great leader means having a clear vision, mission or goal. It means being committed, and knowing how to listen and communicate, but it involves much more. It’s about having heart, empathy, and an uplifting spirit.

With empathy and heart we can help our patients feel good, valued and respected. Empathy allows us to engage and empower our patients to take charge of their health and well-being.

Empathy is without a doubt a connection; but in health care, it’s much more. It’s not only a clinical and emotional connection; it’s truly about letting people know that they matter and that clinicians care about their patient’s well-being.

The emotional connection allows clinicians to be mindful of what patients are experiencing and to help understand their lives. Everyone has a story: the new mom in the hospital who is being treated for cancer is unable to hold and to be with her newborn, the son and dad who gave and received a kidney missed attending the college graduation, the grandpa who missed his granddaughter’s wedding because he was undergoing heart surgery. There are lives behind the patients. A life interrupted and lives on hold. Understanding the how and why and what patients are feeling will allow for the doctor/patient and nurse/patient relationship to flourish, making better outcomes possible.

Underneath the diagnosis lies a patient with a life on hold on the outside. Patients’ lives stand still and they are bound by hospital walls, machines and devices. Every patient deserves empathetic doctors and nurses.

It’s important for clinicians to understand that patients are more than their “diagnosis.” Recognizing patients outside life exists, even just for a moment, is invaluable to them. All too often patients and their caregivers and family members are called “difficult” if they ask too many questions. Most of the time patients, caregivers, loved ones aren’t difficult; they are anxious and afraid and want to know that they are being heard. They want a connection.

With empathy doctors and nurses can connect, engage and empower patients. Empathy allows us to understand what patients are experiencing. By acknowledging their emotional state and listening attentively, we can engage our patients and empower them to be proactive and in charge of their health care.

Empathy will foster trust, a partnership forms and the healing process begins.

So as leaders we can think about our patients lives on hold and empathetically help them get back to their loved ones and back to their lives.

Your turn

We would love to hear from you. Please share your insightful thoughts in the comment section below. As always, thank you for your very valuable time.

Barbara participated in TEDMED and was part of the medical communication team.

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LinkedIn Pulse Post-Empathy: Beyond a Connection

Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA is an award-winning broadcast journalist, founder of Healthin30.com, health educator, international speaker, and registered nurse.

Exploring the intersection of health, technology and art…


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My First YouTube Video is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Friday, August 22, 2014 19:11

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Accepted

Donna Hill Howes nominated the Sharecare Advisory Board for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Here is my first YouTube Video featuring the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. For more information on ALS, please visit The ALS Association.

I call out Harry Greenspun, MD, John La Puma, MD and Dennis Michaels, Esq.



#IceBucketChallenge #StrikeOutALS

The ALS Association http://www.alsa.org.



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List of Health Care Social Media and Digital Influencers on Twitter

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 11:31

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

Marie Ennis-O’Connor (@JBBC) is a healthcare writer, public relations consultant, and digital media strategist. Marie recently compiled a list of 84 health care social media and digital influencers on Twitter.

Twitter is a powerful social networking platform and it allows health professionals to deeply connect and engage with the community. Health care professionals can help educate consumers, raise awareness of health issues and collaborate. This phenomenal platform gives a voice to patients and consumers, and it helps start the conversation with doctors, nurses and other health care professionals.

Thank you Marie for this valuable list, and I am honored to be included.

7.3k views 117 items
Marie Ennis-O'Connor

Healthcare & Digital Health Accounts To Follow on Twitter

List of health care social media and digital influencers on Twitter. Add your suggestions to this list.
  Follow List
  Embed List
  1. 1  Aaron Sklar (@aaronsklar)

    Aaron Sklar (@aaronsklar)

    Neck deep in health-tech start-ups. Design for #digitalhealth. #innovation #behaviorchange #co_health #designthinking #populationhealth #patientengagement San Francisco, California

  2. 2  Alex Butler (@alex__butler)

    Alex Butler (@alex__butler)
    Digital #Pharma expert MD @TheEarthworks @TedMed speaker and member of @Wharton Future of advertising global advisory board. Part of the @digitallysick team. http://the-earthworks.com/blog.aspx
  3. 3  Alissa Sadler (@alissasadler)

    Alissa Sadler (@alissasadler)

    Communications Officer for @OSF_IHRD at @OpenSociety. Harm reduction, public health, drug policy, human rights. Always up for an adventure. A Canadian in NYC.

  4. 4  Andre Blackman (@mindofandre)

    Andre Blackman (@mindofandre)

    Sustainable health innovation. Connector. Working w/health focused orgs + thought leaders @PulseAndSignal (digital branding). Co-founder @FastFwdHealth project RDU/Triangle, NC

  5. 5  Andrew Spong (@andrewspong)

    Andrew Spong (@andrewspong)

    Social business developer. Focused on health communications. Working with pharma, patient associations, & agencies. MD, STweM. Rustington, UK

  6. 6  Anneliz Hannan (@annelizhannan)

    Anneliz Hannan (@annelizhannan)

    Corporate Communications, Public Affairs, Public Relations, Social Media, Healthcare Communications and a Nurse Who Gives More 'Breadth' To Your Brand. Wilmington, NC

  7. 7  ArtJones (@ArtJones)

    ArtJones (@ArtJones)

    New Media & Modern Marketing are more about PEOPLE than TECHNOLOGY. #HCSM #MHealth #TheFutureOfHealthcare NYC & LA

  8. 8  Audun Utengen (@audvin)

    Audun Utengen (@audvin)

    Connect the dots in healthcare social media @Symplur. Disrupt patient satisfaction surveys @Caretotell. Happy Co-founder of both. California

  9. 9  Aurora (@aurorahealthpr)

    Aurora (@aurorahealthpr)

    Healthcare communicators who love what we do for a living - work in UK and internationally. . London, UK

  10. 10  BarbaraFicarra (@BarbaraFicarra)

    BarbaraFicarra (@BarbaraFicarra)
    Journalist, Founder Healthin30.com, Writer Huffingtonpost, Speaker, Media Broadcaster, Consultant, Registered Nurse, Health Educator, Pt Empowerment, HCSM, and.... New York
  11. 11  Bart Collet (@bart)

    Bart Collet (@bart)

    Crossroads of health care technology & pragmatism #mhealth #digitalhealth #AAL #startup #healthstartup Antwerp http://t.co/r87m1Jmy45

  12. 12  Ben Dillon (@benatgeo)

    Ben Dillon (@benatgeo)

    eHealth Evangelist, keynote speaker, SHSMD board member, healthcare web strategist, 2012 #hit100 member, recovering geek. Iowa

  13. 13  Ben Zipkin (@bzipkin)

    Ben Zipkin (@bzipkin)

    Principal @PharmaForward LLC. Focused on digital strategy, analytics, search and social media for pharma and biotech. #hcmktg #hcsm #mhealth Chicago, IL http://www.pharmaforward.com/

  14. 14  Berci Meskó, MD, PhD (@berci)

    Berci Meskó, MD, PhD (@berci)
    Medical futurist, geek medical doctor with PhD in genomics, founder of http://Webicina.com , speaker, blogger, university lecturer, book author, consultant.
    Budapest, Hungary · medicalfuturist.com
  15. 15  Bill Kelly (@bill_reeldx)

    Bill Kelly (@bill_reeldx)

    CEO-ReelDx. Building a healthcare revolution thru Personal Clinical Video™. Proud dad & husband. @TimbersFC and @trailblazers fan. Life ain't gonna live itself.

  16. 16  Brian Ahier (@ahier)

    Brian Ahier (@ahier)
    Health IT Evangelist ~ Passionate about healthcare, technology and government 2.0. The Dalles, Oregon
  17. 17  Brian S. McGowan PhD (@BrianSMcGowan)

    Brian S. McGowan PhD (@BrianSMcGowan)

    Author of #SOCIALQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare. CLO of @ArcheMedX. Committed to information flow and learning in healthcare.

  18. 18  Brian T. Edwards (@HealthGrid)

    Brian T. Edwards (@HealthGrid)

    Senior #mHealth Analyst @iMedicalApps. Fellow @StartupHealth. #DigitalHealth thought leader. Patient entrepreneur. . Chicago, United States

  19. 19  Caz Milligan (@caz_milligan)

    Caz Milligan (@caz_milligan)

    Social Media for Emergency Management | Associate Crest Advisory UK | EOC Public Information Management | Former Police Officer |All views expressed are my own. New Zealand

  20. 20  Colin Hung (@colin_hung)

    Colin Hung (@colin_hung)

    Tweets on marketing, healthcare & leadership. True believer in Healthcare IT. Co-Host #hcldr chat Tues 8:30pm ET. Sushi, SciFi & TV fanatic.

  21. 21  Colleen Young (@colleen_young)

    Colleen Young (@colleen_young)

    Online Community Strategist in health, Founder of #hcsmca, Manager of Patient Engagement & Social Innovation @ELLICSR Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

  22. 22  COUHET Eric (@couheteric)

    COUHET Eric (@couheteric)

    Médecin généraliste connecté # Fondateur @ConnectedDoctor # Consultant santé 3.0 # Concepteur rédacteur # Mobinaute santé #

  23. 23  Craig DeLarge (@cadelarge)

    Craig DeLarge (@cadelarge)

    Digital Healthcare Strategist & Intrapreneur, Design Manager, Leadership Coach, Mac & Mini Cooper fan, NAMI Board Member, Strategy Storyist, World Traveler

  24. 24  Dana Lewis (@danamlewis)

    Dana Lewis (@danamlewis)

    #hcsm founder & moderator (Sun @ 8pm CT) Seattle, WA

  25. 25  David Harlow (@healthblawg)

    David Harlow (@healthblawg)
    Health Care Lawyer, Consultant, Speaker, Blogger http://about.me/davidharlow. Boston MA

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