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“For every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

In this section you can find articles on issues related to stories on these pages.
Studies are in random order, and focus on the power of humor, hope and inspiration.

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Here's some advice from 1 of the longest-running studies on happiness, by Harvard

When it comes to asking "What's the secret to happiness?", Harvard study of Adult Development might have some more academic responses to the question. The study that began 1938 during the Great Depression has discovered that there are specific traits and behaviors that were linked with increased level of happiness across the entire group, including men from various economic and social backgrounds, from Boston's poorest neighborhoods to Harvard undergrads. President John F. Kennedy was even part of original group.

The short answer: Relationships that make you happy with family, friends and community. Embracing Community helps us live longer and be happier.

Picture from Jon Tyson, who offers free, beautiful high-quality photos for good use. Thank you Jon!

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Children granted wishes had less hospital visits and reduced healthcare costs

"Hope is like narrow path in the forest; you may not see it first but when you start walking on it it comes into existence".  - Unknown

Cimone Stills, 15, has a medical condition that has caused her to have multiple seizures a day for most of her life. Specifically, she has treatment-resistant generalized epilepsy because of a genetic variation.

Like many patients with such a serious illness, it affects her daily life and as a result, she was diagnosed with clinical depression.

But Cimone’s outlook on life completely changed for the better after her wish of going to Paris.

Cimone says that the wish helped provide her perspective and hope. It also helped reduced her number of seizures over time.

As a member of the Medical Advisory Council of Make-A-Wish America, Anup Patel, MD, section chief of Neurology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, anecdotally could attest that wishes like Cimone’s positively affected the patients he saw in the Complex Epilepsy Clinic at Nationwide Children’s.

As a clinician, he sought evidence to support his hypothesis that these experiences provided children with progressive, life-threatening, or critical illnesses more than hope – that in fact, they had a clinical benefit.

Whatever a child has wished for – a puppy, seeing snow for the first time or to meet their favorite celebrity – a recent study led by Nationwide Children’s demonstrates that experiences, or “wishes,” granted to pediatric patients can actually reduce health care utilization.

In the retrospective study published online by Pediatric Research November 13 2018, patients granted a wish were 2.5 times more likely to have fewer unplanned hospital admissions and 1.9 times more likely not to have to use the emergency department. This led to a decline in cost of care even after accounting for the average cost of the wish.

From 2011 to 2016, 496 Nationwide Children’s Hospital patients received a wish. These were matched to the same number of a control group based on age, gender, disease category and disease complexity.

“My patients have about a one to three percent chance of ever becoming seizure-free. Not every patient of mine who gets a wish is going to come back seizure-free, but they are going to improve,” said Dr. Patel.

“Their quality of life is going to be better and that might have an indirect impact on their seizures.

They may have fewer seizures as a result, or be more likely to take their medications. Moreover, we are able to give them something they would not otherwise get: a break from their illness.”

“Wishes are a nice thing to do for a patient, their family and siblings, but for the first time this study lets us say that a wish is more than just nice,” said Dr. Patel.

“A wish is something that potentially can help the health of a child get better over time, impact healthcare utilization and reduce dollars spent on healthcare.”

Picture from Ron Smith, who offers free, beautiful high-quality photos for good use. Thank you Ron!

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