The Defy Aging Newsletter

Anti-aging psychology, holistic health, and wellness

a biweekly e-mail newsletter for helping you think, feel, look, and be more youthful and live with purpose.

Number 117

This issue:

Happiness Insurance


Be comforted that you have happiness insurance and there is no premium to pay.


The patient is in a nursing home, no longer able to walk, in a lot of pain, and has multiple health problems. I'm thinking that she is going to be terribly depressed. Instead, she tells me how blessed she is and she seems to be truly happy. I've experienced this so many times I am no longer surprised.

When people experience a loss, they usually experience some grieving or depression, which may last for hours or months. Then they typically revert to their previous level of happiness. In nursing homes, for a few months most are "grieving" over their loss of health, independence, privacy, and palatable food. Then they start reverting to their baseline or normal level of happiness (or unhappiness). The extreme optimists don't even experience the grieving, they are grateful to still be alive and appreciate how wonderful the staff are (which in turn makes them the staff's favorite patients).

Consider Christopher Reeves. After his accident, he went through a period of depression. Logically, we might expect him to be miserable the rest of his life. Though, initially not even able to breathe without mechanical help, his upbeat personality reemerged and he adopted a determination to talk and walk. He also took a leadership position in fundraising.

The phenomenon isn't limited to health problems and loss. Lottery winners are on a high for several months and then revert to their previous level of happiness or unhappiness. Boston Red Socks fans thought heaven had arrived when they broke the Curse of the Bambino and won the World Series. After a few weeks, life returned to normal. Graduation bliss lasts a few weeks. Marital bliss typically lasts for several months.

So the good news is that even if bad things happen to you, after awhile, you will be happy again. You have happiness insurance and the premiums were free. How can you up your baseline for happiness? That's the topic of the next issue.


Americans have an abiding belief in their ability to control reality by purely material means....airline insurance replaces the fear of death with the comforting prospect of cash.

~Cecil Beaton

That's the really neat thing about Dan Quayle, as you must have realized from the first moment you looked into those lovely blue eyes: impeachment insurance.

~Barbara Ehrenreich on George Bush Sr.'s selection of a running mate


Sergeant Jones advised new recruits about their government benefits, especially their GI insurance. Jones had almost a 100% record for insurance sales, which had never happened before. Why? Jones explained that "If you have GI Insurance and go into battle and are killed, the government has to pay $200,000 to your beneficiaries. If you don't have GI insurance, and you go into battle and get killed, the government has to pay only a maximum of $6,000."Now," he concluded, "which bunch do you think they're going to send into battle first?"

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"Dr. Michael Brickey, The Anti-Aging Psychologist, teaches people to think, feel, look and be more youthful. He is an inspiring keynote speaker and Oprah-featured author. His works include:  Defy Aging, 52 baby steps to Grow Young, and Reverse Aging (anti-aging hypnosis CDs). Visit for a free report on anti-aging secrets and a free newsletter with practical anti-aging tips."

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