Happiness declines in our 30s but rises again to peak aged 82, according to a neuroscientist

A neuroscientist has revealed that happiness declines in our 30s, before rising again from 54 [Image: Getty]

The passing of birthdays may become less and less exciting as we get older - but there’s good news on the way.

Happiness reaches a peak at the age of 82, according to neuroscientist David Levitin.

Before this, the author and cognitive psychologist also found in his research that we become less happy in our 30s before things pick up again from 54.

The Sunday Times report that in his new book, the expert revealed: “As a group [older generations] are actually happier than younger people.”

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Levitin has insisted that his discovery of a “sharp” boost in happiness from our 50s “holds true across 72 countries from Albania to Zimbabwe”.

The neuroscientist - who is two decades away from his happiness peaking - came to his conclusions after analysing hundreds of studies.

His new book, The Changing Mind, published this month, is being described as a “neuroscientist’s guide to ageing well”.

Successful Hollywood stars who are aged 82 include Jane Fonda, Morgan Freeman and Dustin Hoffman - as well as Anthony Hopkins who is nominated for an award for The Two Popes at tonight’s Oscars.

Hollywood star Jane Fonda is 82 years old - the age at which happiness is claimed to peak [Image: Getty]

READ MORE: Woman's new year 'happiness jar' goes viral

The expert blamed “too high expectations” for why younger generations can feel less happy, but as we age we “realise that life is pretty good”.

In addition to outlook, he said that other factors influencing happiness included doing exercise, trying new experiences, maintaining loving relationships and getting rid of toxic ones.

Last month, a woman’s new year “happiness jar” went viral.

Stacey Fell, a British woman based in Dubai, shared an image of a glass pot full of folded pieces of paper on her Instagram account.

READ MORE: We should all walk during our lunch breaks, experts say

It is “a jar I fill with scraps of paper throughout the year with ANYTHING that made me happy in that moment, big or small.”

This could include “a compliment, an amazing meal, an achievement, a beautiful sunset, a time you laughed so much you thought you might pee yourself, a holiday, something that happened to a friend that was amazing”.

Stacey, who has made one for five years in a row, revealed that every year she tips out the jar and reads all the memories before starting again.

Another expert-backed way to boost mental health includes going for a lunchtime walk.

Numerous studies have found that getting fresh air at midday positively affects concentration and overall work enjoyment in the afternoon.

One recent piece of research showed that office workers enjoyed their afternoons more if they’d gone for a walk outside at lunch time.

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