The quest for ultimate happiness is one that we have all embarked upon.
But many will now be hoping it’s worth the slog as experts say it won’t peak until we are in our 80s.
Leading neuroscientist Daniel Levitin has said that older generations are much more cheerful than younger ones.
He said that World Health Organisation data from across 60 countries shows that happiness peaks at the age of 82.
Dr Levitin, who is a professor of psychology at McGill University in Canada, said: ‘If you look across the world, across the 60 countries that have been studied, the peak age of happiness tends to be about 82.
‘People get happier. Now there’s a neurochemical basis for this, your neurochemistry shifts.
But there’s also kind of a psychological and very practical basis.
You realise you’ve gotten through all these things that were stressing you out. If you make it to 82, you know you’ve managed [and] you’re OK.’
In his book The Changing Mind, published this month, he adds that happiness actually declines in our 30s but starts to pick up from the age of 54.
Dr Levitin, who at 62 has another two decades until his happiness peaks, said his findings of a ‘sharp’ increase in happiness as people age ‘holds true across 72 countries from Albania to Zimbabwe’.
He attributes late-life happiness to people readjusting the ‘too-high expectations’ of their youth to ‘realise that life is pretty good’.
Other important factors were exercise, trying new experiences and nurturing relationships.