International Day of Happiness: Celebrating the Advancement of Positive Psychology with Nick Hernandez

The power of positivity is in full force on 21st March for International Day of Happiness. We speak to Nick Hernandez to find out his drive.

As we are facing a global crisis, let’s see positive manners to enrich our lives and that of the surroundings by being positive and happy. 

The 20th of March is definitely a day to do so. It’s a day to be happy, kind and calm. It’s the International Day of Happiness, which Youth Time will celebrate by talking to Nick Hernandez, the founder of Positivity Matters, an NGO with the primary purpose to increase wellbeing through small-group conversation. 

Its talks focus on the philosophy and science of human flourishing and the generative actions that promote the wellbeing people are seeking. 

Hernandez also organizes events inspired by wellbeing scholars to spark generative change for organizations and communities. 

Living in Nebraska, US, Hernandez is a public speaker and consultant with the main mission to translate wellbeing research into positive change. 

Moreover, Hernandez manages the Positive Psychology Group on Facebook, with 133.5K members. He posts tips and links regarding positive psychology.  

In this piece, among others, he will talk about the International Day of Happiness 2021 virtual event he is hosting and about the values needed for one to nurture a happy life. 


International Day of Happiness in Short

Since 2013, the United Nations (UN) has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. 

Whereas, in 2015, the UN launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which seek to end poverty, reduce inequality, and protect our planet – three key aspects that lead to well-being and happiness. 

It invites each person of any age, background, business and government to join in celebration of the International Day of Happiness.  

International Day of Happiness
International Day of Happiness: Every 21st March, the world looks for positivity power

This day in an annual event marked by the UN, and not only, to promote the idea that feeling happy is a global human right. 

Nevertheless, having a dedicated day to celebrate happiness as a concept came just after several years of campaigning by the UN adviser, Jayme Illien, known as the founder of Happytalism, a new economic, political, and social system and philosophy which places the primacy of happiness, well-being, and freedom at the centre of economic and human development and all life

Taking into account the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the theme for this year’s International Day of Happiness is ‘Keep Calm, Stay Wise and Be Kind’.

However, how can one achieve all three? 

Let’s start by taking some advice from the Positive Psychology Facebook Group, and see how it spreads positivity through social media platforms.  


Thousand Members Sharing the Same Goal to Stay Positive  

“It [Positive Psychology Facebook Group] serves to amplify the reach of wellbeing researchers by spotlighting both the original research and the coverage of that research by other media outlets. International Day of Happiness urges everyone to find positive ways to look after ourselves and each other.”

When asked about an advice to young people on ways they can celebrate this day and be a better version for themselves and the others as well, Hernandez shares the following: 

Think about the values that go into making a HAPPY LIFE. Values are chosen qualities of being and doing. 

One model of how to live a happy life:

Health: Physical and mental.

Aesthetic Experience: Natural and created beauty.

Pleasure (and the reduction of unbearable pain)

PlaY: Games, humour, sport, etc.

Life: The interconnected web of life.

Information (knowledge)


Engagement: How we pursue the other goods.

He explains: “Focus your energy on pursuing things you value in ways that are valuable to you and helping others to do likewise.” 


Celebrating the Advancement of Positive Psychology

Hernandez believes that most people want to experience happiness in their lives and hence it is somehow expected for this day to take place. 

“It seems appropriate to celebrate the advancement of positive psychology, the empirical study of human flourishing, at least once a year. 

“I was so excited to see the adoption of Health and Wellbeing as one of the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations and even more so when the International Day of Happiness was conceptualized by the UN in 2012.” 

On a concluding note, Hernandez elaborates that the main aim of this event is to speak happiness to the head and to the heart. 

“There are presenters who study and/or educate about wellbeing along with artists who work for me, and seem to foster happiness.” 

9-9:30am SLT – Tay: ACT with Hope, an exploration of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and research on the psychological construct of hope.

9:30-10am SLT – Cathrine Gyldensted: Constructive Journalism is a shift which looks to the future and seeks to leave the news audience inspired, hopeful and motivated. 

1:30-2pm – Ming Fu: Uvita, an app to increase wellbeing.

2-2:30pm-Hephaestus Semyorka (Cheryl De Ciantis): Values- packets of energy usually identified by a single word or phrase, and represented by behaviours. 

2:30-3pm- Julie Rusk: Founder, Civic Wellbeing Partners, Governments need to set priorities and make decisions based on improving residents’ wellbeing. 

The event has morning and afternoon sessions, and poetry, music and plays. All times are Pacific Time. 

One way to achieve a piece of happiness is by being charitable and contributing to improving the lives of people globally. For this, Youth Time recommends your next read:

International Day of Charity: Nourishing Human Spirit

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