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What Katniss Everdeen Can Teach You About Happiness

Even when surrounded by misery, Katniss Everdeen, theroine of The Hunger Games finds ways to rise above it. When your life gets you down, you can do the same.

Murray Close
Katniss Everdeen Hunger Games

"The Hunger Games" reacquaints us with an admirable female hero: Katniss Everdeen.

Although this best-selling book and major motion picture portrays a dystopian future filled with tyranny and young people forced into savage competition, there is nonetheless a positive role model to be found in Katniss Everdeen. Indeed, having a role model, even a fictional one, gives us an example to follow and helps us to improve.

QUIZ: How Does Your Happiness Measure Up?

This person need not be perfect, but she ought to embody many virtues that are worth striving for. Let's examine the qualities that make Katniss a good role model and consider how aiming to embody them can improve our everyday lives.

RESILIENCY

Katniss did not have an easy childhood. She was born into an oppressive world filled with starvation and her father died in a sudden mining accident. Nevertheless, Katniss still managed to carry on with her life and make the best of things. We should all expect to go through difficult times at one point or another. When things get hard, it's important to stand tough and not give up. Although it might be nearly impossible to imagine, the financial or relationship problems that cause so much suffering today will eventually get better in the future.

How to be more resilient: During trying times, use positive emotions to undo the effects of negative ones. Feel the comfort and joy of watching your favorite movie to counter feelings of depression or anxiety. Make an effort to spend a lot of time around funny and exciting people to deal with stress and dread. This strategy will help you endure the hard times until things get better.

MORE: Think Positively to Be Healthier

SELF-RELIANCE

The ability to hunt game and gather edible and medicinal plants made Katniss more than capable of caring for herself. She also taught herself how to trade and bargain with others for maximum profit. To be sure, we're more likely to feel comfortable being alone if we know we can handle our basic needs.

How to be more self-reliant: Identify and cultivate your strengths to become self-sufficient in a few important areas of your life, such as maintaining a functional home, cooking or furthering your career. Although you may not be an expert in everything, you'll be glad that you are competent in a few key domains.

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