10 Ways to Make Yourself Miserable

miserableDo you have any regrets? In his recent General Conference talk Of Regrets and Resolutions, Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke of a nurse who posed this very question to her terminally ill patients at the end of their lives. In his talk, President Uchtdorf covered three of the most common regrets, one of them being:

I wish I’d let myself be happier.

The Book of Mormon tells us “men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Nephi 2:25) The scriptures abound with references to the joy and happiness that can be ours if we choose the path of righteousness.

But even those of us who strive to live according to God’s commandments are often not as happy as we would like to be.

Of course, we need to remember that the happiness promised to the righteous may not come all at once, or even in this life. That’s where faith steps in. After all, if blessings to righteous efforts were instantaneous, people would be lining up for days outside churches everywhere!

So, happiness may not be as immediate as we would like. THAT SAID…the truth is, we often sabotage things for ourselves. By our actions and thoughts, we shove away happiness when it’s at our fingertips. Sometimes, we even refuse the happiness God is trying so hard to give us, saying please, just accept it already!

In fact, sometimes I wonder if we just love to make ourselves miserable. Or maybe we believe we can be happy while still clinging to unhealthy behaviors and thoughts.

Unfortunately, I often find myself sabotaging my own happiness. So, in an effort to pinpoint some of my own happiness-eroding behaviors, I set out to create a list of ten things we humans often do, consciously or subconsciously, to make ourselves miserable.

The list quickly swelled, and although I haven’t spent that much time adding to it, I’m already up to about fifty items.

Conclusion: we humans are really great at ruining things for ourselves!

So, here I am, sharing a random few from my list…

Ten Ways to Make Yourself Miserable

  1. Don’t take care of your body (exercise, sleep, nutrition…).
  2. Don’t take care of your spirit (prayer, scripture study, pondering…).
  3. Convince yourself personal change is impossible.
  4. Constantly compare yourself to others.
  5. Waste away your life on social media, by playing video games, watching TV, etc.
  6. Don’t share your time, means, or talents with others.
  7. Be too busy with important things to attend to crucial matters.
  8. Be ungrateful. Especially for your blessings.
  9. Tell yourself God doesn’t care about you or your problems.
  10. Consider trials as God’s punishments, not as opportunities for growth.

So, there you go! If misery is your goal, give these a try. But be aware:

You might live to regret it.

What are some things you sometimes do to make yourself miserable?



  1. It is SO true. I am especially bad at 4, 5, and 6. I’ve been making an effort to simplify my life as far as social media. We almost never turn on our TV, but I check my social media on my phone like 5 times a day. Embarrassing.

    Have you read “The Happiness Project”? I just checked it out from the library and my understanding is that it is about a woman who considers herself happy, but doesn’t feel like she is really reaching her full potential, so she takes steps to improve all of that. I think it goes along with this post in some ways, you might like it.

    I’m really loving your blog, Angelica. Such great insight.

    • angelicahagman says:

      Five times a day?? I think that is WAY below average (and certainly much less than what I do). I have heard about “The Happiness Project,” but haven’t had the chance to read it yet. You’ll have to tell me if you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Your list hits on all the top ones for me! With the busyness and exhaustion that comes with motherhood, one of the first things I drop is nurturing my spirit. Resolved to better too!

    • angelicahagman says:

      Yes! It’s funny how most of us tend to forget or neglect refueling, even when we know running on a near-empty tank is a risky thing!

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