It seems that everyone is in search of happiness. And, guess what? There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, the pursuit of happiness is one of our unalienable rights.

Though, where to find happiness is sometimes the illusive part of the equation. In this article, we're suggesting seven situations that may be the surest places to find the happiness you seek.

1. Hugging your sweetheart

Oh, how sweet it is, after a hard day of meeting daily challenges, to find yourself in the arms of the one you love with all of your heart.

When he holds you close, whatever else is going on in the world, you can't help but feel happy inside. All the nurturing you do to build your marriage pays off big time at moments like this.

2. Holding your baby or grandbaby

These squirmy little angels from heaven have a way of weaving themselves into our hearts-right from the beginning.

Holding your baby and seeing that little smile as you smile back and "goo goo" talk to her is priceless. Money can't buy that feeling. It's pure heaven in your arms.

Even as they grow, you will always have those moments when holding them or hugging them will forever bring moments of joy.

It's like the day, several years ago, when our little four-year-old grandson came to me and, hugging me tight, said, "Grandma, don't ever go away. I love you and want you to stay forever."

I melted into a puddle of pure happiness that has stayed with me ever since.

3. Rejoicing with others over their happy news

Enjoying the happiness of others is another way of extending your own happiness.

American poet Archibald Rutledge put it this way: "One of the sanest, surest, and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others."

Recently a friend of ours came by to show us her new car. She was over-the-top happy with this much-deserved new vehicle. She bubbled with happiness. We gushed over it with her and found ourselves filled with happy feelings over her good fortune too.

Anytime we celebrate happiness in the life of friends, neighbors, co-workers, or family members, we are richly blessed in their shared happiness.

4. Attending church

Sitting in a sacred sanctuary, learning the ways of God and feeling His love surround you, can bring a joy felt no other way. It's reassuring. It's healing. It's knowing that with God at the helm all will be well.

Learning of Him and feeling His Spirit fills us with faith and hope for a better tomorrow. Plus, it helps us feel gratitude for what we have today.

A study found that, "Attending religious services regularly and having close friends in the congregation are key to having a happier, more satisfying life."

Church is a great place to find happiness.

5. Serving someone in need

It's been said that if you're feeling sad, go serve someone.

It can change your life. It takes your mind off your sorrows and helps you feel joy in your heart for bringing a bit of light into someone else's life.

Mother Teresa said, "I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy."

That's how it works. If you help someone in need, whether we know them or not, it can bring a peaceful joy otherwise unattainable.

Look to see who might need you today and discover another little corner of happiness.

6. Eating chocolate

There's no getting around it. Women like chocolate!

"... researchers have found that comfort foods like chocolate can supply nutrients that keep a woman's hormonal system functioning properly and brain chemicals in balance."

No wonder savoring chocolate in your mouth now and then can bring a happy feeling.

We recently learned how this affected a young woman who was serving a mission for her church in a foreign land.

It happened one evening when she and her companion were exhausted from a long day of walking, and sometimes being rejected. They were hungry and tired, but had one more visit to make.

The young woman told her companion that what they needed was some chocolate, but had no way to get any. She stopped right there and said a prayer, asking God to please bring them some chocolate. Her companion was startled by the prayer, thinking it a bit silly to ask for chocolate.

They rang the doorbell of a house and were invited in. Almost immediately, a woman who was a relative of the people they were visiting said, "Would you missionaries like some chocolate? I stopped on my way over a few minutes ago and bought some."

They relished every bite, knowing God had answered their prayers. It gave them the boost they needed and brought a special kind of happiness to their hearts. They knew God cared about them.

So, yes, there are times when a little chocolate can bring a big feeling of happiness.

7. Enjoying nature

Seeing a rainbow, sitting on the beach listening to the waves roll in, or enjoying the fragrance of a flower-all of these can bring their own special gift of happiness.

Nature abounds with these gifts for us to enjoy- even if it's just a stroll through the neighborhood.

It's amazing what treasures we can find as we look at the changing colors of leaves on the trees, the beauty of a sunset, or the sound of birds as they chirp their joyful tunes.

These are gifts heaven has bestowed upon us all to help us feel happy. Enjoy them to the fullest.

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