Many people in my life are aware that I am a person who experiences periodic depression and anxiety. The depression is genetic from one side of the family and the anxiety from the other. These two converged issues in my life have led to bad coping mechanisms the worst of which was drinking.
Several years ago I came across an organization that suggested that service to others is the only true way to happiness. Service to others? How's that going to help me? I'm the one who's unhappy, not them. How's putting gas in another person's car going to get me anywhere. What I didn't understand was that I was expecting a spiritual concept to operate under the same principles as a material concept. For me the spiritual world was new anyway, and continues to be new - but it was far less real to me than it is now.
Over the years I have realized there actually is a spiritual plane and it actually does operate under completely different laws and logic than the material plane. Because I have the unique station of being a human, I straddle both these planes. What actions I perform on the spiritual plane affect my experience of the material plane and actions I perform on the material plane affect my spiritual condition.
I never truly got to experience the truth of how service to others brings happiness until I started volunteering for Second Chance Dog Rescue. I suddenly found myself talking to potential adoptees on the phone with joy and happiness. I have been surrounded by love and joy from the animal kingdom which has given me a faith that the true nature of creation is Love. I now know for myself that joyful service to humanity, to the animal kingdom, and to God is a true path to happiness.