"Usually achived" depends on the aplication used to achive it.
There are tons of aplications to do that. Some free, some payed. Some plugins, some for noobs some for pro.
But the basic idea is.
1) Contrast a lot the image to reduce the dinamic range.
2) Reduce the contrast again, specially on the dark part.
You also can play with saturation (either decrese it or aument it) and with some tint.
If you want some one click solutions look for "vintage" filters.
Note. The modification of the contrast can be done in at least 4 ways. Playing with the curves, with the levels, with a special "contrast" control and with the light and shadows controls.
Here is a super basic example which can be done in almost every software (I exagerated the results)
Original photo http://www.landscape-photo.net/displayimage.php?album=215&pid=5948#top_display_media