Among the many powerful techniques for allowing profound shifts, are the ones described in the Tibetan mind training, or lo jong.
One that I find particularly effective for me is rejoicing. There is always an abundance to rejoice in, in terms of the happiness of others. Even – or especially – when I am in the dumps, it opens up for a new way of being when I rejoice in other’s happiness.
It brings happiness into my own situation, it brings me out of the contractions and the habitual emotional/mental/behavioral patterns that creates the contractions, and it brings me out of exclusive self-focus and opens me up for the wider world, also in terms of the immediate smells, sounds, colors, textures etc.
It is one of the many tools that brings happiness into our own life, independent of our situation. And it works.
This reminds me of how many tools and techniques are good candidates for being offered in schools, and by counselors in any form. There are so many out there, simple tools that do allow for a deep shift. Many of them are tools known in eastern cultures for centuries, and just now being discovered and implemented in western cultures.