1. A compelling reason why to change from the "easy default" - What is it? Write it out
Cue needed for the new way of handling this:
Firmly implemented realization that the comfort (or escape from discomfort) will lead to dissatisfaction and the loss of something greater. [Be 100% clear on the tradeoff. Write this out!]
New cue to substitute: What I really want out of life related to this: a clear statement to refer to (or recall, which is a "reference").
Examine old cue: Is this really a threat? Is the discomfort being made up, manufactured illegitimately by me.
2. Change current chemicals! - But it must be done in the face of the current "state", which does not involve ambition!
Breathe deeply and slowly - Tell myself that I will feel better from this breathing. [Which is true!] This is easy, and it is what the primitive brain 'wants'.
Start some easy movement, ramping up when body conditions allow ready.
Be with it - Recognize that it is no big deal and that it will soon pass. Be still, relax, let it be. [And then it does actually pass.]
"There is nothing to fear" - This is minor, not meaningful, just a chemical imbalance which I shall correct, either directly or by letting it pass.
Review what you are grateful for. Or listen to a CD of it.
Relax deeply, nap, or... - These are restorative and actually solve the "imbalance, out-of-balance" condition.
Have a list of other activities that is cued for you to grab.
Post the list!
Until you've mastered this, you should post the list, so it is available when needed, all over, on cards in wallet, drawer, mirror, etc. (Print the above and cut it out.)