How to Get Rid of Hiccups

Today I’d like to take a break from long articles and just focus on one practical tip you can use right now or whenever you need it.

A few years ago – well, probably 10 years ago by now – I discovered a really good way to get rid of hiccups. It has worked every time I have used it. In the following years I have told family and friends about it and as far as I can remember it has worked as well for them as it has for me.

You need to focus

Here’s what you do. When you have the hiccups just focus your eyes and attention on something in front of you. Maybe it’s a road sign, a painting or some other object. Focus on just that thing. Don’t let anything or anyone else enter your field of focus. Just focus 100% of your attention on that object. Do so for a minute or two and you should have stopped hiccupping.

Why does it work?

My theory, and it’s just a theory, is that hiccups continue because the person having them focuses too much on wanting them to stop. Just like in the case of much of the mind made suffering in our lives it is fed by you focusing on it and giving it more mental energy. If you shift your focus totally away from thinking about it and just stare at that object in front of you then you stop feeding the hiccups with mental energy. And so they vanish.

This explanation may of course be totally wrong. :) But the trick still puts a stop to those annoying hiccups.

What is your best tip for getting rid of the hiccups?

Image by sergis blog (license).

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • I find that holding your breath for a duration that exceeds the amount of time it would take for your next hiccup, works wonders!

  • What always work for me is this:
    -Fill a fairly large glass with water, not too cold.
    -Take a deep breath
    -Drink all the water, without taking a breath
    -Wait for a minute, and if the hiccups haven’t disappeared, repeat.
    -Go to the bathroom

    Then you should be good!

    • Mary Martin

      This one works for me……but I add holding my nose while i do it and set the glass on the table and do it hands free – I think it is the lack of focus….you’re right in my non scientific opinion

  • Lucia

    9 swallows of water with a deep breath after each swallow. Works everytime for me and my family members. Give it a try.

  • Agree with Dana, but I doubt that’s the real deal of this article. If I am not wrong, its more of the “hiccups” we face in life and how to overcome them.

    By focusing on the solutions instead of trying to think how to remove the problem, which eventually makes us think of the problem even more, we will realize the “hiccups” will disappear faster than what we would have thought.

    Enlighten me if I am wrong.

    Keep these short and sweet tips going ! They good !

    • That’s a good point, thanks for adding that. Actually, I was just thinking about hiccups when writing the post but I guess I managed to add something general about how we should use our focus too. :)

  • charleney_2k

    My method is very similar to Rachel’s and it works every single time. Hold your ears shut while simultaneously drinking water from a straw. Take about four swallows or so and the hiccups should be gone! If not, second time’s a charm :)

  • Interesting! I’ll have to try that the next time I get the hiccups. Usually I just laugh at myself and wait until they are gone…sorry, no good tips to offer!

  • Hiya

    Nice tip. It works for sneezing too. Particularly good with the onset of hayfever around this time of year.


  • My husband offers me $10 if I can hiccup again. I get so focussed on getting the $10, 9 times out of 10 I can’t hiccup again! Problem solved.

  • JDH

    That is a great trick! I had a co worker who had the hiccups for about a half hour, so to help her out I casually walked into her office then suddenly threw my keys against her metal file cabinet, ha ha….it startled her so bad they stopped instantly. Not very nice, but pretty hilarious. Not sure if I can focus on something other than the hiccups, but it beats someone trying to scare me!

    • Haha, that’s a pretty fun solution. And it worked too, cool! I always thought that the trick about trying to scare someone was just a myth.

  • og

    Bend over from the waist, your head should be up-side-down (not between your legs). Bring the “top” of a glass of water to your top lip and drink upside down (basically your chin should be in the glass). Go slow till you are used to drinking upside down, so that the water won’t go up your nose. If you have it wrong you will know, you will not be able to drink the water.

  • I’ve tried most of the methods mentioned above to little avail: my TRIED AND TRUE method that I read about a while back is the following:

    Exhale completely, and breath in about 85-95% full, then hold your breath and swallow. Take in a gulp of air, but DON’T breathe in – rather, take in one mouthfull of air and “swallow” it down. Do this a second time, and a third. It should become very difficult to do by the third time, and your lungs should be full. Here’s where the magic happens:

    Continue taking mouthfulls of air until you simply can’t anymore (mouth too dry, lungs too full – usually around 4-5 gulps). Then try your damndest to swallow a final time. It might take 10-20 seconds to get it down, but this is what cures the hiccups.

    Try it! It’s worked for me 95% of the time for years.

  • Lemon slice dipped in sugar. Very good too. Works every time in an instant.

  • Matt

    “Drink water” is commonly given as a cure but years ago in primary school I worked out the specifics. The trick is to be swallowing when the next hiccup would occur. This is most easily achieved by starting to drink water when the next hiccup is about to come. It might need to be done for the next couple hiccups, I can’t remember (I don’t get them very often).

    When I was younger I got so good at it I could just swallow once and be rid of them!

  • Marcus

    Hiccups are spasms of the diaphram. Take 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar and it regulates the muscle. Otherwise, stand on your left foot with torso facing magnetic north. Hold your nostrils closed with the ring finger and thumb of right hand. Hold a glass of 4 oz of water (must be glass, no plastic) in left hand and sip 7 draws through a bendy straw. Then…just take the spoonful of sugar.

    • Lisa

      BAHA! Best. Advice. Ever.

      I find drinking upside down usually works. Reading this post actually got rid of my hiccups. Score one for me.

  • Thank you all for sharing your helpful and in many cases kinda amusing solutions! :) I’m sure this list of tips will be very helpful whenever someone gets the hiccups.