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?

Free Exclusive Happiness Tips

Join the 80,000 people that subscribe to the Positivity Newsletter and you’ll get practical tips on happiness, self-esteem, productivity and more each week.

You’ll also get these three guides for free:

  • 21 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in School.
  • 7 Steps to Stop Being So Lazy.
  • 10 Things You Can Do When Life Sucks.

100% privacy and no spam. You can unsubscribe anytime.

About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehack, The Huffington Post and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • This cure is different than all the above, take your tongue and push it against the roof of your mouth until hiccups are gone. It works for most of my hiccup occassions.

    My wife swears by the water sips while holding your breath.

    I can almost guarantee how I get the hiccups most of the time, it is when I eat something without drinking any liquid with it or before it. Like a dry sandwich or french fries. Sometimes it starts before I try to follow the eating with a drink of liquid.

    BTW you have a nice blog, enjoy all the +++++++++++’s.

    Mike Feddersen

  • Oh I did forget to mention my friend Jason Williams grandfather has the Guiness Book of Records for the longest continuous hiccup spell, here is his information.
    Charles Osborne (1894 – May 1, 1991) hiccupped continuously for 68 years (1922-1990).

    Osborne, from Anthon, Iowa, U.S., was entered in Guinness World Records as the man with the Longest Attack of Hiccups. The hiccups started in 1922 at a rate of 40 times per minute, slowing to 20 hiccups per minute and eventually stopping on June 5, 1990, a total of 68 years. His condition also led him to be a guest on Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in 1936, ABC’s That’s Incredible! in 1980, and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1983, and to be featured as a question in the board game Trivial Pursuit.

    Osborne began hiccuping in 1922, while slaughtering a hog. Despite his condition, Osborne was able to lead a normal life, and was even married two times.

    Osborne died of complications from ulcers at Marian Health Center in Sioux City, Iowa on May 1, 1991 and he was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Anthon, Iowa three days later.

    It has been estimated that Osborne hiccupped 430 million times over the 68 year period.

    My friend Jason said that he was sent every imaginable cure during all those years, he even underwent surgery to get them stopped, all to no avail.

    Mike Feddersen

    • Wow, that’s sounds really horrible, hiccups for 68 years. Thanks for sharing the story.

  • I do not have hiccups, but everytime i start feeling negative emotions i follow that trick, and suddenly i feel positive again, refreshed and with mental energy to keep on with what i was doing. It does Marvels!!! Negative Loop ——>Focus for a minute——->Positive Again!!!!
    Thanks Henrik!!!

  • I tend to hold my breath for some time to stop my hiccups.

  • My suggestion is like the others, but no water is required.

    Hold your breath & swallow three times in a row. Oddly enough, this only works if you’re standing still.

    Silly, I know – but it totally works.

    • Hehe, interesting that it only works when you standing still, thanks for the tip. :)

  • Joseph

    When I’ve had hiccups I’ve found that by praying the hiccups would go away instantly, without fail.

    It could also be simply a mind-over-matter sort of thing.

  • Hi Henrik,

    Holding my breath and leaving me breathless works for me. The lack of oxygen can help me to stop my hiccups.


  • Karen

    I use a variation of the previously mentioned sugar method. Instead of just eating the sugar, I swallow it dry.

    It also takes my full concentration to swallow the sugar before my saliva gets a chance to do its job.

  • I recently saw a talk that stated that orgasm cures hiccups. I haven’t had the chance to field test this, but I encourage your readers to try this method.

  • Thanks for the tip, I will try it out (and the ones in the other comments). Your method sound a little like meditation, interesting.

    I usually have hiccups when I eat too fast, which in itself is a sign to slow things down.

  • Andreas

    I usually just stare at the moon and tell my friends “just let me be alone”…

  • Tom Kinlough

    Well, a little scientific but if your that type my theory might just be for you … Hiccups are a spasm of the diaphragm which is the muscle under your ribs that pull the air in and push it out… so therefore you should concentrate on calming this down . this is why the holding breath method often works because you are bringing it back to a normal pace – just like when you slow down when you want to stop running — because it brigns you back to a normal pace- – I believe breathing in and out slowly and evenly will help you a lot :D

  • If you bite on a slice of lemon, the hiccups will cease immediately.

  • I totally agree on focusing on something intensely. I ususally aim to count to 20 without breathing in. The more strained my lungs the better. By the time I manage to reach 20, I’m usually red in the face and am so relieved to be able to breathe again that the hiccups remain a distant memory…

  • alfrado

    I usually get a glass of water stand still then put my mouth on the outer rim bend at the waist and drink.