My Foolproof Trick to Stop Hiccups as Soon as They Start

Updated 10/06/17

It happens to the best of us. That moment when hiccups frustratingly set in and your brain calls to mind that story you read that one time about the girl who had hiccups for something like seven years straight. Or was it 12 years? Wait, and then there was that one guy who had them forever. No? Just us worried souls over here? I know that when I've had hiccups that just won't go away, no matter how many times I've had the nearest person in the room try to scare them away ("In a few minutes, when we've both forgotten about this, say BOO!

really loudly") or tried jumping up and down on one leg, I've begun to worry about that what-if. What if they just never go away? What if I'm haunted by hiccups for the rest of my life? That was the case, at least, until a roommate taught me a trick that has never failed me. Not once ever, in all the dozens of times I've had hiccups since. Keep scrolling to learn what it is! 

stop hiccups

The hiccup-eliminating trick is to swallow three times consecutively while holding your breath. It might sound totally crazy at first, or seem impossible, and though I can't promise it will work on you, it has worked on every single person I've ever taught it to. You probably know the "hold your breath" trick. That's an old-school one, and for me, it never worked. With this one, you hold your breath, then swallow three times in a row without taking in any new air. One, two, three. It's pretty hard to do, in fact, but you can practice right here and now whether you have hiccups or not.

Try it. It's hard, right? Just wait until the next time you have hiccups.

It's now become something like a magic trick of mine. I get excited for people around me to get hiccups so I can save the day with this solution. A few weeks ago, a colleague was complaining she'd tried everything for her hiccups. I swiveled my chair around excitedly. "Have you tried holding your breath…" And before she could roll her eyes at me with a Yes of course I've tried holding my breath expression, I whipped out the "and swallowing three times in a row WITHOUT breathing?" Sly grin. She stared at me and said, "Wha… bu… I can't do that." She tried it.

She did it. They went away.

Just last night, my boyfriend couldn't get rid of his hiccups. My eyes got giant because of the timeliness. A mile a minute, I blurted out, "I'm writing a story on this hiccup trick—have you tried holding your breath and swallowing three times in a row?!?!?! Do it right now! Do it!" He stared at me and said, "I taught you that trick." It's still up for debate who taught whom the trick in our relationship, but I said, "Well have you done it yet?!" He did it, and sure enough, gone. Right away. I smiled at another hicctory (that's a hiccup victory).


So the next time you get the hiccups, try this trick! I hope it works for you as well as it does, consistently, for me and those I teach it to.

Do you have a no-fail, tried-and-true hiccup trick you swear by? Share it in the comments below! 

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