Hiccups. We’ve all had them before and can agree that they can be pretty annoying at times. While most incidents only last a few minutes, some cases can go on for hours, even days. However, almost all cases are minor can be dealt with quite easily. 

Basically, hiccups are involuntary spasms of the diaphragm, the large muscle in your chest that is involved with breathing. As the spasm occurs, your diaphragm forces you to inhale suddenly, forcing your vocal chords to snap shut, resulting in the distinctive “hiccup” sound. Hiccups are commonly caused by eating too fast, smoking, drinking or stress/emotional excitement. To help with this annoying condition, here are a few effective ways to get rid of hiccups.

Hold Your Breath

This is probably the most common remedy for hiccups, one that most people have already tried. Essentially by holding your breath, you are quickly raising the carbon dioxide levels in your body, and inhibiting spasms in your diaphragm. Simply take a large breath and hold for about 20 seconds. Repeat the process until your hiccups are gone.

Take Slow Breaths

This next tip is also very easy to perform should you run into a bad case of the hiccups. To perform this remedy, slowly draw in a breath over the span of 5 seconds, hold that breath for 5 seconds and then exhale the breath completely over the span of 5 seconds. Basically, the goal here is to try and “reset” your diaphragm by slowing down your breathing to an unnatural rate. As with holding our breath, repeat the process until the hiccups have stopped.

Pull on Your Tongue

While pulling on your tongue can look and feel a bit odd, it can be quite effective at ending those dreaded hiccups. Pulling gently on your tongue can stimulate the nerves and muscles in your throat and, as a result, your diaphragm as well. This will hopefully reset your breathing patterns and release your diaphragm from the involuntary muscle spasms.

Drink Ice water

This final tip is probably something you should be doing more often anyways. Many people have reported that drinking a tall glass of ice water may help relieve even the most stubborn hiccups. To do this properly, make sure that you are slowly sipping on the water, allowing the cold temperature to stimulate your vagus nerve, and reduce the spasms in your diaphragm. 

Hiccups can be one of the most annoying conditions to endure, as you can rarely predict when it’ll show up or when it’ll subside. While there’s a bit of mystery surrounding a one-size-fits-all remedy for hiccups, the best way to get rid of this annoying condition is to try the various potential techniques above and see which one works best for you.