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9 Things You Don’t Know About Hiccups

9 Things You Don’t Know About Hiccups

Everyone gets a case of the hiccups eventually. It’s caused by spasms in the diaphragm that can occur for pretty much no reason. It can be uncomfortable but is hardly ever life threatening. Here are some things about hiccups you probably didn’t know.

1. If hiccups last for more than 48 hours, there’s an underlying cause

Random bouts of the hiccups are perfectly normal and aren’t the sign of any disease. That is, of course, they last for longer than two days. If that’s the case then there’s an 80% chance that there’s something else wrong that’s causing hiccups. The other 20% is usually psychological problems. In any case, if you have them for that long, there’s something else wrong.

2. Lots of things can cause hiccups

Hiccups can be caused by a number of things. Alcohol consumption, smoking, sudden changes of temperature (both inside of and outside of your stomach), a bloated stomach from overeating, shock, stress, and excitement have all been linked to causing short term bouts of hiccups. Long term hiccups can be caused by gastrointestinal or respiratory distress, diabetes,

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3. None of those home remedies work

scared people hiccups

    Hiccups only last for a few minutes and there are no recognized remedies to make them stop aside from doctor-administered medicine. So drinking water, holding your breath, or getting scared actually doesn’t help. It’s likely that by the time these events occur, the hiccups have naturally stopped on their own. Sites will still list the home remedies but you’ll notice that they’ll only refer to them as things that “may help” rather than “will help”.

    4. One superstitious standpoint are that hiccups are caused by hate

    An old wives’ tale asserts that you only have hiccups when someone is talking about you in a negative way and that the only way to cure it is to guess the name of the person who is doing it. Of course, this isn’t true because if it were there would be people on this planet who would never stop hiccuping! In Russia, an old folklore states that hiccups occur when someone is thinking about you (good or bad). A third superstition asserts that hiccups mean that you are cursed with bad luck and that Satan lives inside of you.

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    5. The sound of a hiccup is caused by your own body cutting the air off

    The trademark hiccup sound has been used in cartoon comedy for ages but how is it made? When the diaphragm contracts, it causes a quick intake of air that is promptly cut off by the closing of the vocal cords. The resulting noise pops out as a hiccup! According to studies, it takes about 35 milliseconds between the diaphragm contraction and the closing of the windpipe.

    6. Everyone can get hiccups

    If you thought there was a demographic that never got the hiccups, guess again. People of all races, all sexes, and all ages can get the hiccups from the oldest people to the youngest children. That includes fetuses that are still inside the womb. They can get hiccups too! It’s almost kind of poetic. Hiccups don’t discriminate. They also affect pretty much any animal with an evolved respiratory system including cats and dogs!

    7. The average person has a hiccup frequency of 4-60 hiccups per minute

    There is actually a unit of measurement for hiccup frequency and it’s hpm (hiccups per minute). The average person has a 4-60 hpm. That means there are people up there who hiccup once per second for a whole minute. That sounds like the opposite of fun.

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    8. Hiccups have a total of three names currently

    You know the first one which are hiccups. The other two are diaphragmatic spasms and singultus. The first one is pretty self explanatory. Singultus comes from the Latin phrase “singult” which is loosely translated as “the act of catching one’s breath while sobbing.” In the olden days, hiccups were also called yox, hickot, hickock, hitchcock, and hiccough. Eventually, it became hiccups and that’s the way it stayed.

    9. There was a guy who hiccuped for 68 years

    hiccups

      From 1922 to 1990, a man by the name of Charles Osbourne had a case of the hiccups. Reportedly, he was picking up a pig to weigh it when he started to hiccup and he just kind of never stopped. He continued to live a full life, fathering eight children and getting married twice.

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      It’s a common occurrence but we still don’t known what causes hiccups exactly. The reigning theory is that the diaphragm gets irritated somehow and decides to contract until the irritation goes away. After a few minutes, it doesn’t matter anyway because they’ll be gone. Unless your name is Charles Osbourne, then it’d be a good idea to seek medical attention.

      Featured photo credit: How Stuff Works via s.hswstatic.com

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      Joseph Hindy

      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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      Last Updated on October 20, 2020

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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      • (1) Research
      • (2) Deciding the topic
      • (3) Creating the outline
      • (4) Drafting the content
      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
      • (6) Revision
      • (7) etc.

      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

      2. Change Your Environment

      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

      6. Get a Buddy

      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

      Reality check:

      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

      Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

      More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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