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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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      Last Updated on September 20, 2018

      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

      Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

      If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

      1. Breathe

      The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

      • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
      • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
      • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

      Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

      2. Loosen up

      After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

      Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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      3. Chew slowly

      Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

      Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

      Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

      4. Let go

      Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

      The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

      It’s not. Promise.

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      Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

      Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

      21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

      5. Enjoy the journey

      Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

      Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

      6. Look at the big picture

      The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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      Will this matter to me…

      • Next week?
      • Next month?
      • Next year?
      • In 10 years?

      Hint: No, it won’t.

      I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

      Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

      7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

      You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

      Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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      8. Practice patience every day

      Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

      • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
      • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
      • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

      Final thoughts

      Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

      Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

      Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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