I know everyone has their own technique and what works for one person won’t work for another. I, personally, get hiccups fairly regularly, generally after not chewing my food well enough followed by a large swig of Diet Dr. Pepper. Although, sometimes they show up spontaneously.
I have a list of things to try and almost never have to live with them for very long. The first thing I try is around 90% effective for me. I’ve offered the suggestion to a few of my friends and they’ve had mixed results. Nevertheless, it’s a fairly sure thing for me.
Technique #1: Timing the Hiccups
Depending on if I have watch handy, I’ll do this different ways. When I can watch the second hand of the watch or the seconds on a digital watch, I will count the number of hiccups in a minute and then focus very intently on making the subsequent minute have fewer hiccups. I came up with this by remembering when I was in grade school and I had a few friends that would use hiccups as an excuse to go to the bathroom or the water fountain. The teacher would ask them to hiccup and the entire class would turn and watch. Then, inevitably, they wouldn’t be able to. A few times, I actually had the hiccups and asked to go get a drink. When I was put in spotlight, I was unable to follow through no matter how severe the hiccups had been. Seems to me that focusing intently on making yourself hiccup can help rid yourself of this infirmity. Timing is a good way to make myself focus on them and force the next one. If I don’t have a watch, I time them by counting the number of seconds between each hiccup trying to make the time extend longer and longer, until they are gone. Usually if I can get to 30 seconds between hiccups, they are gone.
Technique #2: Holding my breath
This has been much less effective. In those 10% of cases I can’t rid myself of hiccups otherwise, I will just hold my breathe as long as possible. It occasionally works.
Technique #3: Drinking backwards
This stopped working for me years ago, but in the last few months I have gone back to it and have been surprisingly successful. Take a full glass of water and drink the entire glass from the opposite side. Drink from the side that is farthest away from you. You have to lean yourself way over, ending up almost upside down by the time the glass is empty. You might want to excuse yourself so you don’t do this in public, because, not only is it an embarrassing position to contort yourself into, you are also likely to spill some up your nose which will definitely create a scene.