Ever wish you could stop your hiccups instantly, or avoid crying at the wrong time? Here are a few scientific tricks to help you do exactly that – and more:
Say you get the hiccups on a date. Take a deep breath and hold it for 10 seconds. Then, without exhaling, take in more air and hold it five more seconds. And add a third gulp of air and hold for another five seconds. Then exhale! NYU medical professor Dr. Luc Morris says that temporarily freezes your diaphragm, stopping the spasms that cause hiccups. And once the “hiccup cycle” is interrupted, they’re usually gone for good.
You’re about to cry during your performance review. The book Instant Calm says to stop your tears cold, clear your throat and swallow. The “clearing” interrupts the mechanism in your larynx and nasal passages that controls crying. And swallowing presses your tongue into the soft palate at the roof of your mouth, making it impossible to cry. In fact, that’s the technique experts suggest to help brides and grooms get through their wedding vows.
What if you feel faint? People usually faint when their blood pressure drops, and blood pools in their extremities. The fix? Tense your abs, cross your legs, and squeeze your thighs together. Because tensing your major muscles forces large amounts of blood back to your brain.
If just the idea of getting an injection makes you panic, here’s how to make your next shot painless: Open your fingers wide, and grab the arm that’s about to get stuck. And get the shot between your fingers. It may sound silly, but studies show that nerves can’t transmit touch signals at the same time they send pain signals. And your nerves will be so busy sending pressure signals; your brain simply won’t register the needle stick.