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Have someone scare you! That’s according to Dr. Rachel Vreeman, author of “Don’t Cross Your Eyes…They’ll Get Stuck That Way!” Dr. Vreeman says hiccups happen when your diaphragm muscles and controlling nerves get stuck in a “reflex arc.” That’s when the nerves keep signaling the diaphragm to contract suddenly — causing your hiccup — and then triggering it to repeat itself. This reflex usually ends on its own, but something that interrupts the loop — like being startled enough to gasp — can sometimes make the hiccups stop sooner.