How to Stop Coughing in 10 Easy (and Sarcastic) Steps

how to stop coughing

Listen, we’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of a super-important meeting, or worse, a movie you paid $15 to see, and suddenly you’re hit with the uncontrollable urge to cough. Now, you could handle this like any mature, considerate adult and quietly excuse yourself to wreak havoc on your respiratory system in private. But why would you do that when you can seize this golden opportunity to let everyone know you’re the star of your own mucus musical?

If, however, you’re tired of conducting your throat’s orchestra and genuinely wish to climb out of this phlegmy pit of despair, here are some absolutely ridiculous tips that might actually work. Who knows?

1. Ignore the Water Next to You

Let’s kick this off with a bang. You know that transparent liquid that humans have been drinking for, oh, a couple of million years? It’s called water. You’re not too cool for it. If you’re coughing, it’s probably because your throat is as dry as your sense of humor when you’re forced to watch a rom-com. So take a sip of water already. Chances are, it’ll help. And please, refrain from drinking soda or alcohol; we don’t want you transitioning from coughing to belching like you’re auditioning for a low-budget reality show.

2. “Honey, I Shrunk the Cough”

How sweet it is to be loved by… honey. This sticky substance is actually a cough suppressant. I’m not saying you should replace your meals with a jar of honey (though, can you imagine?), but a spoonful can go a long way in soothing your rebellious vocal cords. Mix it in some tea, spread it on toast, or take it straight up like the daredevil you are. But do try to avoid giving honey to infants under a year old; it’s not suitable for their developing immune systems, and we wouldn’t want to add ‘parenting fail’ to your list of accolades.

3. Inhale Steam, Not Drama

If you’re trying to win the award for Best Coughing in a Leading Role, skip this part. For the rest of you, inhaling steam can loosen up the mucus faster than you can say, “Is this a sauna or my bathroom?” Just boil some water, pour it into a large bowl, and drape a towel over your head as you lean over it. Inhale deeply. This creates your very own spa day at home, but more importantly, your cough will likely pack its bags and go bother someone else.

4. Cough Drops: It’s Not Candy, Kids

I know, I know, cough drops taste like you’re chewing on a medicinal rainbow, but do remember they’re not Skittles. These bad boys contain ingredients like menthol that numbs the tissue in your throat. Suck on one to get temporary relief from your symphony of splutters. Just be careful not to eat them like popcorn; overdose is still a thing.

5. Stop Talking. Seriously, Stop.

I get it, you’re the life of the party, the belle of the ball, the… you get the gist. But all that talking is doing no favors for your already inflamed throat. Put your vocal cords on silent mode for a bit. Use text messages, write on a piece of paper, or learn interpretive dance to communicate. It’s 2023; if you can’t find a way to not talk and still get your point across, you’re not trying hard enough.

6. Exercise: You Know, That Thing You Avoid

Ah, yes, exercise. The thing we all say we’ll start doing tomorrow, next week, or in the never-arriving ‘New Year, New Me’ season. But hear me out. Physical activity can actually help boost your immune system, which in turn might just give that cough the boot. Now, I’m not suggesting you go run a marathon or join a high-intensity cough-and-crossfit program. Just a brisk walk should do. If you feel up to it, maybe you can also wave to your neighbors, showing them that you are, in fact, capable of surviving outdoors.

7. Vaporizers and Humidifiers: Your New Cloud Bros

You’ve probably been ignoring that humidifier collecting dust in your attic, haven’t you? Well, it’s time for its glorious return. These machines can add moisture to the air, which can be as soothing for your throat as watching videos of puppies frolicking in a field. You can go for the basic models or the fancy ones that look like they belong on a spaceship; just make sure to clean them regularly. Because you know what’s worse than a cough? A cough because you were inhaling mold. Yum.

8. Garlic: Not Just For Warding Off Vampires

Before you laugh this one off, know that garlic has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. The allicin in garlic has antimicrobial qualities that can kick your cough to the curb. How do you use it? If you’re brave, chew on a raw garlic clove. If you’re not a fan of the ‘fresh’ breath that gives you, you can mince the garlic, let it sit for about 10 minutes to activate the allicin, and then mix it with honey. Swallow without chewing to avoid the potent taste. Who knows? Maybe you’ll start a new culinary trend—’Cough Cuisine,’ anyone?

9. Sleep: That Thing You’re Not Getting Enough Of

One can’t underestimate the power of a good snooze. Your body heals itself during sleep, which is precisely when it could be planning its strategic battle against the cough. So stop binging that new series on Netflix and get some shut-eye. Elevate your head with an extra pillow for added comfort and to prevent mucus from pooling in your throat. A win-win, if you ask me.

10. When All Else Fails, See a Real Doctor

I know, I know, you came here for laughs, not legitimate medical advice. But if your cough is sticking around longer than your last relationship, it’s time to see a professional. They’ll likely do a better job diagnosing and treating you than a funny article ever could.

So there you have it, the complete guide to ditching your cough like it’s last season’s fashion faux pas. Of course, you can always ignore all of this advice and continue to be a maestro of mucus. The choice is yours.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for humor and general advice; if you are experiencing a persistent or severe cough, consult a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.