Swallowing pills becomes a routine task for many as they age. But for a large group of young adults, pills still aren't the easiest to swallow. If you find yourself in this group, but still want to benefit from products like hang/OVER, the following 3 tips will make sure you can get on with your day.
1. Exposure Therapy
The first thing to do is to try to re-train your body and mind that there is no danger behind taking pills, and that it is something that your body can naturally do.
This exposure therapy begins with small, manageable instances of taking pills, working up to the real thing.
Begin by simply mentally visualizing that there is a pill in your hand, move it into your mouth, take a sip of water, and swallow. Do it in one quick motion without faltering or thinking too much.
Next, try to move onto swallowing something you're comfortable with. In most cases, this can be a food item like Boba (tapioca pearl), pea, or rice grain. It can also be something that simply resembles the shape you are after, like a tic tac or m&m. You can even take a bite out of something you're eating and practice swallowing it with a swig of water. Try doing this quickly and without chewing. Practice a few times a week, trying to get 1-3 successful swallows in each sitting before stopping.
Finally, you can move on to the actual pill itself. Try not thinking of the pill and rather visualizing it as one of the food items you're familiar with, and quickly making the motion you've practiced.
2. Tricking Your Brian by Chewing
If the exposure therapy proved too difficult to do, then there is another psychological trick to help you swallow the pills - chewing. When you're brain eats, chewing is a natural predisposition to make sure things are safe for swallowing. It's referred to as a 'safety behavior', and it gives your body the sense that anything you'll swallow wont be harmful as long as you chew. So if you chew on something while having the pill in your mouth, you may find it even easier to swallow everything at once.
One food that makes this easy is gummy bears. Keep chewing on a gummy bear (while making sure not to chew on the pill that should be on the center of your tongue), and then take a sip of water and quickly try to swallow the chewed up gummy bears. You'll find that the pill will generally go along with the rest!
While this is a very effective method for some, it's in your best long term interest to try practicing tip 1. so that you can swallow without relying on chewing.
3. Open the Pill & Mix it
Finally, if all else has failed, it's time to check if you can crush your pill and it eat or drink it. Generally, you cannot do this when pills:
- Have a time delay for delivery, as crushing it will cause an overdose of the entire contents at once.
- Your stomach acid could affect the active ingredients from working, or the active ingredients could adversely affect your stomach lining.
But for pills like hang/OVER whose ingredients can be consumed raw, and which does not have a time delay, the pills can be opened and their contents mixed with a drink (milk or juice) or food (apple sauce, yogurt).
While the taste will not be good, this method still allows your body to absorb the ingredients. Just make sure that you mix and consume all of it!