The Weird and Wonderful World of ASMR

By Jessica Philbrook. Originally published May 1, 2020.

 

Let’s be honest with each other for a second, when was the last time you had a decent night’s sleep? How about the last time you felt completely stress free? If your answer was quite a while then trust me, you are not alone.

In fact, there’s a whole community of people out there on a mission to relax, unwind and catch those z’s. The best part? You don’t have to lift a finger and you probably already engage in it on the daily.

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR as it is more commonly referred to, is the body’s reaction to sounds, movements and feelings that we find pleasant and relaxing. In recent years it has become somewhat of an internet phenomenon with hundreds of YouTube accounts popping up dedicated to creating and consuming ASMR content.

ASMRtists have amassed millions of subscribers from all walks of life, including corporate professionals, celebrities, and young people. Individuals everywhere are reaping the benefits of ASMR, as should you!

But what does all this mean?

Essentially ASMR can happen anywhere and anytime, brought on by ‘triggers’ or the sounds, movements and feelings that we resonate with and enjoy. A trigger can be something as simple as the sound of soft-spoken words, page turning, or tapping on various objects to create a soothing rhythm or noise. For a lot of people, this will create a somewhat tingling sensation within the body, or Goosebumps if you will, which is totally normal and nothing to be afraid of- welcome to total relaxation!

Some of us, however, may experience no tingling sensation, instead a sense of calmness or general clarity- it’s completely individualistic and that’s the beauty in it.

ASMR content creators seek to generate these feelings of relaxation through popular trigger videos, specially dedicated to helping you sleep and/or wind down. One such style is roleplays, in which a creator will stage a situation or environment in which positive triggers are prominent, such as a receptionist’s office. Here, soft keyboard tapping can be heard, the sound of pen on paper taking notes and soft-spoken dialogue are all common place and natural.

Personally, I prefer the simple things in life, like the sound of a book’s spine cracking, the feeling of someone’s fingers running through my hair and the rhythmic melody of rainfall but as I said before, it’s completely up to you! Also, Bob Ross, you need some Bob in your life if you’re struggling. Those happy little trees will be a dream.

So not only are you now an expert in what ASMR is and how you bring it on, here’s some cool benefits to the weird and wonderful world of ASMR:

1.    Mental health support! Many people who watch ASMR content maintain that aside from the relaxation and pleasant sensation, they say it aids in reducing their symptoms of depression, anxiety and even their insomnia.

2.    A recent study found that ASMR provides individuals physiological and stress-reducing benefits comparable to mindfulness meditation and other wellness exercises.

3.    It helps with focus and productivity! Taking time to relax with ASMR has been linked to an increase in mental clarity and an increase in productivity in some individuals.

4.    It can also help you stay in tune with your body which carries over into all aspects of your life.

So, there you have it, ASMR, fun right? With the world having well and truly lost its mind, why not try an ASMR video or Podcast to help you focus or wind down for the night. You might be pleasantly surprised.

 

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