I stumbled upon an ASMR video for the first time about three years ago. I was searching for skincare routines on YouTube because I, for one, love anything that has to do with skincare and, two, am always eager to find out about different skincare products. After watching what seemed like ten videos in a row, I aimlessly clicked on another one.
“Hello, hello, hello, hello,” the YouTuber whispered into the mic as she quickly wiggled her fingers back and forth. “Hi guys! So today I’m going to be showing you my skincare routine…”
Now, after listening to the first couple of seconds of the video, I was taken aback, to say the least. Confused, weirded out, yet somewhat amused.
“Umm, why is she whispering so much and doing her fingers like that,” I thought to myself.
I took a good look at the title and realized that it had the acronym “ASMR” written in it. I’d always heard of ASMR, but I never knew what it was nor bothered to look up its meaning. Intrigued that I was finally listening to the acclaimed ASMR, I went ahead and kept listening to the video.
After a while, I started to get this addictively relaxing and tingly feeling. I gradually stopped paying attention to the products she was using, and before I knew it, I was knocked out. From that point on, I’ve been immersed in the world of ASMR.
If you’ve been struggling to get a good night’s rest or have been bogged down in stress, here is a rundown of all that you need to know about this relaxation-inducing phenomenon!
What is ASMR?
ASMR, which stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, is that tingly feeling you get after hearing certain sounds. These sounds are referred to as “triggers.” The sensation, which can last anywhere from a couple of seconds to several minutes, moves from your scalp, down your spine and all through your body.
Think back to whenever somebody whispered in your ear, or maybe when you heard pages in a book turn. Remember those tingles you got? That’s what ASMR feels like.
The Benefits of Listening to ASMR
There’s a reason why over 11 million users search for ASMR videos monthly on YouTube, and that is because of the positive effects it elicits. Not everyone experiences the physical sensation, yet people all around continue to listen to it because of the calm and steady emotional state that it produces. This outcome is commonly known to cause three major benefits: relaxation, better sleep and reduced stress.
In an online questionnaire, 98 percent of participants agreed that they listen to ASMR to relax, while 82 percent agreed that listening to it helps them sleep, and 70 percent used it to deal with stress.
Research also suggests that mindfulness may be an added benefit of listening to ASMR. In a study of 563 individuals, the 284 participants who reported experiencing ASMR scored significantly higher on the Mindful Attention and Awareness Scale, a global measure of mindfulness, than the 279 participants who did not indicate ever experiencing ASMR.
Don’t Knock it Till You Try It
Sure, listening to people whisper or chew gum may not be everyone’s cup of tea (I personally have to bow out gracefully when it comes to eating videos). But with the endless amounts of forms ASMR content is produced as, like videos, podcasts or audiobooks, there are many outlets available for you to listen around and see what you like.
My top 5 YouTube ASMRtists to listen to are: