Have you ever experienced a relaxed, tingling feeling when someone was gently brushing your hair or found yourself nodding off to the sound of a someone typing away on a keyboard in the library? If so, you are probably experiencing a phenomenon known as ASMR which, interestingly, could be highly beneficial to you whilst studying for your degree and for the rest of your life. Here’s how…
So, what is ASMR? It stands for ‘Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response’ and refers to the tingling sensation that is felt in the scalp, ears and down the neck in response to gentle stimuli such as particular sounds. ASMR is linked to a huge range of health benefits such as alleviating stress and helping people to fall asleep, leading to a surge in its popularity over recent years. Little scientific research has actually been done into the phenomenon however, some suggest that the endorphins which are released during child-parent bonding and cause relaxation are also responsible for the mysterious tingles.
Like with so many trends in society, video social-media platforms such as YouTube and Instagram have been instrumental in spreading ASMR content to the masses. An enormous community of ‘ASMRtists’ (as they have cleverly branded themselves) have carved careers from playing with sounds and microphones and their popularity doesn’t look like it’s going to diminish any time soon. Common ‘triggers’ featured in these videos include tapping on objects like glasses, wooden surfaces and even chocolate (pretty much anything they can find!) or gently crinkling plastic bags and paper, all while the artist whispers softly. Some channels, like ASMR Glow, also choose to put an ASMR spin on more mainstream YouTube content such as makeup tutorials, incorporating all manner of triggers.
It’s not just the deep dark corners of the internet who have hopped onto the ASMR trend, however. IKEA recently showed appreciation for the sensation in their ‘Oddly IKEA’ ASMR advert and high-profile fans of the relaxing videos like Cardi B, who claimed in an interview with W Magazine that she listens to it every night to go to sleep, continue to help its popularity skyrocket.
All the buzz around ASMR is a testament to the fact that it can truly benefit our health. Uni is a whirlwind of assessments and deadlines causing stress to be ever-prevalent amongst students which means we could all do with a bit of relaxation. So, next time you’re drowning in work, why not give ASMR a go and see how it help you.