For a little over a year now, I have developed an interest in ASMR. ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, and it is a relaxing sensation that occurs in the brain through listening to or watching something that is visually or auditorily stimulating.
These sensations are often referred to as “tingles” which are a tingling feeling in your head that occurs while viewing ASMR. This feeling is very similar to the feeling you may get when someone brushes your hair.
The way I got into ASMR was through watching TikTok more regularly, which occurred last March at the start of the pandemic. Several ASMR videos came onto my For You Page, and I realized just how relaxing they could be.
Truthfully, before properly watching or listening to ASMR last March, I initially judged it and could not understand the interest in it. However, after watching these various videos on TikTok (and now regularly YouTube and listening to playlists on Spotify) I realized how calm the videos were and how they made me feel extremely relaxed–either for their audio or visual triggers.
The individuals making the ASMR, often called ASMRtists, often speak only in whispers if at all, and do various triggers like finger tapping, brushing, mouth sounds, and various personal attention-related topics.
I have always been someone who enjoys the “oddly satisfying” section of media. And, ASMR fully fits into that category. While it may seem strange in a description, ASMR has a lot of personal benefits aside from simply being visually appealing. Below, I have listed just a few of the mental and physical benefits of ASMR that will (hopefully) encourage you to look into it!
- Better Sleep
I am someone who cannot sleep without the consistent whir of my overhead fan, as I enjoy the constant, predictable sound that performs as white noise. This is extremely similar to ASMR as many videos are directly catered to aiding sleep. The purpose of most ASMR videos is to relax the viewer, often through very calming and satisfying sounds that can help individuals fall asleep faster and easier. Through the soft whispers and repetitive phrasings (for example, an hour-long counting video) you’ll find yourself falling asleep instantly!
- Ease Anxiety
Whether you frequently have insomnia and are nervous about losing sleep, or you have recurring issues with panic attacks and anxiety, ASMR can help you to slow down and minimize anxiety through breathing-related content and slow, calm videos.
- Stay Focused
Much like enjoying the sound of a fan while going to sleep, I find it easier to focus when there is an element of white noise in the background. Many individuals with ADHD may struggle to focus while having too much noise going on in the background, but simultaneously cannot focus in complete silence. Years ago, I noticed this within myself when working on homework. I would have to put my headphones in and blast a constant sound, like a repeating piano tune, in my ears as it would serve as a staple sound, but was not something that was unpredictable or distracting like putting on a TV show. When I properly discovered ASMR last year, I realized that it was exactly what I was needing during my homework sessions. Whether you are studying, taking a test, or simply working on a small chore around the house, ASMR can help you to focus as it can assist your brain to recognize the repetitive sound as persistent background noise, and thus help you to focus on your task at hand.
No matter your knowledge or perception of ASMR, I encourage you to look further into its benefits, and find the specific videos that are satisfying and helpful to you!