If you haven’t heard of ASMR, it is an almost euphoric feeling that can be experienced through different outlets. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response which essentially means it is a type of sensation people feel when listening to, feeling, or watching something relaxing. Relaxing is a vague word, but that is mostly because ASMR can be interpreted in a hundred different ways based on personal preferences. The ASMR community interprets this feeling as a tingling sensation in order to express a low-grade euphoric feeling experienced mainly around the back of the neck or upper body. Most people use ASMR to relax, ease anxiety, or even help fall asleep.
If you don’t think you have ever felt the feeling of ASMR, there is a common example that might help you to realize if you have experienced ASMR before. When I was younger, I first experienced ASMR when a friend had pretended to brush and style my hair. I did not understand why it felt so nice to have someone run their fingers through my hair, but I found that a lot of other people experienced the same feeling. If you have ever felt that feeling, then you have experienced ASMR.
A lot of people consider ASMR to be ‘weird’ or ‘uncomfortable’ because they associate it with a specific kind of ASMR video. When thinking of ASMR, most people imagine a person speaking intensely into a microphone. Although this is a valid source of “tingles”, there is a large variety of ASMR videos that provide a multitude of triggers for people to watch and experience. Triggers are different sounds, sights, and actions that cause tingles or relaxation. Some of the most popular triggers include tapping on hard objects such as glass or wood, speaking in either a whisper or soft voice, and even hand movements.
A large portion of ASMR videos are considered “roleplays”, made to put the viewer in their own world. In this style of video, the viewer is typically given a lot of personal attention and is sometimes offered interactions between the viewer and the creator through rhetorical questions or tasks. A common roleplay video I see a lot on Youtube are doctor videos. This allows the viewer to hear nice crinkle-like sounds of a doctor’s glove, doctor’s coat, clipboard, and other doctors’ instruments that might be used. They are also receiving 100% of the attention given by the creator during these videos which provides comfort.
Even if you are into ASMR, it is perfectly okay to not like roleplays. There is a large portion of the community that watches or listens to videos that purely focus on sound or sight alone. This is where the heavy whispers, tapping, and other physical gestures come into play that does not necessarily follow a script. A good example of these satisfying sounds is tapping. I know a lot of people can relate to loving the sound of tapping on wooden objects. For some reason, it is such a satisfying sound to me. To some people, listening to these satisfying and somewhat relaxing sounds can ease their anxiety and help them wind down.
Although this may sound difficult to imagine, a lot of people find great relaxation and happiness through ASMR videos. I, for one, use ASMR on a regular basis to help me fall asleep or even study. I am actually listening to ASMR as I write this article because it feels so nice and calm. I encourage you to look it up on Youtube with an open mind and try to experience it for yourself. I personally watch the channel ‘Gentle Whispers ASMR’ for all my ASMR needs. Her gently soft-spoken videos come in a large variety, so there is no doubt that you will be able to find something that you might like!