Your Guide to ASMR

Welcome to a side of the Internet that’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. Calm, friendly, creative, full of dedicated YouTubers….and sleeping viewers? 

This is the ASMR Community. However, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is not an easy thing to explain. It’s trying to put down in words a physical sensation that only certain people feel. 

Often likened to shivers under the skin or even ‘frisson’, ASMR is a bodily reaction that is provoked through various sources and stimuli that differ from person to person. However, the most common cues involve stimuli or ‘triggers’ such as soft speaking near the ears, whispers, personal attention, relaxing hand movements, viewer-centric role plays, tapping on objects or watching satisfying videos of objects being arranged. In response to specific activities or movements, a viewer with ASMR might feel a tingling sensation around the head and neck regions, and sometimes even in the shoulders, arms and legs. Though a very basic explanation, here’s something far more effective: Try out a video for yourself to see if you experience this unique phenomenon. For the most effective experience and to enjoy the sophisticated set-up of binaural microphones, we suggest wearing headphones.

This user, who goes by the username of ‘Gentle Whispering ASMR’ is famous within the ASMR community for her elaborate and thoughtful videos over the years where she’s done everything ranging from show-and-tell sessions and make-up tutorials to rambles and role-plays. Here’s a video that’s dedicated to the surprising amount of relaxation that ironing clothes can bring about, complete with the sounds of hot steam, soft conversation, crinkly fabric and spraying water. 

 

After that, enjoy a Shopkeeper Role Play by ASMRtist ‘Whispers Red ASMR’ who softly introduces her tea collection and helps you, the customer, do some purchasing. She’s loved for her soothing personality, pleasant accent and elegant choice of words.

 

 

On the other hand, if you prefer a male voice or want to explore some more unorthodox triggers, here’s ‘Ephemeral Rift’ who’s known for fantastical set ups and situations to trigger ASMR, some of which are inspired by video games or Lovecraft's horror. 

 

 

Don’t be worried if you were unable to recognize the ASMR sensation in yourself. For a lot of individuals, finding the right trigger (and there are countless out them out there) is key, not to mention also identifying the noises one might not be able to tolerate. Even without the tingles of ASMR, many of these videos serve as sleep or study aids or aim to reduce stress by providing a calming presence. It’s quite a common experience to wake up three hours after an ASMR video has ended, asleep in your computer chair and tangled in the wires of your own headphones.

Apart from that, you can always take a few moments out of a busy day to enjoy an entirely new world and its characters. Here’s a Studio Ghibli Role Play by YouTuber ‘Goodnight Moon’ who has beautifully detailed props, backgrounds and costumes as she plays five or six fantasy characters and swishes in and out of a world of her own making. 

 

 

ASMR is still a relatively new phenomenon in terms of its popularity and one that hasn’t been researched too extensively yet. However, it’s strongly advised that viewers do not use ASMR videos as a replacement for professional therapy or treatment of conditions such as insomnia, depression, anxiety or other illnesses and symptoms. 

These videos, for now, are simply meant to be a way to reduce stress, help viewers sleep better and encourage the efforts and creativity of up-loaders who often fund their own projects but share them for free on platforms like YouTube. 

ASMR is also available in different languages, and many ASMRtists reach out to their international audience with language lessons, explanations about their culture or by even wearing their traditional costumes in videos.

Here’s a Dutch-English video by ASMRtist ‘Obviously ASMR’ who always has interesting stories and rambles to share with his viewers while also helping them relax. 

 

If you want your ASMR experience to be more academic, try learning Korean with the lovely and incredibly talented ‘Latte ASMR’ who makes videos in Korean, Japanese and English.

 

 

ASMRtist ‘Tingting ASMR’ makes videos in English as well as Chinese, and her calligraphy is nothing short of gorgeous.

 

It’s important to emphasize that using ASMR in daily life has not been officially or medically researched as of yet (though there’s a Wikipedia page for it here in case you want to check some more sources). However, viewers in the comments section have shared their personal experiences of using ASMR to cope with extenuating circumstances such as death and divorce, or to deal with hectic lifestyles, help their sick and fussy children go to sleep and even relax their pets. 

While ASMR is still controversial as critics liken it to pornography, opinions split and many ASMRtists defend their work and state that their efforts aim for mental well-being through stimulating the ASMR sensation, and not sexual arousal. Much like any other form of media this interpretation differs between creators and viewers, and is also affected by factors such as age, gender, religion and cultural background. A general take on ASMR is difficult if not impossible to lay down. However, it’s hard to deny that the ASMR Community is one that strives to spread positive energy by dealing with the rising tension in our world today as creatively as possible. 

ASMRtists uploaded videos in response to events such as the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, Brexit, terror attacks and natural disasters. They also commemorate holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas to celebrate together with their followers. ASMRtists take viewers along on their vacations, show us their pets, open up their kitchens, share their expertise and use social media platforms in order to reach out and make countless people feel better, whether it's for a few minutes or several hours.

 

The world of ASMR is an exciting premise that's still in its starting stages but more than that, a relief that many of us were not aware that we even needed. Before we leave you to get some exploring (or relaxing or snoozing) done, here are some our favorite ASMR video recommendations:

1) ASMRtist Isabel Imagination ASMR is a horror nerd who takes you to tour a haunted house…where you get more than your money’s worth. 

2) In this hilarious mock lesson TingleBelle ASMR plays a soft-spoken teacher from the 1950's who corrects your barbaric manners and parodies the gender double standard.

3) A mannequin and Ephemeral Rift take you through a questionnaire that gently relaxes you while also giving you a mild existential crisis. 

4) Watching a video by FredsVoice ASMR means you get to forget all your worries…but while also being insulted in the most sophisticated way possible. 

5) ASMR Suna owns an adorable pet pig (yes, a pig, you read that right) and takes videos of his combing and feeding sessions, which is surprisingly stress-relieving and too cute for words. 

 

Have a relaxing day!

Via Flickr

*This article is not sponsored*