I’m not going to lie, I struggled to come up with a topic for this week’s blog post. Now, hear me out! I took a trip to New York City for an extended weekend (travel diary coming soon!) and not only came back at 4 am Monday on an extremely delayed plane, but could barely function for three days due to something I caught on the subway. My point is, it has not been the most productive week of my life.
That being said, I’ve decided to cover a topic that is not only near and dear to my heart, but is a tool that I have been using to battle anxiety and to aid in sleep. Introducing ASMR!
What is ASMR?
ASMR is an acronym that stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. The term was popularized in 2010 and is characterized by a “tingly” sensation that typically starts from the head and runs down the spine when exposed to certain “triggers”. The term trigger is used as a positive, referring to certain visual or auditory stimuli.
Who can experience it?
Everyone has the ability to experience ASMR, but it can be a trial and error process. Some are only triggered by visual stimuli, while others react to auditory. Within those basic categories, you can also have individual triggers that meet your needs. For instance, within auditory triggers, I like the sound of nails tapping against glass. Adversely, I dislike the sound of nails tapping fabric.
How can it be used?
ASMR can be used for a variety of different reasons. I want to take this opportunity to point out that even with all this talk of senses, triggers, and “tingly” feelings, ASMR is NOT sexual. I realize that the terms can be somewhat strange, but it has nothing to do with sexual gratification. What ASMR can be used for is anxiety, relaxation, and sleep. The triggers provide a soothing, calming effect to the listener which can help relax the mind. I personally find ASMR to be extremely helpful when I have trouble falling asleep. Giving myself something to listen to helps my mind to quiet down and focus on rest.
Where can I find it?
Ok, so you’ve learned all this great stuff about ASMR. Now what? Well, now it’s time for you to try! I get most of my ASMR from YouTube, but Spotify also has some ASMR album selections.
“But Monet!” I hear you screaming at your screen, “I typed ASMR into YouTube and thousands of videos popped up. Where do I go?” You didn’t really think I’d leave you hanging like that, did you? I’m hurt. Nevertheless, I have taken it upon myself to list and link some of my favorite ASMR-ists for your enjoyment.
This first one is not a specific channel, but is a wonderful introduction to the world of ASMR. Not only does this video explain what ASMR is, but it takes you through a variety of triggers within an auditory role-play scenario. You may not be hooked on ASMR afterwards, but it is a great tool for learning how the brain interprets certain sounds.
To whom do I turn when I’m in desperate need of a soothing voice and great visuals? Ally from ASMRrequests. If you’re someone who really appreciates spoken triggers, as well as visual, this is the perfect place to start. She puts a great deal of work into her set-up, which translates into beautiful, calming, and cohesive videos. I’ve linked her herbal shop role-play video.
Another favorite of mine is Grace from AccidentallyGraceful. Similar to Ally, she does a fair number of role-play triggers, but if you’re interested in listening to a soft-spoken story or watching an unboxing with enhanced auditory triggers, she will be a great fit. I’ve chosen to link her binaural haircut video.
4. Fast ASMR
Though I’m not sure the name of the girl who runs this account, I highly recommend her videos if you want to test out individual triggers. Some of my favorite videos from her involve no talking tapping on different objects. Not sure what your trigger could be? Click the link to be taken to her A to Z trigger video!
Another go-to of mine, Laura does a little of everything. I’m sure you’re sensing a pattern, but her role-play candle shop owner is a particular favorite (click the link). Laura also offers specific triggers, as well as assortment videos, so there is something for everyone.
ASMR always sounds strange the first time it’s explained. I got a very quizzical look from my mother when I told her I was writing this. I hope through this explanation, I have opened some eyes to what can be an incredible tool for relaxation and peace.
Have you ever tried ASMR? Do you find it helpful for relaxtion? Comment below and let me know!