How To Reduce Stress With ASMR?

Daily stress, big or small, is a natural occurrence that you have to face, but in some cases, it can also lead to conflicts with your loved ones.   If you want to feel better and reduce stress naturally, you can try creative stress-relieving techniques, such as Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.

What is it?  

ASMR is a tingling sensation starting in the head’s crown down to other parts of the body and as a response to a host of audio-visual experiences or triggers, such as hand movements, tapping and whispering. It can also be used to describe a specific experience characterized by a tingling or static like sensation on one’s skin, beginning from the scalp and then moving down the back of the neck and next to the upper spine.

The sensory phenomenon is reported to be one of the best techniques in improving well-being and relaxation. [More on this in a bit]

What does it look/sound like?

ASMR audio-visual clips can create positive feelings, and yet the people on those clips are doing quiet and simple tasks, such as folding towels, flipping a book’s pages or brushing hair.   There are also cases when you could hear someone speaking in the background.

On the other hand,   you can also find audio/voice clips with someone whispering things, such as “You are beautiful,” “You are loved,” or “You are appreciated.” It can also have the sound of rain, tapping or scratching.

However, some find it hard to imagine or feel what it looks and sounds like if they do not experience it themselves.

And due to the relaxation the tingling sensation brings them, they use the technique before bedtime as a sleep aid. For this reason, those who are trying to overcome insomnia also use longer ASMR audio-visual segments that can last up to an hour.

For some, they describe the look/sound to be like reminding them of a comforting or relaxing childhood memory, such as watching their mom brushing her hair.

Summing up, the sound and look can be that one that pleases the viewer or listener.

How it affects on the person?

No two people are alike in terms of the stimuli triggering the response.   But for the majority who have experienced or have been using the technique reveal that the most common triggers include lip-smacking, white noise, brushing sound or tapping on a hard surface.

Now, how does ASMR affect the person?  ASMR affects a person by giving him that calming and relaxing feeling arising from a tingling sensation that he experiences as a response to a trigger or stimulus.   Some even describe ASMR as a head orgasm in which the whole point is to promote relaxation.

For the very same reason, speech pathologists, as a part of a speech therapy, recommends ASMR to their patients in order to help them relax their vocal cords and relieve tension during a speech delivery.  ASMR can reduce stress and symptoms of insomnia, anxiety and depression. As a result, one’s vocal cords function more naturally and speaking becomes less tense.

ASMR videos are like how-to videos, such as hair cutting or makeup tutorials.  They trigger sensations that can pick your attention and induce calming/relaxation.    It can also stem from an incidental trigger in one’s daily life. For example, you might have had a particular childhood scenario that contains multiple triggers – such as soft-spoken voice and gentle hand movements from your mother.

One of the most famous classic examples of ASMR videos are the Bob Ross “The Joy of Painting” painting series from the 1980s.  The late host’s voice was so soothing that it could send viewers to sleep halfway a painting; some even reported not finishing a painting at all.

Bob Ross’ baritone voice and his repetitive “tap-tap-tap” brush sound made him an icon and pioneer among ASMRtists.

His voice invokes maximum chilling while paintbrush movements’ can send someone to a happy place.

When and how the ASMR videos became popular?

A forum thread, “Weird sensation feels good’ (10-29-07, steadyhealth.com) was the first for contemporary ASMR history in 2007.  And in 2010, Jennifer Allen from whom the acronym ASMR came from found forum treads where she discovered like-minded people who were searching for answers as she was.  

A majority of them were using the term Attention Induced Head Orgasm in describing the term. Allen avoided the word orgasm but used “meridian” instead.  Since then, the trend explodes and the ASMR community has grown, obviously for videos now being created and published on the niche. ASMR became popular because for its mental and physical benefits, mainly on stress relief and alleviation of the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Most famous channels

The most famous ASMR videos contain one or multiple triggers that include,

  • Crafting
  • Eating
  • Turning the pages of a magazine
  • Whispering
  • Tapping a hard surface
  • Talking
  • Triggering sensations

If you want a natural stress buster, you might want to try watching an ASMR video and experience its benefits for yourself.

Have you tried watching ASMR videos? Did you experience tingling sensations that led to relaxation/calming or stress reduction? Tell us in the comments.

Lilly Myers’ Bio

Lilly Myers is a freelance content writer and social worker at Beverly Hills Speech Therapy. She has just recently received Master’s in Medical Sciences. Besides her occupancy she tries to find a spare time for volunteering and helping the people with disorders.



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