What Is ASMR and How Do These 'Ear-Gasms' Help With Your Anxiety?
Feeling anxious, stressed or just all-round low? ASMR is here for you. Let's not lie, the internet is a weird place and over the years we've witnessed some downright bizarre phenomenon's. Remember the cinnamon challenge? Or the 100 layers of make up test? Well, we've got another for you, but this time there might actually be some real-life benefits…say hello to ASMR.
What is ASMR? Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is the tingling sensations in the crown of the head in response to audio-visual triggers such as tapping, whispering and hand movements. Essentially, those weird and wonderful sounds that make our bodies shiver in pleasure, and now, people are turning to YouTubers who make these intricate noises into a microphone to experience this sensation. Intrigued? Us too. Why is ASMR so popular? In a world of confusion and chaos, ASMR is helping thousands calm their anxiety, nerves and worries. It's also allowing us to indulge in our guilty pleasures of listening to crinkling wrapping paper, stirring a bowl of soup and the sound of scissors cutting into paper. According to research, the reason why ASMR is such a hit is that the host is assuming the role of a loving parent by caring for you in soothing tones and performing gentle and comforting actions. Basically in the absence of your mum stroking your hair at night whilst you cry into a tub of ice cream, you can log onto YouTube and experience the same levels of comfort through ASMR, (ice cream still included). Does it really help with mental health? Physiotherapist Nicola Vanlint has previously explained how ASMR has in the past helped treat anxiety: "I tell clients that if they can activate one of their five senses when anxious, this can facilitate the nervous system to calm and distract the brain from unwanted thoughts. I believe ASMR works under the same principle, using sound to overcome insomnia by calming the brain and body, so this would also be a helpful technique to use for anxiety."
New to ASMR? Here are some accounts to check out:
1). The Gentle Whisperer (1.8 million subscribers) After realizing ASMR helped Maria with her own depression, in 2011 she set up her account 'The Gentle Whisperer' where she uses sounds such as whispering, stroking and crinkling paper to help soothe and calm her viewers.
2). ASMR PPOMO (1.93 million subscribers) A Korean ASMRtist who started out in 2013, PPOMO creates ASMR videos in a bd to help herself and others will insomnia. Perfect for just before you head off to bed.
3). Gibi ASMR (2.26 million subscribers) Her soft tones and calming presence has allowed Gibi to become of the most successful ASMRtists, expect lots of whispering from this one.
4). ASMR Darling (2.42 million subscribers) Created back in 2014, ASMR Darling is known for her ear-to-ear whispering to give that authentic ASMR experience.
Words by Grace Dembowicz
Graphics by Katie Janes