“Autonomous sensory meridian response,” that is what ASMR stands for. So what is this ASMR?
Well here’s the thing, there two topics we need to discuss to understand ASMR are, the definition of the term itself and then the genre that came about because of it. So we’re first going to be talking about the name itself and then the video genre.
The definition of the term ASMR (according to this Wikipedia article) is the “subjective experience of ‘low-grade euphoria’ characterized by ‘a combination of positive feelings, relaxation, and a distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin’.”
Basically ASMR is a feeling you get when you are exposed to certain stimuli or triggers, usually visual and /or auditory. Not everyone is susceptible to it but those who are describe it as being similar to mild electric current or tingles on your skin. Some of the different triggers for ASMR are:
- Softly spoken, whispering voices.
- Quiet and repetitive sounds like brushing a microphone
- Watching someone perform a simple task like cooking
- Altruistic tender personal attention
ASMR can be triggered through random encounters in daily life or through media which has been made for this specific purpose; and this where the genre comes in.
If you go on YouTube and type in ASMR you’ll get a lot, and I do mean a lot of videos. Most of them are just people whispering into the microphone and creating quiet sounds by brushing the microphone and stuff like that. Others actually put some roleplay into it like talking to aliens or a doctor’s appointment and stuff like that. The doctor role-play one seems to be the most popular; I don’t have any actual data on that though, it’s just something I’ve heard.
To give you a better idea of what ASMR is, here’s a video for your viewing pleasure.
And here’s a video of the role-play thing I was talking about.
Many scientists have studied the effects of ASMR, and have found that there may be similarities between ASMR and meditative practices. Psychiatrist Michael Yasinski and Carl W. Bazil, a Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center, have both stated that ASMR can help people relax and can help shut down the parts of the brain which cause stress and anxiety.
It should be noted that there are those who feel that ASMR is akin to sexual arousal, and as a result the another genre of ASMR exists called ASMR erotica which leans more towards the sexual side of things and the creation of erotic ASMR media. Also, as I said before ASMR doesn’t work for everybody, myself included, so if you listen to ASMR and nothing happens its normal and it just means that you will need to find another way to relax.
There is much more to ASMR than what I have just covered, and if I tried to write more about it, then this post would become way too long.
(Put the too long didn’t read meme)
So if you want to read more about ASMR the check out the Wikipedia article I mentioned earlier or just google it yourself. So if you feel like trying something new and you haven’t tried it already then give ASMR a go. If it’s effective, it might just become your new favourite thing (or so I’ve been told).