Do you have trouble sleeping at night or do you suffer from anxiety? Scientists have come up with an interesting relaxation technique called ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response). ASMR is an inexplicable sensation, a tickling feeling that moves from the top of the head down to the spine. It’s an amazing feeling that leaves a person feeling calm and almost in a meditative state. ASMR involves listening to certain sounds (whispers) and watching videos on the TV or computer that trigger a euphoric tingling. This technique doesn’t work on everybody, but it’s all about finding the specific audio or visual clips that will enclose you with that warm relaxing feel.
How ASMR works
The pleasurable sensation you get from ASMR can be triggered by simple everyday incidents. It’s more like getting goosebumps when watching an awesome scene or listening to inspiring audio. ASMR can also be triggered by certain types of lights or methodical touching. These triggers work differently in different people, and each person has their preference. Examples of such triggers include daily tasks like folding laundry, moving their hands, brushing hair, metal clinking softly and certain sounds like tapping on an object, flipping magazine pages, and so on. Others get this sensation through touch like when being massaged, stroked with a feather, petted the way you pet an animal or light caresses.
Does ASMR Help Treat Insomnia and Anxiety?
If you haven’t experienced this intense, pleasurable tingling sensation, it might be difficult to describe. It induces a feeling of calmness, happiness, and even sleep. It’s a great natural and non-invasive method of relieving stress, reducing anxiety and putting you into a deep sleep. You see, when your brain has so much going on, you’ll find yourself restless and sleeping becomes an issue. Employing the ASMR relaxation technique pushes these wild thoughts out of your brain, calming you and helping you to go to sleep with ease. The ASMR phenomenon is still under the microscope as scientists are still trying to understand why it really works. However, some theories try to explain how ASMR came to be. According to a group of researchers, ASMR was developed to help people who were close to each other create a stronger bond.
As you may have noticed, most of the triggers are soft, gentle low voices and soft touches that people who are close to each usually experience. The end result one gets can be equated to the happy and secure feeling that a person experiences when they are in a close relationship with their partner. There is also another theory stating that ASMR triggered a childhood memory that made them feel secure, happy, relaxed and calm.
Sounds That Trigger ASMR
According to Craig Richard, author of ‘Brain Tingles’, there are specific sounds that trigger the ASMR sensation. These are the low volume sounds which are steady, predictable and rhythmic. To our brains, these sounds are comforting and non-threatening, and when combined with certain behaviors, such as carefully folding laundry or brushing hair, the sounds induce calming effects and sleep. Sharper sounds like water dripping or lip-smacking are not favorites. On the other hand, harsh sounds like screaming, siren, and yelling are interpreted by our rains as threatening and will put you in an alert state instead of a relaxing state.
Why Use the ASMR Technique?
For one, ASMR is a low-risk relaxation technique that is easily available on YouTube videos. It’s a free service accessible to anyone in need of something or someone who can help them feel calm, happy and secure. ASMR is a natural treatment for insomnia, stress, panic attacks, depression, and anxiety. Many people who have experienced the effects of ASMR agree that it does a great job at positively influencing their mental health. It might take you a while to find ASMR videos and sounds that work best for you. But with over 15 million ASMR YouTube videos, there’s something for everyone. You’ll find a wide range of triggers and most videos take upwards of 20 minutes. Studies have shown a reduction in the heart rate of ASMR participants, meaning that it has some sort of physiological effects on the mind and body. Survey research shows that ASMR videos are beneficial to people suffering from mental health, such as anxiety and depression. It also aids in inducing sleep for that suffering from insomnia.
ASMR might or might not work on you. To establish if it works on you, try listening to short videos with different sounds. You may or may not find a trigger that gives you that pleasurable sensational feeling. Todays’ world is full of stressful situations, and having someone who’s not judgmental to help you calm down can be really helpful. The ASMR community agrees that this is a great source of comfort and relief. So, go on and try it today, it might be what you’ve been looking for a long time.
All images by Pixabay