What is ASMR…

And why is listening to people munch such a popular trend!?

You’ve probably seen the videos – someone popping bubble wraps, pulling on slime, running their fingers across a surface, eating a biscuit… and you feel this intense surge of relaxation, something that you’re completely not used to but would love to have more.

Welcome to the world of ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) and it is a peculiar thing that’s currently trending on social media. In fact, ASMR happens to be one of the biggest trends so far with YouTube videos like this one gaining over 15 million views! And it’s just a woman speaking softly while making some weird finger movements that oddly enough makes you feel completely relaxed (and a bit spooked out, if you ask me!). In fact, the YouTuber who made that video, Gentle Whispering ASMR, has over a million subscribers – all logging in to hear her whisper and move her fingers in the air! Do a search actually on google and you’ll even get ASMR artists.

So what exactly is ASMR? Wiki defines it as “an experience characterised by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine.” Watching ASMR videos will give you the tingles that run from the back of your head and spine, a feeling that is deeply relaxing and is said to put you in a trance-like sensation that may even cause you to fall asleep.

How did it all start? It’s not exactly a new thing people decided to explore this year because of all that time spent at home. Instead, ASMR has been around for a long time, since 2009 with this video that has since gone viral.

ASMR videos are a little spooky to me but that’s because the response varies from one person to the next. What causes my hair on my arms to stand out will cause another person to experience a blissful sense of relaxation. Some people even use it to fall asleep, which is why live ASMR videos have been gaining traction recently with all the anxiety of 2020.

What are some other benefits that ASMR is said to have? Here are some for thoughts:

  • Pain relief. Interestingly enough, studies have shown that some people who watch ASMR videos experience pain relief that lasts for hours.
  • Improved mood. Why not – when you are relaxed, you’re definitely in a better mood. And ASMR can help make you feel relaxed and experience wellbeing.
  • Lower stress. (The next time you are feeling stressed out at work, click on a cooking ASMR video where you’ll watch things like water being poured, chopping and sizzling sounds, cracking of eggs… it will help lower your heart rate and therefore, lower your stress.

Want to check out some ASMR videos? There are many trending on Instagram (just search #asmr) to keep you occupied or you can head to the mother load of ASMR videos on YouTube where there are more than 13 million videos dedicated just to give you brain chills. The one we can’t take out eyes (and ears off) right now is this soap carving video (yes, soap carving). Check it out and tell us how it made you feel by tweeting us @graduan

Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

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