This post contains affiliate links
The wonderful world of ASMR. The what? The community is huge. The followers on YouTube are in their millions and the providers are a plenty. But what is this phenomenon that seems to be sweeping the online world?
This weeks Bloggy Old Me Blog post is about ASMR. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response and basically put, is a tingly sensation that's triggered by certain sounds or movements. (This post contains affiliate links, but is not sponsored)
I first came across ASMR after reading an article in a local newspaper about a young girl from Plymouth, UK who had been wowing the online world with her gentle, soothing tones. Unfortunately for me, I'm not one of the lucky ones who gets tingles from these videos. However, I do listen to, and watch them every day, as despite not getting the tingles, I find them incredibly relaxing. And there really is something for everyone out there.
So what kind of things can I expect?
There are different kinds of ASMR video's. These are some of those I've come across:
Tapping - this is the gentle sound of finger nails tapping on objects. For example, on a book; bottle; box; or keyboard
Mouth sounds - this is the soft sounds that your mouth makes when you speak or move your tongue. Sort of little wet sounds. Nothing too squelchy sounding. And also clicking the tongue.
Eating sounds - this is what it sounds like. Listening to someone eating and chewing. I personally cannot stand the sound of someone eating so turn off immediately if I hear this, but some of the eating videos have tens of millions of clicks Whispering - as it sounds. The gentle sound of someone whispering
Soft Spoken - a little more than a whisper, but very very gentle
Hand movements - this is just moving the hands towards the camera in a slow and mesmerizing way. I personally find this very relaxing
Plucking - this is basically the movement of the hand as if it's plucking something off you.
Brushing - this might be simulating brushing your hair, or brushing a soft brush on your face or around your ears.
So what's all the fuss about?
Lets be honest, who doesn't love to be relaxed? Watching these videos can not only relax you, but can lull you off into a sound sleep. Even if you don't get the tingles, there is (for me) still a sensation of coming down from the day and the mind becoming quiet and calm. The length of the video's range between an average of about 20 minutes, and sometimes up to 8 hours to get you through the night.
But how does it work?
Apparently the current research says that there is nothing mechanistic happening in the body. The tingles start at the scalp and move down the spine and sometimes for some, down the arms and legs. So how does it work? Those clever folks in white coats, don't really know. But it's not dangerous when you're lying in your bed, so I say: don't stress over it.
Where do I start?
One of my favourite ASMR artists is Emma. Her ASMR name is Whispers Red.
Emma has said in one of her videos that she has always had these tingly feelings from certain sounds, but it wasn't until later in life that she realized that she wasn't the only one and learned what they are.
Emma has just brought out a book which is available in the US/Canada from 12th November and is called: Unwind your Mind (affiliate link)
It's already available in the UK: Unwind your Mind (affiliate link)
I can't wait to read it myself. I don't have my copy yet as my reading pile is taller than me, but it's on the list. (I LOVE books)
Some are more popular than others.
Now call me weird, but some of the MOST popular ASMR artists are ones I really don't get any enjoyment out of watching. I won't name any names because each to their own. And as my mother always said, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."
It's an entirely subjective experience where what 52 million people love, I don't. Mum always said I was contrary too. 😇
Another artist I love to listen to is Maria. Her channel is called Gentle Whispering ASMR
Maria has such a lovely voice, with a very slight Russian lilt in her accent. She also does video's in Russian and despite not understanding a single word, I find they are also relaxing to listen to.
I've never managed to get to the end of it. So really can't tell you how it finishes.
Another of my all time favourites is Tingting ASMR. She posts very regularly and I love all the videos she does. She's very gentle and soft spoken. And her accent is lovely.
What do you have to lose?
We are bombarded with information every day in our modern world and our brains and bodies are not fully adapted for it all. Life can become so overwhelming for us, and if we don't get enough rest and relaxation, it can have a detrimental effect on our day to day living. I've personally found ASMR to be a wonderful tool to use the end of the day to wind my brain down and help to shut it off from all the trillions of things that have to be done.
Many others have commented on how they've used ASMR to combat anxiety and depression.
Give them a try. You have nothing to lose.