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What is ASMR?

what is asmr

You may have seen videos on Youtube that some people love and some dread. Maybe you’re even familiar with the term ASMR or autonomous sensory meridian response.

This article tells you what you need to know about ASMR videos and the strange brain tingles that they cause. So if you want to know what all the fuss is about it, keep reading!

What is ASMR

ASMR – Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response – describes an internal sensation of deep relaxation and pleasant head tingling, often responding to audio and visual stimuli such as gentle sounds, light touch, and personal attention.

This phenomenon was first named in 2010, but it has gained significant traction online among people who claim that ASMR helps them relax and sleep better.

The feeling that is ASMR isn’t sexual in its nature. However, ASMR is somewhat comparable to sexual turn-ons; some people are extremely particular about what they enjoy, and many individuals grow bored of seeing the same thing repeatedly.

Some people are triggered by videos that can appear sexual; others who experience ASMR emphasize that the tingles and feelings of relaxation don’t experience sexual arousal.

There’s still not enough research regarding ASMR; however, some of these claims are backed up by first scientific data.

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What Triggers ASMR?

People can experience ASMR in response to different triggers, but researchers defined four things that ASMR triggers:

  1. Whispering
  2. Personal attention
  3. Crisp sounds
  4. Slow movements

Most people experience ASMR in response to whispering, and about half found that slow movements stimulated the response. However, personal attention and crisp sounds earned positive responses from 69% and 64% of people.

Outside of these categories, other common ASMR triggers include repetitive movements, smiling, and airplane or vacuum cleaner noises.

Researchers have found that for many people, ASMR may be provoked by having their hair played with or seeing someone working on a task that needs attention and care.

How do you know you experience ASMR?

The autonomous sensory meridian response is something not everyone will experience. So even though ASMR triggers generally cause a pleasure response, it doesn’t mean that what you’re feeling is ASMR.

ASMR concentrates on your head and neck. Most people describe the tingling as very relaxing, even pleasurable.

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How does ASMR work?

The specifics of how ASMR works vary considerably from person to person. Some, if not most, individuals are unfamiliar with it. This is why ASMR research is limited because ASMR works differently on different people. For example, watching ASMR videos can give one person “brain tingles,” The other will experience deep relaxation.

Because there is not much research on ASMR, we do not yet have a solid explanation of how ASMR works. However, researchers have ideas, and the research that has been conducted provides intriguing evidence.

Researchers conducted fMRI brain scans on individuals who experienced ASMR in one research.

During periods of ASMR tingling, participants in the study showed activity throughout their whole brain, known as whole-brain activation. There was also a lot of activity in the brain region linked with self-awareness, social comprehension, and social behavior, such as grooming behaviors in non-human primates.

Because the effects of ASMR are comparable to those of primate social grooming, the researchers claimed that it might be a response that had survived evolution.

It is easy to see why ASMR is sometimes described as a “social responsibility.” According to the theory, this explains the feelings of comfort, relaxation, and tiredness it induces.

The areas of the brain that produce ASMR are linked with chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins that can generate these emotions.

It might also help explain why particular personalities, particularly openness to new experiences, seem to raise the chances of someone developing ASMR.

However, the study does raise several questions. While most individuals who experience ASMR find it soothing, it appears to also cause more excitement and non-sexual arousal.

ASMR might be a complex sensation that is both relaxing and stimulating, resulting from complicated emotions such as nostalgia.

ASMR may also play a role in brain communication. According to one research, people who experience it had decreased functional connectivity or unusual connection in some parts of their brains.

visual ASMR

Why do people watch ASMR videos?

We can conclude from the research presented above that people watch stimulating videos because they are pleasurable.

But even people who experience ASMR are triggered by different types of ASMR content. You may be more sensitive to role-playing one day, and swishing sounds the next.

It is also possible that people become tolerant of triggers after seeing or hearing them frequently. As a result, video producers must continue to introduce new elements, and users must be wary of overplaying a single incredibly tingly film.

Many people induce ASMR to experience better sleep. Some people just want to relax, and others are deeply captivated by it.

It’s easy to imagine that millions of people who have experienced ASMR and tingles before the internet were just bewildered as to what was happening or whether they were strange.

It’s only through the internet that people may come across one another and, without knowing it, discover they’re not alone in experiencing this perplexing sensation.

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ASMR Benefits

As with its potential uses as a sleep aid, there has been little study of other applications for ASMR. Eighty-two percent of those who use videos or sound recordings to induce ASMR to use it to help them fall asleep. It’s the second most popular reason people utilize ASMR media, and overall, relaxation is the most common purpose.

The most common time to use ASMR media, according to one research, is before going to sleep at night, with 81% of respondents preferring to listen or watch just before falling asleep. Only 6% preferred using ASMR media during the morning hours.

However, researchers are eager to learn more about its potential to assist individuals with depression or anxiety. According to one study, 80% of people who experience ASMR reported that it improved their mood, with benefits persisting for many hours after exposure to ASMR media.

If the anecdotal evidence is correct and ASMR does provide genuine emotional and physiological advantages, ASMR media might be beneficial in treating mental health issues. However, more study is needed to reach definitive conclusions.

Some people who watch ASMR media say that it helps them cope with chronic pain, just like its sleep and mood benefits. Even though only 41% of ASMR media users with chronic pain said their pain had decreased, those who did report lasting benefits up to three hours after the experience.

Another interesting research field is the relationship between meditation and ASMR, which entails paying close attention to the present moment with no preconceptions.

Mindfulness and mindfulness meditation have risen in popularity as a result of their stress reduction, sleep improvement, and enhanced ability to cope with chronic pain. People who experience ASMR are more aware than those who do not, suggesting that ASMR is linked to mindfulness.

To sum up, the ASMR benefits, here’s the complete list:

-relaxation

-better sleep

-stress reduction

-pain relief

-increased ability to cope with chronic pain

-increased mindfulness

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what is asmr

Conclusion

So far, the research on ASMR is inconclusive, but there are many potential benefits to be explored. Preliminary evidence suggests that ASMR may promote relaxation and better sleep, as well as reduce stress and chronic pain. It may also increase mindfulness, although more research is needed in this area. If you’re curious about whether ASMR could benefit you, it’s worth giving it a try. Many people find ASMR videos and audio clips to be relaxing and beneficial.

The benefits of ASMR are still being explored, but so far, it appears that the most common reasons people use ASMR media are for relaxation and better sleep. It may also reduce stress and pain. ASMR media might also be helpful in treating mental health conditions.

If you’re curious about whether ASMR could benefit you, it’s worth giving it a try. Many people find ASMR videos and audio clips to be relaxing and beneficial.


Experienced psychologist and T-shaped marketer with a deep love for content marketing and conversion copywriting. Privately a big fan of travel, coffee, and jazz!

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