What is ASMR? (definition, benefits and more)


What is ASMR?

These days, chances are high that you’ve stumbled upon the phrase “ASMR” on either news sites, YouTube, podcasts, or even streaming services like Twitch – without knowing what it was! Because of that, we’ve invested both time and energy to create this article, whose sole purpose is to bring more awareness to this topic. We will explain in depth what ASMR is, what benefits it has, what stimuli that trigger it, and much, much more… So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive right in!

What is ASMR?

ASMR is the acronym for the non-scientific term “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response”. It can best be explained as a relaxed state of meditative well-being combined with a pleasurable and tingling sensation in certain areas of the human body. The tingles commonly originate in the head or scalp area, only to move on down the neck, spine and sometimes even further throughout the limbs.

How does Asmr make you feel?

The tingling sensation that can be felt at various locations in the human body while experiencing ASMR, is often compared similarly to what you may feel while experiencing shivers or goosebumps – only much more pleasant. Some people also describe the feeling of ASMR as if their brain was melting and/or were having an orgasm in a very relaxed manner – making it easier to fall asleep.

Can everyone experience ASMR?

No, sadly ASMR is not something that all humans can experience. It’s currently unknown why some people are immune to ASMR, but in due time it’s likely that scientists will be able to figure out the answer to this enticing question. If you’re curious if you’re one amongst those who can experience ASMR for yourself, we recommend that you expose yourself to a broad selection of different kinds of ASMR stimuli.

What triggers ASMR?

ASMR is most commonly triggered by stimuli from certain types of sounds and/or visuals – so-called “ASMR triggers”.

Popular ASMR triggers

Below you’ll find a list with some of the most popular ASMR triggers, involving both sounds and visuals.

Sounds:

  • Softly spoken words
  • Whispering
  • Nail tapping and scratching
  • Mouth kissing, smacking, and eating
  • Crackles and crinkles

Visuals:

  • Hand movements
  • Face brushing
  • Moving lights

And so on…

Where can one experience ASMR? – How to find an ASMR artist!

The best source for ASMR content is currently the video platform YouTube, where there are tons of ASMR artists who create new content regularly. You’re also able to find ASMR artists on niche podcasts and streaming platforms like Twitch. However, most people tend to have had their first ASMR experience in a real-life situation – without knowing what it was or being able to put a word on what they felt.

Below you’ll find a YouTube video for ASMR newbies created by the ASMR artist Ephemeral Rift. It’s packed with different ASMR triggers which will help you to better determine what ASMR stimuli that work for you (if any).

What are the benefits of ASMR?

There are many different benefits of ASMR. It relieves stress and can be helpful or even act as a cure for those who suffer from mental issues/illnesses/problems such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, and more. It can also have a positive impact on your physical health, easing headaches and migraines, improving blood flow and digestion, and even lowering your heart rate.

But just don’t take our word for it. According to a study from 2018, made by researchers at the University of Sheffield, ASMR is said to likely have both mental and physical health benefits, just as we stated above.

Can ASMR be dangerous?

No, there’s currently no scientific evidence that supports the thesis that ASMR could be dangerous or harmful in any kind of way. However, just as with anything else in the world, it’s always nice to find a good balance between ASMR and everyday life. To function properly and not get sick, you still need to tend to your basic needs like eating and sleeping, while also making sure that you have enough of an income to support your living needs.

Has there been any research on ASMR?

There is not a lot of research on ASMR but in a study, performed by researchers of the University of Sheffield, they found that people able to experience ASMR had a severely reduced heart rate while watching ASMR videos. They also found that watching ASMR video gave the same viewers a sense of social connection and relaxation.

You can read more about their findings in their research article More than a feeling: Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is characterized by reliable changes in affect and physiology .

What is the public opinion of ASMR? Do people think it’s weird?

In the past, there used to be somewhat of a stigma associated with ASMR, where many people unable to experience it for themselves all too quickly ruled it out as something weird and/or sexual. Thankfully, the opinion are slowly but steadily starting to shift in a positive direction, leaving common misconceptions behind. Much of this progress could very well be contributed to the hard work of excellent ASMR artists and ambassadors such as Ephemeral Rift, Gentle Whispering and many other stars who shine bright in the ASMR community.

In the future, we will hopefully reach a point where the majority of the public can see ASMR for what it really is and the many benefits it has to offer. That’s one of our many important goals with this site.

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