ASMR: The Unexplained Good Feeling

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ASMR: The Unexplained Good Feeling

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response videos are taking the internet by storm and may be linked to lowering anxiety and depression

Do you like hearing the wooden crackles of a burning fire? What about the pop sound a piece of bubble wrap makes between your fingers? Or the calming waves of the ocean? If any of these sounds appeal to you, you may have experienced Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, also known as ASMR. ASMR videos, posted on sites like YouTube and Instagram, have gone viral and are gaining popularity and mainstream attention. The goal of these videos is to relax and calm viewers.

ASMR videos may be viewed as unusual, but a person may need to experience it to truly understand the tingly noises that are triggered to please and calm an individual. The sensation may be felt in the back of the neck and down the spine, releasing a sense of inner pleasure and satisfaction.

Sounds, smell, sight, and texture may be part of the pleasurable sensation one may feel from the experience of a watching an ASMR video. Visual aspects of the presentation also play a key role in successfully delivering a satisfying and comforting experience for the viewer. “If I’m ever studying or writing an essay, [ASMR] is always relaxing and makes me more focused on my studies,” said freshman David Lee.

While some may think ASMR videos are nothing more than “cringey noise-making,” they serve a bigger purpose – they are a tool to deal with depression, anxiety, and insomnia. According to a study published by Smithsonian Magazine in 2015, two psychologists at Swansea University revealed that out of the 475 participants who watched ASMR, a “sizeable majority” found ASMR “to help them sleep, and to deal with stress.”

ASMR may be a treatment to calm and quiet the mind in response to certain pleasurable sounds. YouTubers, such as “suellASMR” and “Made In France ASMR” have taken an initiative online and devoted all their video content to ASMR. “Made In France has unique visuals and a certain rhythm that balances everything out to what a perfect ASMR video should be,” said Lee.

Videos of people doing simple tasks such as opening a bag, tapping on a table, or eating a full meal trigger pleasure and give a joyful experience to viewers. The triggers are endless and again vary from person to person, so one may need to search for their perfect type of ASMR.

“I like the sound of rain because it represents the outside nature, and it’s always calming to have that as a background noise,” said Lee.

While ASMR gains more attention, people may have access to a whole new world in dealing with certain disorders, such as anxiety, hyperactivity, and more. A simple video on YouTube can be a creative outlet by mentally and physically, triggering a sense of calm and pleasing sensation.

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