Marcie Cheers debunks the misconceptions behind ASMR
ASMR, who knew that something so simple as tapping and whispering would pretty much take over the entire internet. From your favourite celebrities doing interviews in the style of ASMR (side note, Cardi B whispering Okurrr into the microphones, has pretty much made my year). All the way to Jeffree Star silently hissing his own hate comments for 18 minutes on his YouTube channel. ASMR has exploded into earphones all over the web, but few people really know what it is and why it is so popular.
If you have no idea what I am talking about, or just want to learn more about the craze, Yak’s very own Bridie O’Shea has got you covered on how ASMR works and the psychology behind it. To put it very simply, ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is a tingling sensation usually felt in your head or back, triggered by certain pleasurable sounds. Have you ever gotten tingles down your spine when you hear fingernails tapping on a certain object? Well, you are probably one of the few people that are triggered by ASMR.
If you have stumbled upon ASMR before, there is a chance you are either
- Very creeped out by it and don’t understand why someone is scratching their microphone
- Affected by the effects ASMR
- All of the above
Many viewers find ASMR videos to be weird, disturbing and very odd – watching someone on YouTube pretend to give the microphone a head massage or virtual facial, can be strange indeed. But for those who actively listens/watches ASMR, the videos can be very relaxing for those who suffer from anxiety, or sleep deprivation.
I was first made aware of ASMR by a colleague at work during a conversation about how to overcome anxiety attacks. She recommended I try listening to ASMR whenever I would start to feel anxious, explaining that the calming and soothing sounds help her relax. To be honest, I was slightly apprehensive at first when she explained that the videos consisted of tapping on microphones, whispering and hairstyle roleplays. However, I gave it a try one night when I felt overwhelmed from a huge day at university. The first video I stumbled upon, was a hairdressing roleplay from one of the top ASMRtists (yes, that apparently is a real thing) on YouTube. I closed my eyes and opened my mind up to the idea of relaxing. I distinctly remember the first few seconds of the video, “Hey, it’s me, ASMR Darling”. The video continued with a lady pretending to brush my hair and spraying water, all calming sounds that sound weird when you are trying to explain it, but wonderfully relaxing to listen to. By the end of the 22-minute video, I was totally relaxed and felt as though I had just come out a hair salon. From then on, whenever I’m feeling stressed out, or tired but can’t sleep, I throw on an ASMR video, and within minutes I am feeling relaxed again.
ASMR isn’t for everyone, but for those who suffer from insomnia and need something to help them sleep, or even those who suffer from anxiety – I would highly recommend putting your doubts aside and trying ASMR yourself. Linked below are a few of my favourite videos to get you started, who knows maybe you will surprise yourself and enjoy it.