What the heck is ASMR?

Here’s a fun fact: As a 7 year old, I would stand dangerously close to the stove to get a view of my mom stirring dinner. If she was stirring sauce into pasta, well, I found the gentle sound so amazing, I was nearly euphoric.

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You’re probably thinking, this isn’t normal. I thought Kelly wrote a blog about weird things happening to normal people. 

Luckily for me, I discovered just a few years ago that my intense craving for watching people do seemingly normal things – like stirring pasta – was more than just being weird. It had a name.

I was all like:

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ASMR is an acronym for a long, fancy-sounding set of words: Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

Let’s break this thing down:

Autonomous: self-determining; free; independent

Sensory: relating to the senses; information received by the senses

Meridian: possibly relating to the Chinese term for energy pathways and flow in the body

Response: the body’s reaction to sensory input

 

ASMR is roughly defined as the soothing, tingling, relaxing sensation that most often occurs in the head as a response to specific sensory input.

(AKA, I watch my mom stir pasta and I become insanely relaxed and my brain tingles nicely).

Now you’re thinking, I don’t know Kelly, this is still very strange. I’ve never experienced this before. It seems so vague. Brain tingles…what? Are you kidding me?

Alas! It IS vague.

After my research, I came up with a list of many common triggers for ASMR:

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One of the most common trigger sources for ASMR happens to be ALMIGHTY OVERLORD BOB ROSS.

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Chances are, you’ve watched Bob Ross create a beautiful landscape painting via public television. You were captured by his ability to create tiny details with a giant brush. The sound of his voice was like tiny cherubs massaging your eardrums. The little swooshing noises of the paint were delicious and perfect. You felt relaxed, maybe even dazed. For most people, this is the closest thing to ASMR.

Unless of course, you are like me and thousands like me, who feel all tingly and mushy in our brains by simply watching a man from India give another man a haircut; or by listening to a woman from Florida playing with marbles; or listening to a bald guy from Poland whisper as he talks about his mineral collection .

To an outsider, the act of watching an ASMR video appears beyond creepy. Most ASMR videos are done in whispers, and everything is very slow and surreal. Like, here’s me watching 45 minutes of a old woman whispering while she mixes paint and plays with brushes:

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I used to care about how strange it was, and I felt a bit embarrassed, but guess what…. NOT ANYMORE.

Watching an ASMR video is as if you were sitting on a cupcake, surrounded by a giant rainbow while dozens of cats lay around being cute.  It is the ultimate stress release.

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Of course, this feeling only comes if your brain/body can experience ASMR, otherwise, the videos will produce little to no results.

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ASMR is known for alleviating numerous mental and physical health issues. The most common reasons people turn to ASMR are: sleep disorders, anxiety/stress, and depression.

Unfortunately, ASMR is mostly unheard of. Research into it is few and far between. Honestly, I can understand this because it’s not a problem/disorder/disease. Why bother spending time researching random brain tingles after watching Bob Ross when there are, oh, you know, A MILLION MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO RESEARCH.

I don’t know about the future of ASMR. I was surprised to find it even had a name and that there were hundreds, perhaps thousands, of ASMR youtube videos for us dedicated “fans.’

Even if I feel less odd knowing it’s a “thing.”….my sister will be there for me:

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There you have it – ASMR. Are YOU an ASMR junkie? Have you heard of or experienced this before? Let me know in the comments!

xo kelly

 

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4 comments

  1. I just saw this post – so late – but I’ve been all about ASMR lately! For me, it’s the sound of drawing with a pencil (rather, listening to others draw), BUT Bob Ross was my addiction as a kid! So cool. Love this post, as I love all of your posts 🙂

  2. sometimes when i saw a person delicately drawing on the subway, getting ready to throw a bowling ball, or hear someone speak in a foreign language like Chinese, i got this really weird tingly feeling in my head, and when i tried describing it to my mom, she had no idea what i was talking about. but now i actually no what it is, it feels like so many things are explained!

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