Can ASMR Help With Anxiety?

If you have been on social media recently, you have likely encountered some type of ASMR video – or at least heard the term. But what exactly is ASMR, and can it alleviate anxiety? Let’s discuss!

What Is ASMR?

ASMR stands for “autonomous sensory meridian response.” It involves using sounds such as tapping, clicking, whispering, Etc, to cause relaxing or tingling sensations that can spread from your brain down your spine or arms – like feeling goosebumps.

History of ASMR

The first ASMR video was uploaded to YouTube in 2009, but ASMR’s popularity didn’t take off until recently. Celebrities like Fran Drescher, Margot Robbie, and Gal Gadot have even joined the ASMR community by participating in their own videos.

In 2019, Michelob Ultra released a commercial during the Super Bowl of actress Zoe Kravitz whispering into a microphone. Yes, even a beer company joined the ASMR bandwagon, catapulting ASMR into the mainstream.

As ASMR shows no signs of slowing down, the scientific community has become more interested in how it works and its purported health benefits.

Benefits of ASMR

With over 20 million ASMR videos on YouTube alone, it’s safe to say there is a demand for this niche. Many claim ASMR has decreased their anxiety and depression, while others say it helps with insomnia.

Researchers point out that there have not been enough studies to determine whether ASMR provides actual relief or if it’s more of a placebo effect. However, a handful of peer-reviewed studies have shown promising results in helping individuals suffering from chronic anxiety and depression find temporary relief by listening to ASMR videos.

According to UCLA’s Ask the Doctors: “Whether ASMR is a physiological oddity or a potential therapeutic tool remains to be seen.” Just like with other therapeutic or wellness tools, ASMR may work for some people, while others don’t experience any benefits.

Types of ASMR

There seem to be as many ASMR triggers as ASMR channels. Not all sounds trigger ASMR, and some ASMR triggers are unusual and specific! A popular style of ASMR videos is role plays. Another style is someone speaking softly and including a variety of stimuli.

Here are some additional ASMR trigger examples:

  • Flipping pages in a book
  • Folding towels
  • Doing paperwork with unintelligible whispers
  • Applying lip balm
  • Brushing a microphone with a makeup brush
  • Cooking
  • Stamping books at a library

ASMR Artists

A person that creates ASMR videos is known as an ASMR artist. According to ASMR University, there are over 500,000 ASMR artists on YouTube. Here are five ASMR channels to check out:

What do you think about ASMR? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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