What the heck is ASMR?

The acronym ASMR stands for “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.” The best description I’ve ever seen of it is this video here.  The gist is that certain triggers cause good, relaxing feelings of “tingles” and “shivers” that run down a person’s spine. ASMR is generally a pleasant, soothing sensation, and it helps people get to sleep at night. (A lot of people. There are ASMR channels on YouTube with over a million subscribers.)

Each person’s ASMR triggers are different, and a lot of the process is experimentation and learning what works. A person’s specific triggers can also shift with moods or sensory needs. Novelty in triggers is important, sometimes re-watching the same video can have deteriorating effects over time. There is a huge appetite for this kind of content.

Bob Ross videos – and that soothing relaxed zen calm you feel when watching them are the OG ASMR. I remember strongly getting this sensation watching my mom put on her makeup, or watching Myra Arrowood doodle beside me in sixth grade English.

My Very Strong ASMR Opinions

I have sensory processing difficulties, particularly in the area of sound. Things that are too loud or a certain pitch can physically hurt my ears. Too much noise is exhausting. It’s hard for me to filter out what’s happening around me if there are too many sources of sound.  I was the kid that hid under the table at grandma’s house because it was darker and quieter there. And like that kid, I spent most of my life avoiding sound. Beyond music, it never once occurred to me that I might seek out sounds that I enjoy.

But I discovered this video of Gibi and this one of Caroline tapping on cork. ASMR was a revelation for me. I went down the YouTube rabbit hole of video after video. Usually, I watched trigger assortments and experimentation. This was over a year ago, and I’ve been using ASMR as a self-soothing tool since then.

I created this playlist of ASMRtists humming and singing softly for my earbuds at the airport. When I’m overwhelmed by the world around me and the noise and bustle, I can literally self-soothe with this.  For someone like me who can’t “tune out” the world around me, this is HUGE.  Similarly, a lot of people I know use ASMR as background noise when they are working. It does a good job at that.

I subscribe to a LOT of ASMRtists, and I like some more than others.  I enjoy dry sounds rather than wet ones. If there’s lotion, slime, shaving foam, or even too much lip-smacking in the video, I’m OUTTA THERE.  I like visual triggers and personal attention / hand movement videos, but I don’t really like role plays.  I love a fluffy mic cover and light tapping that sounds like rain.  I prefer whispers over softly-spoken, and will often not complete softly-spoken episodes except for Ancient Whispers, because her voice timbre is so low it’s hypnotic.

The ASMRtists I watch almost every time they produce are TingTing and Ozley. I feel like if I saw either of these women in real life I’d seriously fangirl.

My new Mythic ASMR Channel!

The idea of creating my own mythology-themed ASMR channel is mostly playful. It is just fun to me. It’s fun to make, fun to figure out triggers, and to comb through poetry to figure out what to read.  This is a creative exploration, more than anything.

I’ve struggled to learn editing software, so that’s still a curve I’m on. I am also trying to learn to slooooow down my speech cadence and my time spent with triggers.

A few key details:

  • Uploads every Wednesday
  • Starting with the Greek Pantheon, but not staying there indefinitely – will probably put out a poll for voting on the next pantheon to be covered
  • One god/goddess per video, triggers that are relevant to that archetype, readings and literature about that god or goddess included
  • Related Pinterest boards available per video/topic
  • Very, very nerdy

For people who like the French Whisperer or other whisper-ramble ASMRtists, this is up that alley.

Here is the Valentine’s special video I posted about Aphrodite.


2 thoughts on “What the heck is ASMR?

  1. Pingback: Alive and Well, and Living Well | Alicia K. Anderson

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