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An intro guide to relaxing with ASMR

ASMR video

Ever since I was young I've been conscious of a tingling sensation in the back of head and neck, usually when someone was paying me personal attention. Even levels of personal attention other people wouldn't be comfortable with. I was one of those odd-balls who liked going to the dentist (for check-ups, I didn't enjoy getting almost all my baby teeth yanked out) and I've always enjoyed having my hair played with or my back drawn on. 

Earlier this year Buzzfeed posted a list of Oddly Satisfying Disney Moments. I could remember even as a young kid some of these scenes making me feel as though something clicked inside of me. Scrolling through the comments section I discovered a term that would explain this sensation I had experienced since childhood (which I had tried Googling many times using terms such 'hair on back of neck explaining things'): it was known as ASMR. 

What is ASMR?

If you're a fan of my Linkables series you'll have been introduced to some ASMR videos and articles before, But for anyone new on the premises ASMR stand for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It's a mouthful and doesn't exactly roll off the tongue but it's what the internet community chose to call this (it's not a scientific term, to date only one paper has been published to find out what is actually happening). 

It's when someone experiences a tingling sensation in the back of their head or neck (or arms, or back) that is brought on by a particular trigger. Common triggers include personal attention (which I experience) such as going to the hairdresser or getting an eye exam; watching someone perform an intricate task such as folding towels; whispering; tapping or mouth sounds. But the list can be quite exhaustive. 

Using it to relax

Prior to discovering the online community I had no idea I was capable of triggering this feeling myself. When I stumbled upon the online community I discovered thousands of YouTube videos acting out popular triggers that I could watch in my own bedroom. Some popular ASMR artists have hundreds and thousands of followers on YouTube. 

Personally, I love an ASMR video to send me to sleep which appears to be a common way to use them. Even when I don't get a lovely tingle feeling off a video I might still find it oddling relaxing. And it will still have me falling asleep at my laptop (these are the only content creators on YouTube who would be flattered if you told them their video made you fall asleep). 


My favourite ASMR Artists and resources

My favourite ASMR content creator on YouTube is almzad. For me I've found that a good video is sometimes more about the person rather than the chosen scenario but her bra fitting roleplay video is the most triggering video I've ever watched to date. Other favourites include Olivia Kissper - who was the first channel I ever discovered - along with TheUKASMR (pictured), GentleWhispering, Cosmic Tingles ASMR, albinWhisperland and Cutebunny992

However - as you might be aware - YouTube algorithms favour already popular channels in their search results which makes it difficult to find something new and fresh. Which is annoying for my ASMR as I find that I can only get tingles off a video the first time I watch a video. However ASMR Hub is a fantastic resource for finding new videos. 

I also regularly share some of my favourite videos in my weekly Linkables posts. So remember to stop by every Friday. 

Does it work on everyone?

Sometimes when I'm watching videos of someone pretending to give the viewer a shoulder massage, I do wonder what I'm doing with my life (there's still folks out there who think cat videos are weird, I wonder what they think of this...). But as barmy as this hobby/way of relaxing seems to people who don't experience it, it does help me fall asleep.

But it doesn't work on everybody. Many who experience ASMR have anecdotes from childhood about experiencing tingles (my earliest memory was having the girl next to me explain a maths problem in a soft voice). So even after finishing this blog post you still can't relate to what I'm talking about you probably don't experience it.

But if these descriptions and sensations resonate with you, you might experience ASMR and it's worth a look at some videos to discover your triggers are. 

P.S. Some posts you might have missed How I do so much and don't go insane and Wellness and staying on top of it all.  
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