If you are a fan of ASMR content creators then you are probably more aware of the delicious tingle that listening to soothing sounds such as tapping, crunching food, or the sound of a makeup brush moving over a microphone can bring. ASMR is no less than a phenomenon in the digital age—currently, there are over five million ASMR videos on YouTube alone! If you thought it was just about pleasure, though, the findings of a brand new study may interest you.Researchers from Northumbria University found that ASMR can actually quell anxiety and help promote an improved state of wellbeing.
ASMR and Neuroticism
In the study, scientists sought to determine the link between ASMR, neuroticism, and anxiety. The findings showed that people who are prone to either neuroticism or anxiety who watch ASMR videos experience a reduction in anxiety. Moreover, not everyone who enjoyed this reduction necessarily experienced the “tingle” that ASMR followers often rave about. Neuroimaging studies, meanwhile, indicate that electrical activity that occurs during relaxing activities such as mindfulness meditation, also increases in response to ASMR stimuli. This is the case whether or not individuals are performing a mentally demanding task while listening to ASMR. The findings are a powerful testimony to the ability of ASMR to change brain activity and promote a healthier and calmer state.
Choosing ASMR Sounds that Soothe
The pleasurable experiences that arise from listening to ASMR content are highly personal, in that sounds that may appeal to one person may be annoying to someone else. Some consumers are known to prefer gentle sounds (such as water flowing, a hand caressing an object or an ear, or a feather being passed along an object). However, others are more into the crunching sounds that biting into an apple or candied fruit can make. If you find that one particular sound appeals to you, then you may decide to create your own recordings with an ASMR mic. The latter differs from standard microphones in that it mimics human hearing and picks up soft sounds like whispers perfectly. Soothing sounds you may wish to try recording include tapping, snipping paper with scissors, page-turning, and eating food like macarons or a squishy layer cake.
ASMR Can be Visual Too
If you prefer to create visual ASMR recordings, know that they can be equally beneficial in terms of reducing anxiety. Popular videos include those in which one person receives personal attention such as receiving a massage, having their hair brushed, or being spoken to in a soft voice or whisper. When creating or consuming content, go with what feels right. Research shows that ASMR is highly subjective in that there is substantial individual variability in the sounds or sights that make your neck or back tingle, or that immerses you in a profound sense of wellbeing and calm.
ASMR videos and recordings have been big on the social scene for the past few years. Recent research indicates that the pleasure they bring has scientific reasons—including positive effects on the brain. To make the most of this technology, choose your sounds carefully and consider creating content that is perfectly in line with your personal preferences.