If you haven't had an ASMR experience, you're missing out

If you've been around the internet (surely), I'm betting you've already heard of the term "ASMR" before, whether on Youtube, forums, or wherever else. You might've heard it from a friend or read it through a Facebook post as well, but you haven't really looked into the details on what it is and who it's for. Well, if you're in need of some enlightenment from a self-proclaimed ASMR-ist (if that's even a word), this is your lucky day (the cliché kills, but let it go, k?).

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What is ASMR?

ASMR or "Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response" is, simply put, the "tingling" you feel on your scalp & neck. "It is usually experienced through a relaxing tingling in the scalp and the back of the neck and can extend into the rest of the body" (via asmrlab). As most ASMR-centered sites may tell you, this phenomenon is hard to explain to people who don't experience it. If I had to give a clear example of the sensation, imagine getting your hair brushed before bed by someone, or getting a haircut. It's that 'head orgasm' you feel by even the slightest touch or a single sound from anything (called your trigger).

Personally, I discovered I had a really addictive case (well, addictive might be a little over the top) of ASMR, specifically for the following: (1) paint knife on a palette; (2) paint knife mixing paint on canvas; (3) anything produced/uploaded by Cosmic Tingles ASMR on Youtube; and (4) Bob Ross' Joy of Painting videos. These are my current triggers.

Cosmic Tingles ASMR - source
It was actually the latter that introduced me to ASMR, as I had always wondered why I would get so sleepy or relaxed whenever I watched Bob Ross "beat the devil out of" the paint brush or hear the scraping noises his painting knife would make whenever he was painting mountains. Right now, I've downloaded a select playlist for offline viewing on Youtube to listen to before bed every night, and it has done wonders for my sleep quality.

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Is this an actual scientific condition?

Yes - perhaps. There has been very little research to support the idea of ASMR, but there are a large number of accounts that have common underlying conditions that are pretty convincing. I experience ASMR myself, so there's that ( I am currently listening to some ASMR while typing this and I am slowly losing grip on reality, haha!)

Unfortunately, not everyone can experience the tingling, so sometimes, ASMR videos can just come off as creepy to them and nothing else. If you want to figure out if you have ASMR, I suggest going to Youtube and typing in ASMR. You may also check Cosmic Tingles ASMR via the link I posted earlier in the post and browse through her videos (current faves are this and this).

Different people have different triggers, so your trigger may be too loud or too soft for my taste, and vice-versa. I once had co-workers try listening to some ASMR videos and the response was varied.

One really funny thing about being able to experience ASMR is the fact that those who can't bash us for it, calling us weirdos and creeps. I highly doubt that once they do get the sensation, they'll continue that attitude. ASMR videos have been my shield from a rather stressful, panicky world.

Have you got a question you'd like to ask regarding ASMR? Curious? Why not leave a comment below and we'll get you all sorted out, to the best of my ability.

Our lovely friends at Nestmaven have compiled a huge list of videos that will help you get started (or dive deeper) into the ASMR world. Check out their list of 97 Best ASMR Videos to Help Relieve Stress and Sleep Faster.

(This post was updated on August 19, 2017.)