ASMR: Soothing Triggers to Relax and Give Your Brain the Tingles
What is ASMR?
Put simply, ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) is a tingly feeling you get over your scalp and sometimes down your spine when something very relaxing or sensual triggers this effect.
I was introduced to the amazing world of ASMR by a friend on Youtube. At first, I was rather skeptical of the movement and thought that it must be just another trend. But after watching about a dozen ASMR videos of varying content, I realized that it was indeed a real phenomenon with substance. In fact, I experienced the effects of ASMR in the form of relaxing tingles from my head down to my spine. I remember the first time getting tingles as a little girl when someone would gently brush or wash my hair. To this day, anytime someone touches my hair I get the tingles.
In addition to touch, ASMR can be triggered by sights and sounds, so there are many Youtubers who create videos keyed towards relaxation and ASMR-induced tingles. Here are some of the best and most common types of triggers you will see in ASMR videos.
TheWaterWhispers speaks softly in this video:
ASMR Triggers: Sounds, Oh Glorious Sounds!
For thousands of people who watch Youtube ASMR videos, sounds are some of the most favorite triggers to the masses. Here are some of the most popular, and some that I even favor:
Crinkly sounds are made with a variety of objects, mostly of a plastic or paper nature. Many of the ASMR-tists (artists that perform in ASMR videos) like to use objects such as: tape, plastic bags, newspapers, crepe paper, aluminum foil, and so much more! Sounds weird? Put on your headphones, curl up on the couch or in your bed, relax, and listen to the sounds of the video to the right. If anything, you will feel at least somewhat relaxed after awhile.
Whispering and Soft Speaking:
One of the best things to listen to in order to calm down and soothe yourself to sleep is someone whispering sweet nothings in your ear. Well, many of the ASMR-tists on Youtube will whisper when talking to their audience on video, or they will simply speak softly. A soothing, soft voice does wonders for a tired ear or for someone who has a headache. Give it a try. I recommend TheWaterWhispers channel for the best soft speaking voice.
Tapping and Scratching:
When I first started watching ASMR on Youtube, I did not understand why so many people liked it when ASMR-tists would tap their nails on a surface or scratch their nails over surfaces. Then one day, it hit me like a brick. WOW...the tingles these sounds can give you! Once you are in that relaxed state, there's something about the sound of nails scratching over various-textured surfaces that will just throw you into a Zen state. ASMR-tists will run their nails over anything from brushes to pillows in order to produce a perfect scratching sound that is stimulating to the senses and not-at-all annoying. Tapping on surfaces is just as amazing!
There are so many more sounds that can work as a trigger to give you the ASMR tingles. Try out the thousands of ASMR videos on Youtube to find the heavenly sounds that put you into a relaxed state of mind and body.
Example of SilentCitadel's Art and ASMR:
ASMR Triggers: Sights
In addition to the dozens of calming sounds on Youtube ASMR videos, you will also find that ASMR-lovers also have triggers related to sights...visualizations. While many of us are auditory learners, there are those of us who are visual. And the same thing applies to ASMR. Some of us are more auditory, while others are more visual. (Or you might be like me and enjoy a lot of both!)
Here are some of the various triggers in the visual aspect of Youtube ASMR.
Now not everyone will notice this part of ASMR videos, but many of the ASMR-tists choose soothing colors or even bright colors for their videos...depending on the type of trigger being presented. You will find a plethora of ASMR videos with pure white pillows, cotton balls, and other white objects. That is because they are using color in order to trigger certain effects within your brain. White is a soothing color and reminds many of us of being safe and peaceful. The same goes for light blue. Orange and yellow might make us feel happy. And etc. While colors help to relax the individuals watching these videos, it doesn't necessarily alone give someone the brain tingles. I believe it's a combination of colors plus some other form of ASMR trigger.
A good friend of mine who is also very into ASMR videos says that she enjoys watching the videos that display the artist using their hands in some fashion. This could be an ASMR-tist who makes something creatively with their hands such as artwork, woodwork, etc. A great example of a talented artist on Youtube who uses her art as ASMR triggers is SilentCitadel. Link to her channel is below, sample of her videos is posted to the right. There's something about watching someone very engulfed in their work that is rather relaxing to certain kinds of people. This type of ASMR is particularly appealing to people who enjoy doing arts and crafts themselves.
Sometimes all it takes is a smiling, friendly face to put us in a relaxed mood. This is in real life and on the virtual computer screen. Just having someone stare into the camera as if they are looking right at you is enough to put you into a Zen state of mind. Again, a smiling face might not be enough to give you the ASMR tingles, but it definitely helps to soothe you into that fuzzy place.
And last but surely not least, we have the triggers of the Role Play nature. Wait! Before you stop reading because you think this is turning south, these types of ASMR videos are not a risque type of video. In fact, it is simply make-believe situations on camera that are used to put you to sleep or give you the ASMR tingle-effect. This is not a sexual thing, but purely a relaxing, mental thing. Give it a chance, and see what you think.
Hair Cuts, Hair Brushing, Hair Dying
This is probably my most favorite role-play trigger. Why? Because my first ASMR tingles were triggered by having my hair played with or brushed as a little girl. Still gives me the tingles to this day! There are dozens upon dozens of videos of women brushing their hair or pretending to brush yours through the camera. Also hair cutting, dying, shaving, etc. can be put into this category of role play triggers.
Doctor and Dentist Appointments
This is another rather popular trigger video in the ASMR Youtube world. I am not personally a fan, but there are those who find this type of thing quite relaxing. How about you? Do doctor and dentist appointments relax you?
Facial, Back, and Head Massages
And we can't forget the ever-loved massage ASMR trigger videos. These are videos of ASMR-tists massaging other folks' faces, backs, and heads and you can kind of put yourself into the massage-recipients' shoes. OR, the ASMR-tist uses various props to make the noises into the camera as if they are massaging you directly through the computer screen. It happens to be quite soothing and can give me tingles often.
Before you knock it, give it a try. Check out some of my favorite role play ASMR trigger videos below.
AWESOME Haircut Video by GentleWhispering:
Tony Bomboni's Relaxing Spa Day ASMR Video:
Questions & Answers
© 2013 Nicole Canfield