But Does It Work?, I Am #Fearless
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But Does It Work? ASMR For Anxiety & Relaxation

As of yesterday, I can say that I tried ASMR. You know, that thing that has been taking the internet by storm, claiming it gives you “braingasms” and “gives you the tingles”? Well, until yesterday all I knew of ASMR was it was a bunch of people whispering into a camera, putting it on the internet and people would feel better.

Now, I don’t know about you, but whispering doesn’t usually calm me down. If anything, it freaks me out and makes me anxious, just as I’ve learned by watching Bob Ross. I don’t know about you, but that dude freaks me out. He’s too calm, so he’s probably a pyscho killer right? Or maybe that’s just me.

Of course, I know you’re not here because you want to know just my thoughts, you want to know the most important of all: but does it work? Well guys, I’m prepared to answer that for you. Right now.

Initial Thoughts

So prior to doing ASMR for the first time I had absolutely no idea what it was. It was literally just this fad I kept hearing about, and all my favorite YouTubers were making fun of it. It never occurred to me to actually look it up and try it. As I said, anything I think of someone whispering me to me I don’t think relaxing, I think weird and frustrating because how am I supposed to hear your words? I was pretty clueless.

Research

ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, which probably just sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo. However, it’s usually identified by that “euphoric, static-like or tingling sensation” on your skin. A good example of this would be when someone plays with your hair, or gently rubs your back. ASMR is done by a series of sounds, usually whispers and soft noises, that is supposed to simulate that response and induce relaxation, aid anxiety and help with insomnia.

There are plenty of YouTube videos out there, and some of them get strangely specific, with doctor role plays, spa day role plays and even video game themed role plays. Many people associate ASMR with a strange sexual fetish, but I don’t think it is one unless you take some kind of sexual experience from it. The sensation you get is euphoric, and it can, at times, seem as if someone is literally right next to you whispering in your ear. That alone could seem sexual, but the process of ASMR is not sexually based, per se.

ASMR is best experienced through headphones, because many people have special mics that have been designed to enhance the experience. Some use 3D sound mics, which makes it seem like they are there with you – hearing the sounds from all angles. There is even this strange ear mic that some people use. Let’s just say it’s super, super weird.

The Testing

Now I didn’t just wake up with the idea to do ASMR. In fact, the only reason I decided to give it a shot is because I watched a video called YouTubers React: ASMR. After watching it I was curious because it was the first time I’d ever witnessed ASMR, and my curiosity got the best of me.

After two hours of binging some ASMR, I landed on a channel called Heather Feather which I really loved. Of course, yesterday I didn’t get that many tingly sensations but I did have moments that resulted in it. Of course, I decided maybe the reason that was happening was because I was so caught up in my mind. There was a lot of over thinking, and not just letting the ASMR happen.

So obviously I tried again today, and let me tell you I’m a firm believer in this thing now. I went back to the video that initially got the tinglies going yesterday, and today the sensation was much greater. Not sure if it’s because I got past the initial awkwardness that came with trying to quiet my internal monolouge or what, but it worked today.

In case you’re curious, the video I watched and got the most sensation from was a video by Heather Feather called ASMR Ultimate Head and Scalp Massage Role Play: Realistic Binaural Sounds For Relaxation. It sounds more sexual than it is, I swear, but every person is going to react differently to different triggers – so don’t assume because it worked for me it’ll work for you!

The Results

So, like I said, I think this process worked for me to an extent on day one, but day two it really worked. I was shocked at the difference, and I might be addicted to ASMR now. That might be a problem.

But I’m going to give this anxiety relief method my stamp of approval. It may not work for everyone, because it does take a certain sense of open mindedness, I think, to really get the most out of what ASMR can offer. However, if you’re feeling adventureous and want to try a new method of calming down, why not pop on some headphones, go to an isolated area and just give it a shot?

At least you tried right?

Too Long; Didn’t Read?

ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, and is supposed to induce a eurphoric-like tingly sensation in your head and neck. This is meant to help us reduce anxiety, stress and fix insomnia.

After trying it, I’d say that this one has some potential to be a great resource for many people. Just don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work for you. I’d imagine that ASMR is somewhat of an acquired taste, and if it doesn’t work for you don’t fret! There are many other ways to reduce anxiety.

So, what are your thoughts on ASMR? Have you tried it, and does it work? Make sure to let me know about your experiences with ASMR in the comments. And if you have something else you want me to look into for my But Does It Work? column, leave those below too.

Until next time, Internet!

If you would like to email me, you can send any questions, concerns, comments or suggestions to contact@hashtagfearless.com. I will do my best to respond to you within 48 hours, but if for some reason I cannot get back to you in that time frame, I promise I will always respond as soon as possible. You can also find me on  FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram

Lastly, I run an Emetophobia Support Group on Facebook. Emetophobia is the intense and irrational fear of throwing up, and it is one struggle I am passionately engaged in. The group is a closed, by request only group to help facilitate sharing and support by all members. It is also private, meaning that the posts you and others make will not show up publicly in your newsfeed.

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