Perhaps you’ve felt it: An odd tingling sensation in your head followed by a sense of deep relaxation, all brought on by the simplest of events. Getting your haircut, watching someone turn the pages of a newspaper, or the gentle tones of someone’s voice are all potential triggers for this bizarre phenomenon.
First, know you’re not alone: More and more people are reporting that they too experience these bizarre sensations that have come to be known as the Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR).
But what is ASMR, and what causes it? Or, for that matter, what does it do?
There are many benefits to the experience of ASMR, from reducing stress levels to helping you get a better night’s sleep. Whether you’re someone who has always experienced this effect, or you’re interested in learning how to unlock this mysterious phenomenon we have the answers for you.
What Is ASMR?
Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a bizarre phenomenon that has only recently begun to gain mainstream recognition. Although difficult to describe, ASMR is a physical and emotional response to a gentle stimulus. People describe a variety of different sensations, all of which promote a sense of calm and relaxation.
“ASMR is a physical and emotional response to a gentle stimulus.”
While not much is known about the prevalence of ASMR, from personal reports it appears that the effect is universal: Affecting people of all ages from every corner of the world. While the majority of people who do respond to ASMR do so from a very early age, others only become aware of the comforting sensations later on in life.
There is still a debate about whether ASMR is an innate quality (something you have to be born with) or something you can train yourself to experience (akin to meditation). Regardless, the effect has garnered quite the fanbase, and its proponents believe that ASMR is useful in treating anxiety, depression and sleep disorders.