Autonomy Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a term that many have recently become very familiar with. It has been described as a tingling feeling that travels from the brain down the spine, causing relaxation as a response to soft whispering and satisfying noises or sounds.
For some people, this newfound art form has helped listeners sleep better, relax and even lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. Some people feel nothing or even cringe at the sounds of ASMR.
In an interview on manrepeller.com, Amelia Diamond spoke with ASMR artist Isabel Meijering on why some people get the tingles while others do not.
“I think everyone has the ability to go into a trance when they’re open,” Meijering said. “You have to allow yourself to be super vulnerable.”
Isabel makes a very good point here because anytime you try something new, it is always beneficial to be open-minded, especially with ASMR.
Most people only think about the effect ASMR has on the listener, but what about the effect it has on the artist behind the microphone? I personally think that it takes a lot of confidence to be an ASMR artist and put yourself out there. To be able to let loose for the sake of trying to benefit others is no easy task. Exposing a raw side of yourself to an audience you have never met before and whispering to them seems very intimate.
Do you ever wonder what the artists do to prepare before recording a video? How does it make them feel? How do they get in the right state of mind to be able to record the video?
“When I record videos, I go into a trance-like state,” Meijering said. “I’m in the zone. The only way I want to keep doing these videos is if it’s a relaxing thing. It’s just something I do to give back to the ASMR community and an outlet for my creativity.”
So for some it is a win-win situation. That is, both the artist and audience benefit from it. On the other hand, some ASMR artists are in fact a bit nervous and self-conscious when recording their videos. In another interview conducted by ASMR University, Dr. Craig Richard spoke with WhisperingLife, who is credited as the “first ASMR artist,” to see how she feels when creating her videos.
“I never totally felt comfortable whispering for people and thought it was strange that I and other people enjoyed it,” WhisperingLife said. “I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want them to think I was crazy. I wanted to keep my identity private just in case anyone I knew stumbled across my videos.”
WhisperingLife started her YouTube channel back in 2009. She chose not to show her face and keep it simple. Compare this to present ASMR which is much more elaborate and intimate as its popularity has grown. It is safe to say that this is a prime example of how ASMR has changed and become more accepted over the years.
Maybe someday we will have a greater understanding of what and how ASMR works, allowing more people to experience it. For now, it looks like we will just have to continue being mesmerized by those who are affected by it. Next time you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, maybe try listening to ASMR. Perhaps the results will surprise you.