Why I do ASMR

For my entire life–starting as a young child–I’ve had a recurring experience feeling tingles that start at the top of my head, travel down my spine and eventually result in an overall sense of euphoria and relaxation.  This feeling, or sensation was consistently inconsistent and I could not predict when it would occur. 

As I got older, I noticed that a few things would almost always trigger these feelings.  Getting a haircut, whispering, personal attention (such as at the dentist, or someone telling me a story) and, strange as it seems, sales calls.  

The latter baffled me for years.  I first experienced sales-induced euphoria as a principal when a yearbook salesman asked for a few minutes of time.  Then it expanded to include sales phone calls. I know it sounds weird, but I almost never turn down the opportunity to “take a few moments to answer a few questions.” I’m getting tingly right now just writing about it.

Then about a year ago, I stumbled upon a website that described what is called Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR.  ASMR has been recognized for years, despite there being very little public discourse about it.  That is changing, however. There are literally thousands of people, called ASMRtists, who have uploaded millions of videos intended to produce tingles for their viewers.  

Unfortunately, not everyone experiences ASMR.   Many of the people I have spoken with who don’t get tingles from ASMR triggers do spend time meditating or practicing mindfulness.  But the ones that do claim that watching ASMR videos help them to fall asleep, relax or reduce anxiety.

If you have not heard of ASMR, and are unsure whether you can experience ASMR, I encourage you to search online for videos and watch a couple.  Be warned, watching someone scraping a microphone, whispering or nibbling their earbud mic might seem strange. But it also might feel good.

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