We decoded the science of ASMR and we finally know why it feels so good!

ASMR is often associated with a tingling sensation makes us feel relaxed and less anxious. But have you ever wondered what the fuss is about?
Let’s understand why ASMR is so relaxing. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Chetna Pattnaik Published: 7 Sep 2020, 19:56 pm IST
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ASMR or autonomous sensory meridian response refers to a feel-good sensation that we experience when exposed to certain triggers. A 2015 research conducted by Swansea University, Wales says that 75% of its research subjects experienced ASMR sensations from whispering sounds and that whispering is the most common trigger for ASMR.

While YouTube seems to be flooded with ASMR videos these days, there are a lot of ASMR triggers that you will find yourself surrounded by on a daily basis. Some of the most common triggers are personal attention, tapping and crunching sounds, and even slow movements.

That said, he triggers aren’t really universal. ASMR is an individualistic experience and different people get triggered by different things. Even the intensity of the experiences differs from person to person.

How exactly does ASMR feel? 

Widely attributed as a brain orgasm, ASMR is barely ever sexual for anyone. As a matter of fact, the Swansea University study concluded that only five per cent of participants reported using ASMR for sexual stimulation.

ASMR gives you a pleasurable tingling feeling down the length of your back. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

It is a rather pleasurable tingling sensation that starts all the way from your scalp, creeps down your neck and then to the rest of your spine, and at times—even spreads out to your hands and feet. It feels as if somebody is gently tracing a finger down your spine. It induces a feeling of euphoria and many believe that their anxiety slips away at the very instant.

What instigates the feeling of relaxation?
It is believed that people who watch ASMR videos show physiological responses like a decreased heart rate, which explains the intense feeling of relaxation. Higher levels of skin conductance can be also be noticed and that is an indicator of arousal. Well, all of it has to do with your brain.

falling in love
The sense of relaxation comes from the endorphins that your brain releases. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

During ASMR the brain releases specific neuro-chemicals like endorphins and oxytocin. And these neuro-chemicals are the one that induce these deep feelings of relaxation. How you ask? ASMR activates the similar regions of the brain as those deep feeling of relaxation that are activated during interpersonal bonding along, grooming and care-giving behaviours. Basically, anything that involves positive personal attention.

So, our brains interpret the sounds with characteristics that are non-threatening, and those are the ones that can induce relaxation, more so when coupled with personal attention and caring behaviours. You can check them out on YouTube and Spotify for yourself and thank us later!

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About the Author

Understanding fitness the hard way, Chetna has finally learnt to strike a balance between her protein shake and her beer and making room for her writing desk and her gym at the same time. ...Read More

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