My regular readers have likely seen my ASMR Travel videos, or at least seen post titles showcasing them. I know many of you may be scratching your heads thinking, “What the heck is ASMR?” For me, it’s not only the cure for years of vivid nightmares, but also how I relax on the road, something that has historically been very difficult for me.
ASMR — or autonomous sensory meridian response — is essentially sounds (and sometimes actions) that feel good, literally leading to a euphoric tingling sensation in the body, often in the head, although I also feel it on my arms. If you’re like me and have a brain that never shuts off or stops stressing, putting on some earbuds and listening to an ASMRist act out a soft spoken spa treatment roleplay or crinkle paper as they perform a style of art they recently discovered, is an amazing way to shut out all of these anxious thoughts and just drift into a pure state of calm or even sleep.
I’ve always felt the tingles, but until about a year ago I never understood what they were. I knew I loved watching Bob Ross, and would record his show just to listen to while falling asleep. I knew hearing guided meditations made me want to tickle my arms. I knew a visit to the doctor’s office or spa meant a soft calming voice that made me feel just so happy, but I didn’t know why.
There are ASMRists that I absolutely attribute to helping me get over my nightmares — like ASMRrequests, GentleWhispering, SpringbokASMR, Fairy Char ASMR, TheOneLilium and Olivia’s Kissper ASMR (Note: I have a tendency toward female voices, but there are many talented male ASMRists, too!). Because I’m a regular viewer — while some people look forward to their evening sitcoms I can’t wait to lay down with ASMR videos after work — I also feel like it’s changed how anxious I feel in general, in life and on the road.
I feel I often come off as being this brave, know-it-all, cool-calm-and-collected traveler on here, but the truth is I have anxiety and issues with being patients that can be hard to deal with in foreign countries (and in my hectic home of NYC). While ASMR hasn’t cured me completely, it has leveled me out tremendously. And when I feel myself going back into that stressed out place, I grab some headphones and let the tapping, scratching, paper crinkled, water splashing and gentle voices of ASMR lull me into a calm.
Some people meditate. Others do yoga. Many enjoy an early morning jog. I love ASMR. The next time you’re feeling flight anxiety, nervousness about a destination, or stressed about missing work or being away from family, I suggest you give it a try. Maybe you’ll discover a new form of therapy that doesn’t involve doctor visits, prescriptions or spending money.
I will say that if you don’t get the tingling sensation or don’t quite comprehend ASMR, these videos will probably seem very strange. View with an open mind, and just lose yourself in the sounds and personal attention of the videos.
As for the wine mentioned in the title, while I’m not a doctor I do think a nice glass of red before indulging in an ASMR relaxation video can enhance the experience.
Tip: Sleeping with normal headphones on can be a bit uncomfortable. Here’s a few suggestions for headphones that are made to wear as you sleep (and listen to ASMR):