Move over yoga, meditation and glass of wine… there is a new solution to your mom stress and anxiety! And it’s one that you might think is strange at first, but the idea might just grow on you.
Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is an experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. People experience "low-grade euphoria" characterized by "a combination of positive feelings and a distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin". These feelings are triggered by specific auditory or visual stimuli.
It’s the feeling of having goosebumps or the “chills” you may get when listening to a moving song, or watching an emotional video or movie, or when you hear a super cool story. The sensation you feel when a gentle breeze touches your skin, or someone tickles you with a feather, or someone whispers softly into your ear.
Great, so how can this information help? Well, there are ASMR videos on YouTube that can help viewers relax with these pleasant, tingling sensations.
Here’s one example:
ASMR videos are made to soothe and relax, and many people who suffer from anxiety say these videos act as a form of therapy. The videos exaggerate and combine these triggers to attempt to induce ASMR in viewers.
This video, created by the well-known ASMR YouTuber Gentle Whispering ASMR, is a good introduction to ASMR by someone who is a certified expert in it. "This tingling sensation is euphoric. It starts in the back of your head, travels down through your spine, into your limbs, relaxing you, giving you a feeling of wellbeing,” she says.
But is there any scientific study to back up these claims?
A study in PeerJ published in March 2015 found that 98 percent of the 475 study participants used it for relaxation, with 82 percent using it to help them sleep and 70 percent for stress relief. Most notably, 80 percent of participants reported that ASMR videos had a positive effect on their mood — even those who suffered from depression and chronic pain.
If watching ASMR videos can help relieve some stress at the end of a full day with the kids, it’s worth a try!