My Thoughts on ASMR Videos
A relatively new internet phenomenon that could be just what you need in your self-care routine.
For those of you who don't know, autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is when a gentle sound(s) triggers a tingling that starts from your scalp to the back of your neck. Such a sound(s) might either make falling asleep easier or simply help you to calm down. Granted, not everyone experiences this, but it doesn't mean that people who don't understand the sensation can't find its value in some way or another. Take, for instance, YouTube videos.
My very first exposure to ASMR was through a YouTube video most regular listeners today are familiar with. While videos like this don't always help me fall asleep, I still find them relaxing enough to create an atmosphere that I'll feel inspired to meditate or take up a stress-relieving activity after a long or anxiety-ridden day.
Not to mention that these videos are a testament to how brilliant our imaginations are. The truth is, we might not always have access to our own personal ASMR artists, but when we listen to video makers tell us what they'll do next and which spots they'll target, our bodies immediately react as intended. It's as if they are actually there with us in the same room. Add in the fact that these videos are free to view (unless we voluntarily support artists' channels via donation if the option is there) and can be viewed anytime we want, and we're set.
Regardless of the role play being performed in a given video—keeping in mind that it's all staged—there's something about the way these ASMR artists act out their activities that make it seem as though they hold great appreciation for daily tasks and want their viewers to do the same.
I think there's truth to this idea, assuming that's indeed the case. With the exception of circumstances beyond our control, too often we breeze through everyday life in a fit of impatience when there's really no need to. Why can't we take our time and find inspiration in anything we do, or if nothing else, regain some of our energetic spirit back?
Focussing quietly, carefully, and intently on what we're doing is exactly what's being depicted in the ASMR videos. They show how much fun and rewarding it is when we are thinking about something that gives us a sense of accomplishment or simply living in the moment and not just about things that upset us all the time.
These videos are not "creepy"—at least, they're not supposed to be—nor are the ASMR artists merely cashing in on what is often dismissed as nothing more than "minimal effort" in content creation. If there's anything to complain about in that regard, it's the people who make money strictly off of other people's content with little to no application of their own, and there are countless numbers of them still on YouTube somehow.
Instead, the non-ASMR crowd could learn a lot about how to create their own peace of mind. Perhaps with practice or talent discovery they could teach others their passions in an environment that encourages patience and soothing reassurance, whether in a video of their own, a workshop, or whichever other avenue they choose.
There's nothing wrong with vibrance in character, but there is something wrong with energy that is exhausting and distracting. As someone who is an ambivert, I find that ASMR programs of any kind offer a happy medium between routine and reflection without them being a complete escape from reality. Thus, I implore everyone to watch or listen to a video at least once to figure out what they can get out of it and what to do next as I'm sure we all want to get creative with self-care at some point.