College can be a stressful time for students, and everyone handles it differently, whether that be by exercising, meditating or watching TV. A newer form of relaxation is through Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) which is it is a physical tingling sensation that begins in your scalp and moves down through the spine to the limbs. It is often triggered by an audible stimulus, such as whispering or scratching, though it can also be triggered through physical touch, according to The ASMR.
A 2018 study from the University of Sheffield explains that ASMR may have benefits for both mental and physical health. The studies show that these videos tend to reduce the heart rate of listeners, increase levels of excitement and calmness and decrease levels of stress and sadness.
Junior Mary Fenner thinks ASMR can help people with sleeping problems. Although she started watching ASMR videos ironically, she found them to be extremely relaxing. These soothing sounds can help those who are having trouble sleeping to be able to relax and fall asleep.
There are also other health benefits behind ASMR which junior Erin Taft mentioned.
“I think there are benefits like the power of touch and physical affection.” Taft said. “Even with babies there’s a lot of scientific research about babies laying on their moms chest and their connection. With a lot of the videos there is that connection there which can be very soothing for people to listen to or watch. I think it has a lot of benefits, a lot of neural connections and psychology and stuff like that. I think it’s emotionally supportive as well for people with anxiety or depression.” Taft mentioned that videos about people playing with hair reminds her of when she was younger, and that through these videos she can remember moments from her childhood.
ASMR videos have become extremely popular on YouTube in recent years. A lot of these videos have a negative connotation attached to them, especially videos with chewing sounds. People oftentimes find it to be disturbing since those are the only ASMR videos they have come into contact with. Some popular videos include things like finger tapping, soap cutting, and guided relaxation. By simply watching a YouTube video, it could potentially have positive effects on your mental health.