What Is ASMR And How Is It Helping So Many People Relax?

ASMR stands for “autonomous sensory meridian response” and while all of those words sound really large and confusing, the actual experience is quite simple. ASMR refers to the pleasurable feeling one gets from certain noises or sensations. Have you ever gotten a tingle down your spine from the sound of a hair buzzer coming close to your ear? Felt relaxed while listening to the waves crash on the beach? That’s ASMR. 

In fact, ASMR has become a bit of a cultural phenomenon. Entire YouTube channels are dedicated to the sensation and giving viewers the experience of “tingles” or complete relaxation. There are hundreds of Spotify playlists that just contain sounds of a fan blowing, paper crinkling, typing on a keyboard, and millions of other noise combinations that give people that response. 

Some of the videos themselves are more whimsical as well, with users pretending to be a doctor, hairdresser, or any other occupation that would prompt being in close contact with another individual. These are known as “role play” videos, and before your mind starts going to a dirty place, the actual intention couldn’t be more pure. 

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The ASMR community online has grown to be one of support and comfort. Many individuals with anxiety, depression, and other mental health ailments claim that ASMR videos and sounds help them relax and seperate themselves from the struggles that they deal with on a day to day basis. This makes sense as well due to the fact that ASMR can be seen as a form of meditation depending on how one consumes it as well. 

Typically, when one views an ASMR video, it’ll be right before bed to help them fall asleep, or at a time when the individual just wants to relax and unwind. ASMR Shortbread, also known as Shortie, is a top ASMR creator on Cameo and YouTube who recently discussed how she often receives requests from her viewers to make videos after they suffered bereavements, break ups, or any other struggle in their life. 

“My channel focuses a lot on personal attention, being that caring friend. I would say the majority of requests are looking for just a chat really, somebody to talk to. ASMR is intimacy, but at a distance.”

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With the coronavirus pandemic there’s been a huge surge in popularity among personalized videos. Wisio is a personalized video platform that claims their requests for ASMR videos increased by 2,100% since March 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic first hit America. This makes sense due to the fact that many people utilize ASMR to assist with stress and sleep aid; two things we’ve all likely struggled with in the past year. 

According to a 2015 study taken among individuals who claim to regularly consume ASMR content, 82% claimed to use the videos to fall asleep, and 70% claimed it was to deal with stress. Another study revealed that ASMR decreased levels of sadness and stress, as well as feelings of interpersonal connection after watching a range of videos. 

Dr. Craig Richard described ASMR as “just another item on the menu of relaxation techniques that humans use to feel better. Personalized videos are like getting to pick and choose the foods that you like the most at a buffet.” Richard expects future research to show that ASMR was one of the most beneficial techniques for relaxation used during the pandemic.

Blue Slime

Slime Museum Opens In New York City

One of the biggest internet trends that has taken over almost every social media platform is slime. That’s right, slime, the goopy, crunchy, smooth, colorful, stretchy sensation has found itself on everyone’s feeds. Videos from people of all ages squishing, and crunching slimes of all textures, colors, scents, etc. evoke a very “satisfying” visual and sonic experience, so much so that many young people have created their own online retail stores selling different kinds of slime for a profit. The trend is a part of an entire internet community full of videos tagged as ASMR. ASMR stands for Auditory Sensory Meridian Response, and basically is the experience of witnessing/feeling certain visual, tactical, or sonic “triggers” which then cause a very relaxed feeling and tingly sensation to occur for viewers. The trend has been around for a few years now, but this week it’s being taken up to the next level. 

For six months, New York City will be opening an 8,000 square foot museum specifically for slime lovers. Karen Robinovitz, Sara Schiller and Toni Ko are the three masterminds behind the museum, actually called the “Sloomoo Institute,” according to Newsday. Why Sloomoo? It’s a trend within the slime community to replace the vowels in words with “oo”, hence Sloomoo instead of Slime. The creators were inspired by the entire online ASMR community and how much help they’ve actually provided for viewers. Slime ASMR videos, along with ASMR videos in general, have been proven to help people with anxiety, insomnia, and depression. The relaxing nature of the videos really force the viewer to be present and only focus on the content of the video, in this case the sounds and movement of large quantities of slime. For skeptics, the museum even includes an area with an EEG machine so you can see your brain’s sensory responses to the slime.

“The social media aspect of slime has really shown community. There’s a lot of sensibility in the world that social media can isolate people. What we’ve seen in the slime world is that people are coming together,” Robinovitz said to Newsday.

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Convention type events for slime lovers everywhere have actually been going on for a while. Slime “influencers” online organize events at convention centers for dozens of slime creators to come and sell their products, but also just as a means to bring people together over a shared interest. The sense of community that’s evoked is amazing, people put all their differences aside to share their common love over one thing. 

According to Newsday, the process for making slime is quite simple and only involves a few ingredients, depending on how fancy you want to get.  The process starts with a mineral-based cleaning product called Borax. You mix the Borax with glue and water, along with liquid scents, coloring and “toppings” that are all the rage, including tiny toys and plastic-based glitter. Some variations are made with clay. 

One of the reasons the slime industry is so popular is because of how endless the possibilities are. If you go on any popular slime Instagram account, you’ll quickly be able to tell how creative these individuals are. The scents, slime names, visual appearance, it all has a designated purpose and formula that is specific to each and every slime. 

“Glitter and other potential eco-foes were deliberately left out of our slime, [we have] varieties that pull like weightless clouds (fake snow is mixed in), crackle because of plastic beads inside or shine with a high gloss and a tough pull. At the DIY bar, where 8 ounces of slime is included in the $38 base ticket price, scents include banana cream pie, Froot Loops and prickly pear. The get-slimed experience is $30 extra. Hand wipes are liberally distributed throughout Sloomoo with the plea that people use them before and after touching the huge bowls of slime placed along a walking route. The slime will be changed throughout each day,” Robinovitz said to Newsday giving details about Sloomoo.

The museum opened its doors today, Friday, October 25th, and will be open for six months! Plenty of time for you and your slime pals to go check it out!