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Imagine: you are talking to a sales employee and suddenly you get goosebumps from your crown to your lower back. The way this sales employee is talking and is using his hands makes you very relaxed for some other reason. You find it more difficult to focus on his story and you notice that your attention is drifting away. You do not know how or why but you feel completely relaxed because of the sales employee. Do you recognize this feeling? Then you have probably experienced an ASMR moment! This relaxed feeling can arise in different situations: during a visit to the beauty salon, when someone wraps a present or when you get a massage for example.

The definition of ASMR

ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. When you have an ASMR experience, you feel 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. It can be described as goose bumps in your brain. It is a very relaxed feeling and can be provoked in different ways:

  • Visual: for example, through gentle hand gestures and movements.
  • Auditory: sounds or certain noises that sound nice sometimes give an ASMR feeling, such as crackling, whispering or ticking. For example, tapping gently on a desk with long nails can result in ASMR.
  • Feeling: a light touch, for example being tickled or massaged, can give you a relaxed feeling.

What happens during an ASMR moment?

When you have an ASMR experience, various hormones are released in your body such as endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin. You feel less pain because of endorphins. Dopamine on the other hand gives you feelings of pleasure and joy. Oxytocin is released when we are touched or given a compliment: it gives us a warm and pleasant feeling. And serotonin has a calming effect, it strengthens our mood and helps us to have a good sleep pattern. Conclusion: if you have an ASMR moment, your body will respond very positively to it because of all the hormones that are released!

Research shows that most people watch ASMR videos to relieve tension and to fall asleep. Some viewers have indicated that the videos help with depression and chronic pain; the videos provide a better state of mind and sleepiness.

Where should you look for the ultimate ASMR experience?

Not everyone is sensitive to ASMR. Do you want to investigate whether or not it’s your cup of tea? At the moment, YouTube is full of popular ASMR videos which feature all possible visual and auditory triggers. You can discover what triggers ASMR in you by watching different types of videos. Do you notice that you feel sleepy and/ or happy? Enjoy it and use it to your advantage!

NiceDay app

Do you feel tense? Try to schedule an activity in the NiceDay app in which you take the time to watch an ASMR video. Investigate how you feel before and after watching the video.

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Sarah Goslinga

My name is Sarah Goslinga, psychologist and coach at NiceDay. It's important to me that you have a real connection with your coach and that you feel you can discuss anything. There are many different things I like to do, such as making music, roller skating or dancing!

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