I was sitting here attempting to have what most refer to as a lazy Sunday afternoon when it occurred to me that after the events I mentioned in my last blog post, I had a difficult time relaxing at all for the longest time. I was so stressed that sleeping became something more like full-time insomnia and I was up later and later every night, and staying in bed later and later every morning, until one day I didn’t get up until 2 pm in the afternoon, and it was then that I knew something needed to change. During the day I had no issues nodding off during a TV show, or reading a book. Even driving became more difficult as I noticed I would feel like nodding off if the drive was longer than just a few minutes at a time.
I did a little googling and came upon some self-help videos that offered relaxation methods and a type of guided sleep meditation hypnosis. I started listening to them with headphones and found that they did indeed help, though there was no actual hypnosis going on. From there I stumbled onto what became a magic category for me. It was called autonomous sensory meridian response, or otherwise known as ASMR. Have you ever gotten a delicious little shiver, or tingle up your spine when someone whispers close into your ears or touches your hair? Or maybe a certain sound sets you off, like crinkling plastic or popping bubbles? Those are all examples of having an autonomous sensory meridian response to a stimulus.
If you ever search youtube looking for ASMR videos, you will be amazed at just how many there are. When I first started there was not near as many, and they were pretty basic, or what I prefer to call normal. These days even I am shocked at some of the weird things people do and view as ASMR. There are role play ones, and ones that have no voices at all, just sounds of various objects. Most of the time, the ones you find and listen to are perfectly fine. Other times, you may stumble on to some new ASMR artists that are taking the boundary lines and crossing the hell out of them. Turning the art into something weird or sexual. I steer clear of those.
My personal preference for listening and relaxing is the binaural whisper videos where they move from ear to ear. They will read from story books, or just whisper about how to apply makeup or techniques for a relaxing hand massage etc. I almost never actually watch the video or even pay attention to what they are doing. I’m usually asleep within 5 to 10 minutes of their voice. Let me tell you I have never gone to sleep faster. Even before all the stress of 3 years ago began. I highly recommend giving ASMR a try if you have trouble relaxing or falling asleep. It cannot hurt to try if you have already tried everything else with no positive results.
My personal favorite ASMR artist calls herself GentleWhispering. She has a very pleasant manner about her, with a slight Russian accent. Some of her videos are even done in Russian, as that is where she is originally from. For those preferring to learn about ASMR from someone other than me, she has a “What is ASMR” video up from two years ago, that explains it beautifully and in a whispered voice. All of her videos are free, as are the other artists on YouTube. Of course, there are buttons and links where you can donate but it is not pushed or even mentioned other than in the video’s description. She has over a million subscribers, so she must be doing something right.
I’m not affiliated with her, or any other of the ASMR artists, and I’m not trying to promote them, but I am sharing with you, my readers, something that has worked for me and might work for you. I firmly believe that everything is worth trying at least once, or you are not really living.